Since Dylan Strome is still unsigned, it seems like a good time to discuss a mock trade proposal surrounding the Chicago Blackhawks center.
With free agency been open one month already, why hasn’t Dylan Strome been re-signed yet? After not resigning Corey Crawford and trading away Brandon Saad and Olli Maatta, it seemed inevitable Strome would be quickly re-signed. With him not re-signed yet, it raises questions as to why.
The Blackhawks currently have about $5.2M of cap space with only Strome left to sign. If the Blackhawks signed him to a 2-year bridge deal, he would likely command between 2-4 million dollars. That leaves the Blackhawks with plenty of cap space to sign Strome. I believe he is still unsigned due to the recent signings of Lucas Wallmark and Mattias Janmark and the emergence of Kirby Dach.
With Wallmark being a natural center and Janmark able to play center and wing, it starts to create a logjam of bottom-six players. Pius Suter and David Kampf are also natural centers, with Ryan Carpenter, Matthew Highmore, Zack Smith, and Andrew Shaw able to play both center and wing. Plus, don’t forget about top prospect Philipp Kurashev, who looks primed to make an appearance this season for the Blackhawks. This does not leave much room for Strome, who cannot play wing due to his skating technique.
Since the Saad trade leaves an opening on the Jonathan Toews and Dominik Kubalik line, this trade would address that while also benefitting the other team. This mock proposal is with the Vegas Golden Knights and is centered around Alex Tuch. Draft picks and prospects could be balanced out, but a move sending Tuch to the Blackhawks and Strome to the Golden Knights makes a lot of sense.
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Benefits for the Blackhawks: The Blackhawks acquire a big right-wing power forward who is stuck behind Mark Stone and Reilly Smith, as on any other team, he’d be a top 6 forward. Tuch had a bit of a down year this year with only 17 points in 42 games; however, he had 12 points in 20 playoff games. During the 18-19 season, he amassed 52 points in 74 games. He’d be the perfect winger to slot in with Toews and Kubalik because he can provide both energy and skill, with his high competition level and a great shot.
Benefits for the Golden Knights: The Golden Knights acquire a good second-line center to replace Paul Stastny, who Vegas recently traded away. Strome would not cost that much, and they’d likely save money with a trade like this, which will help them out a lot as Vegas was unable to trade Marc-Andre Fleury. This will also allow Vegas to have several different lineup options as they have a lot of versatile players that can play up and down the lineup.
In the end, Strome being unsigned is a huge question mark. A deal like this would allow both clubs to acquire a player to help them both out. As I mentioned above, other pieces would likely have to be included in the deal, like picks and prospects, but this trade could and should be discussed, with Strome still unsigned.