The New York Islanders famously have an unwritten rule that states any RFA not under contract when camp opens is out of luck. Negotiations are shut down and the player will sit for the season. It came down to the wire for RFA Ryan Strome. He got a new deal done just two days and change before camp opens this week.
The Islanders signed Strome to a two-year contract extension Tuesday. The contract will carry a $2.5 million AAV, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
Negotiations were no doubt complicated by the uncertainty of what Strome will be. He looked incredibly promising in the 2014-15 season when he posted 17 goals and 50 points. He followed that up with a patchy campaign, scoring only eight goals and 28 points. He even found his way down to AHL Bridgeport at one point.
Going up and down that way makes it tough to get a long-term deal done. This bridge deal is his opportunity to prove himself and get something bigger in a long-term deal as early as next summer. The 23-year-old will be a restricted free agent once again when this contract expires.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.