The New York Rangers must strongly consider retaining Ryan Strome

ryan strome

October 29, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Ryan Strome (16) reacts after scoring a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Strome has just two points for the New York Rangers in four games this season. The 28-year-old center missed the other four games due to COVID-19, and his first game left was a team stink against the Flames on Monday.

Last night, in Blueshirt’s 4-0 complete performance against the Blue Jackets, he scored the all-important first goal. In addition, he helped trigger an anemic powerplay that went 2 for 3 for the game, even though he did not get a point.

Perhaps even more critically, it looked like he was giving his old buddy Artemi Panarin some life. The Breadman picked up his first multi-point game of the season with three assists, the first on Strome’s opening mark.

“Yeah, I definitely like (Strome) back with (Panarin and Kakko),” Gerard Gallant said. “I think (Panarin) feels really comfortable playing with Stromer.”

It makes you wonder if Rangers should seriously consider finding a way to bring Strome back next season and beyond.

Ryan Strome loves being a Ranger

Since joining Rangers, Strome’s play has steadily improved. Last season, he scored 49 points in 56 games and picked up 59 points in 70 competitions the season before. The 28-year-old is still in his prime and his numbers should continue to rise and get closer to a point a game status.

“I love being a Ranger, I think I fit in well here,” he said during training camp about his contract status. “I love the guys on this team. I love the guys so much. No matter what happens, it happens. Everyone is really excited (for this season) and that’s my focus.”

Unfortunately, the flat cap may have already dictated Strome’s fate. With the ceiling fixed at $ 81.5 million the last two seasons, and only expected to rise to $ 82.5 million next season, there is no room to give him a huge raise.

What he will be worth is another question. Last year, Stromes finished 0.875 points per game. fight better than the following centers:

  • Jack Eichel (.86) – $ 10M AAV
  • Brayden Point (0.86) – $ 6.75 million
  • Evgeni Malkin (0.85) – $ 9.5 million
  • Mathew Barzal (.82) – $ 7M
  • Claude Giroux (.80) – $ 8,275M

The previous 5th overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft would be within his right to request a contract in the range of $ 6.5M to $ 7.5M. A marked increase over his current $ 4.5M deal, which expires this summer.

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Strome has many teams interested in acting for him

strome panarin
February 27, 2020; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers striker Ryan Strome (16) reacts with teammate Artemi Panarin (10) after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens in the third period at the Bell Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Another reason Rangers should consider what to do with Strome is that there are plenty of teams ready to throw themselves over if he is available. I mean, if so many teams want him, maybe you should too.

Over the summer, three teams were rumored to have discussed a deal with Strome. The Golden Knights, Senators and Kraken all called Chris Drury. At the time, Rangers were still in talks to acquire Jack Eichel, but it was put to bed with Mika Zibanejad’s 8-year extension to $ 8.5M AAV.

“It’s a business. I think everyone in here has been traded before, except for a few guys,” Strome replied of the rumors. “If there is a trade, we will respond accordingly. If you worry about it, it will just affect you negatively. ”

Rangers have a critical decision with Strome

There are a lot of other questions that need to be answered before Rangers even think about what to do with Strome. First of all, what will it cost to extend Adam Fox?

The widespread consensus is that Fox will take no less than $ 9.5 million. If so, how can you afford to give Strome $ 7 million? Let us not forget that Kaapo Kakko and Sammy Blais also need new agreements. And in the summer of 2023, Alexis Lafrenière and K’Andre Miller will be up to theirs.

Of course, Rangers need to know if Filip Chytil is ready to take on the role of # 2 center full time. At the start of the season, it does not appear that he is. With the team thin in the middle and no legitimate center prospects in the organization, Strome’s value becomes even higher.

Chris Drury could possibly ruin Strome’s AAV with a 7 or 8 year deal. Security over money.

While that would be something to consider, Drury needs to draw a line in the sand when it comes to trade protection. If Strome also wants a complete no-move clause, it must be an immediate no-starter for contract negotiations from Rangers’ GM. They can not keep up with the fact that their two best centers are over 33 in five years.

Rangers could also make some other money savings to keep Strome (if the price is right). One is given, and that is to exchange Alexander Georgiev’s hit of $ 2.45 million. Another would be to move Patrik Nemeth’s $ 2.5 million after this season.

Nemeth has an 8 team modified no-trade clause which should not make him difficult to move. I also think there is an appetite for a future couple of Zac Jones with Nils Lundkvist among the fan base and in the organization.

Of course, it will all fall on Strome in the end. If he demands max dollars, max term and a no-trade clause, he will make the decision easy for Drury. A decision that Drury thought he had figured out before Panarin’s mini-downturn to start the season did not make it so clear.

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