While I believe the Chicago Blackhawks need Dylan Strome now more than ever, it seems as though the team has already moved on from the talented forward. Strome was a healthy scratch last night, and that was not the first time he has sat out.
The Hawks have opted for 11 forwards and seven defensemen a lot as of late. Jeremy Colliton understands that his defensemen are young and that having an extra player on the bench can help spread out the responsibility amongst so many rookies. In playing seven defensemen though, Colliton has to sit a forward.
The forward the Blackhawks have opted to sit has been Dylan Strome more times than not, showing where the Hawks see Strome in their lineup.
These last few games have been about evaluating the roster. From the goaltending to the special teams, these last few games have been about seeing who fits the organization. The Hawks have given countless rookies an opportunity as of late, and they even gave Collin Delia another chance in net, but Strome has still not touched the ice a lot.
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Strome’s last game was on May 4th against the Carolina Hurricanes when the team lost 6-3. Of those six goals against, Strome was on the ice for five of them. He did not have the best night and has not played since.
Strome has been inconsistent this season, having a few good games before falling off the radar. However, his ice time and overall role with the team changes every time he plays. Strome’s ice time will jump from 18 minutes to just 12 minutes every few games. Check out the complete game log for Strome from Hockey Reference to see what I am talking about.
He is currently going through the same issues he went through in Arizona. Strome is not finding consistent ice time with the team, and he can barely crack the lineup. Strome has something to offer, but the Hawks do not want it. Maybe this off-season, the team will move on from Strome completely.
While the NHL salary cap has remained stagnant and is hurting the market for trades and signings, Strome is at a relatively nice price and should be able to net the Blackhawks something in return. I think trading Strome is the right thing to do for both sides, especially considering the team is not playing him.
If the Hawks trade Strome, they should be able to net a solid return, better than if they wait for him to have another season barely in the lineup. And it will also allow Strome a fresh start on a new team. For a lot of players, a fresh start is all they need before becoming a lock in the lineup. Maybe the same is true for Strome.