What’s Going on Between the Islanders & Ryan Strome?

The New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow has had a busy off-season. He signed unrestricted free agents Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera, and P.A. Parenteau. In addition, he inked restricted free agents Casey Cizikas, Shane Prince, Alan Quine, Scott Mayfield, and J.F. Berube. Everyone is signed except Ryan Strome. So what’s going on between the Islanders and Strome?

So what’s going on between the Islanders and Strome?

Disappointing Season

The former 5th overall pick in the 2011 Draft is coming off a very disappointing season. After his first full NHL campaign in 2014-15, many were predicting Strome would have a break-out year last season. Instead, the Mississauga native had eight goals and 28 points in 71 games. Last season also included for Mr. Strome, watching games from the press box (both in the regular season & the playoffs) and an AHL stint with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Many did not see a sophomore slump coming for the talented young forward for the 2015-16 season. In 2014-15, Strome had 17 goals, 50 points and led the Islanders with a +23 rating. In 2013-14 when Strome arrived at the NHL, the kid from Ontario was solid with seven goals, 18 points, a +8 rating in 37 games. However, things went awry for Strome last year. For both himself and the Islanders team success, he needs to rebound this coming season.

Something Afoot?

Not only is Strome the only unsigned Islander, but everyone else inked their new deals in the early part of July. Should anyone read into the fact that Strome is unsigned? Is something afoot regarding Ryan Strome?

Could the Islanders trade Ryan Strome? The answer is yes with a caveat. If Garth Snow could land the right top-six forward, Strome could be part of the package going the other way. It is possible such a trade could happen before training camp.

However, the Islanders are not going to just give up on Strome. That potential top-six forward would have to be a strong fit for New York, in order for Garth Snow to trade the talented 23-year old forward.

Remember while Strome is coming off a bad season his first year and a half he performed very well. He would not be the first talented youngster to take a step back during his sophomore season. Let’s also not forget Strome has been playing a lot at wing outside of his natural center position.

Next Contract

So where does it stand between the Islanders and Strome regarding his next contract? Is it possible New York wants to keep his contract open because it makes Strome trade value higher with that current flexibility?

Trade talk aside, one would think Strome and the Islanders are looking at a bridge deal. Most likely a two-year contract. Strome is not going to want to negotiate a long-term contract after his performance from last season. Conversely, the Islanders are going to want to take a wait and see approach before signing Strome to a long term contract.

Strome is coming off his entry-level deal. While his performance last year was not good, one cannot throw out his play the prior two years. Odds are the islanders and Strome are looking at a two-year deal with an annual value between $1.6 and $1.8 million.

As we get closer to the end of August it becomes less likely the Islanders will make a deal for a top-six forward. The plan is for Strome to be one of New York’s centers for the upcoming season. Playing at his natural position can only help Ryan Strome reach his potential.