Did The Chicago Blackhawks Win or Lose The Strome/Schmaltz Trade?

Dylan Strome #17, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Dylan Strome #17, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Blackhawks were looking for a change back in November of 2018 when they traded Nick Schmaltz to the Arizona Coyotes, but has that change worked out for the betterment of the team?

On November 25th, 2018, the Chicago Blackhawks sent Nick Schmaltz packing for Arizona when they dealt him to the Coyotes for forwards Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini. While Schmaltz was a more established NHL player with 162 games in three seasons already under his belt, Chicago did land two former first-round picks.

Brendan Perlini is no longer with the Blackhawks; Chicago dealt him to Detroit for Alec Regula, one of the team’s many defensive prospects. So when it comes down to the Schmaltz trade winner, it is a battle between Schmaltz and Strome.

After playing just 17 games with the Coyotes and registering 14 points, Schmaltz was given a nice contract extension to stay in Arizona long term. Schmaltz signed a seven-year deal worth 5.85 million dollars a season in March of 2019. Now, I do not think Chicago would be willing to give Schmaltz that much money, but having one of your star players unsigned is not ideal.

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The interesting thing about this debate is the fact that Dylan Strome remains without a contract. The winner of the Schmaltz Strome trade will easily be Arizona if Strome does not stay with Chicago.

Both “centers” have a lot of offensive abilities when they shoot the puck and can really become something in the NHL. The only issue is both are not great in the faceoff dot. Schmaltz has a faceoff percentage in the thirties with the Coyotes, while Strome is at 46.2 with the Blackhawks over the course of his two seasons.

If Chicago can get Dylan Strome re-signed for five million or under for just two or three years then it is a no-brainer in my opinion that Chicago won this trade. Not only did Chicago gain two assets when they dealt Nick Schmaltz to the Coyotes, but it helped unlock Alex DeBrincat‘s goal-scoring abilities due to his chemistry with Strome. Plus, it enabled the Blackhawks to deal Perlini for another prospect on a team with very little depth.

Stan Bowman took a chance when he traded Schmaltz away for two unproven forwards. If neither worked out with the team, one could argue that was the beginning of the rebuild for Chicago. Who do you think one this trade, and do you think 5.85 a year is too much for Nick Schmaltz?