After signing a two-year deal with the New York Rangers just about a month ago, Ryan Strome can’t seem to catch a break and settle in without people bringing up new trade talks. Media who covers the team is already looking at the center who had one of his best years with the Blue Shirts last season and suggesting he’s going to be moved.
Rick Carpiniello of The Athletic writes the following about Strome’s future with the Rangers organization:
Ryan Strome, the No. 2 center at the moment, and Panarin’s most likely partner, just signed a two-year deal. He is almost certain to be traded by the ’21-22 trade deadline, though, because by then the Rangers will either be sure he isn’t a legit No. 2 center going forward or his Panarin-driven stats will be so good that they can’t afford to re-sign him as an unrestricted free agent.
Essentially, what Carpiniello is saying is that Strome will either be too bad to give an extension to or too good to afford to give an extension too. Huh…
When Strome was an RFA this offseason, there were whispers that the Rangers might walk away. A bit tight for cap space, if Strome was wanting too much after a season in which he scored 59 points in 70 games, the Rangers weren’t convinced his big season was a sign of future seasons or just a one-off. Eventually, Strome signed for two seasons at $4.5 million per season. The Rangers deemed that an affordable option.
Now that there’s talk about the Seattle expansion draft and who should be protected, Strome’s name is already coming up again. This time with questions about whether or not the Rangers should protect him.
What If Strome Has Another Big Season?
If Strome hits it out of the park in a 56-game 2020-21 season, expect the trade chatter to really pick up. He’ll be at his highest value around the league and with so much uncertainty surrounding the cap, the expansion draft and with teams wheeling and dealing in an attempt to free up money or work with Seattle to protect players of their choosing, Strome trade rumors will heat up.
The best the Rangers can hope for is that he explodes. If he does, even if the Rangers need to trade him, they’ll have options.
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