IPB: After the first couple days of camp how does it feel to be back out there?
Strait: Good, really good. It's been a hard first week or so. Just really getting back into it. We've had a lot of hard practices, but it's been good. Everyone is getting their legs under them. It's only going to make us better once the season starts.
Strait: Getting stronger. You lose so much strength during the season cause you're not lifting, and then once you get back in the gym it's nice, you can put on a little weight, put on some muscle and it really helps you once you get back there in training camp to come in strong. And be able to push guys around, especially when you're a defenseman.
IPB: You missed a lot of time last year, what was going through your mind during those stretches when you weren't getting games in? And, obviously, how does it feel to be back healthy and 100 percent for camp this year?
Strait: Yeah, I mean, I'm getting that question a million times. I've been injured a couple of times and I get it, but I'm trying to put it behind me. It's not an easy thing to do, being injured. You never want to do it, and unfortunately, I went through it a few times here, but I'm looking forward and I'm ready to have a nice, healthy season. And, really, jut get back to playing a lot and get back to where I was three years ago. My first couple of years in pro hockey I didn't miss a game. I know it's luck of the draw, but I did everything I can to stay healthy this year and I'm in great shape, and I'm ready to go.
IPB: Knowing the competition on the defensive end and how a lot of guys pushing for spots, how cognizant of that were you entering into camp?
Strait: You always know what's going on, obviously, and there's always going to be young guys pushing for your spot. You just have to trust that you're doing the right things in the offseason and trust your talent. Have confidence in yourself and know that if you're putting your best on the ice that coaches and the organization is going to see that and gonna want you in the lineup. Everyone is striving for the same thing here and it's good that we have this competition. It pushes everybody and we're gonna need nine, ten guys. Every team goes through injuries. Every team needs those guys to step in and play in the NHL level. And I think we have enough guys to do that.
IPB: Anyone of those young guys stand out to you?
Strait: I know a lot of them and I know their talents. There's a good group there. Four, five guys that can step right in. We're real conscious of that and it's great to have, like I said, it's great to have that competition. It just pushes everybody a little more and thats what you get when you have really good teams. You need that competition, healthy competition between teammates.
IPB: I'm sure I'm the millionth person to ask you this, but has it sunk in yet that this year is the final year at the Coliseum?
Strait: Yeah, a little bit. We're going to Brooklyn [on Friday] obviously. We're going to get a look at that and hopefully they started on some of the facilities there so we can check that out. But it's starting to sink in. You see the patches on the jerseys and things like that. It's obviously a rich history at that building, so it's tough to go. It's going to be my third year and I've had some real memorable games there, so we're going to really try to use it to our home ice advantage this year. That's a big part of what we want to do to use that to our advantage and get wins at home. And really make this last year there special.