Blackhawks: Why Hasn’t Dylan Strome Been Signed Yet?

Dylan Strome #17, Chicago Blackhawks (Getty Images)
Dylan Strome #17, Chicago Blackhawks (Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks are yet to offer Dylan Strome a contract offer, yet, his counter-part Alex DeBrincat was offered a contract before the start of last season.

Dylan Strome was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in November of 2018 and has made an impact in his 116-games with the team, scoring 29-goals and 60-assists for 89-points. The transformation from Strome’s 48-games in Arizona, only ending up with 16-points there has surprised many fans. It’s a trade that Stan Bowman deserves credit for, as Strome has turned out to be a solid player.

Even though Strome has started to turn into that first-round talent he was projected to be when he was drafted in 2015, he’s still left without a contract. As a restricted free agent, Chicago has his rights, even if another team offers him a contract. If another team offers him a deal and he accepts, they can either give a counteroffer or accept draft picks as compensation for Strome.

It seems like Chicago is waiting to see where they can cut the salary cap to fit Strome under their 2020-21 salary cap, as they have to fit Dominik Kubalik under it too. This could be as simple as they haven’t made room for Strome yet and he isn’t as much as a priority as Kubalik.

Still, Chicago will have to make a move to keep Strome. There’s going to be a player either traded or bought out for Strome to stay. This turns into a situation of “who is Strome more important than?”

Strome is 23 and has a bright future in the NHL. The Hawks letting him walk away would be a huge mistake, even if they were given draft capital. They have a solid player in Strome, there’s no promise their draft pick would be just as solid.

Looking at the roster, there are a few contracts that could be bought out or traded to a different team to make room for Strome. The most talked-about player being traded is Brandon Saad. Saad is on the last year of his contract, where he is being paid $6,000,000 AAV. Even trading for a player that’s worth half as much cuts $3,000,000 AAV, to give to Strome.

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How much is Strome worth? Well, he’s a solid player and has great potential. He’s going to be worth anywhere from $3-4M for the short-term. Signing Strome to a 3-year deal to match the length of DeBrincat’s is something the Hawks should try to do. They cannot mess this up, Strome and DeBrincat are the future stars of the Blackhawks.