10:09AM: The Rangers and Ryan Strome have come to terms on a new contract and avoided today’s scheduled arbitration hearing.
Strome, 27, is coming off a two-year deal that he signed with Edmonton that had a cap hit of $3.1 million.
On Tuesday each side submitted the following salary numbers to the arbitrator:
- Rangers: $3.6 million
- Strome: $5.7 million
Had the two sides gone to arbitration and the award was greater than $4,538,958, the Rangers would have had the option to “walk away” and Strome would become a UFA. Strome would have had four-days to explore the UFA market before deciding to return to the Rangers at $3.6 million
The Rangers have not gone through with an arbitration hearing since Nikolai Zherdev in 2009.
Very happy to back for 2 more years! No place I’d rather play than in front of our great fans at MSG. Thanks for the kind words…LGR!! @NYRangers
— Ryan Strome (@strome18) November 6, 2020
Adam Rotter: This is what made sense for both sides and it’s good that they got it done without the mess of going through arbitration. Strome gets two-years at a fair price and a chance to become a UFA in the summer of 2022 when economics around the league may be better. For the Rangers they get some cost certainty on their second-line center, but also don’t make a huge commitment to him. Strome provides some insurance if Filip Chytil isn’t ready to play with Artemi Panarin or if the Rangers determine Chytil’s future is actually on the wing. He also provides experience and a voice in a locker room that has lost Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal and Jesper Fast. Strome is a very popular and positive teammate and while that isn’t enough of a reason to bring him back, losing him would have created another hole in the leadership and locker room. He worked very well with Artemi Panarin and Jesper Fast, but Fast is gone and it’s likely that Pavel Buchnevich or Kaapo Kakko will his spot. Does this contract mean Strome will actually play both seasons with the Rangers? No. He’s very likely to be exposed to Seattle as part of the expansion draft and could still be considered for a trade if Filip Chytil and Brett Howden show they are ready for bigger roles down the middle. Those seem like things for next offseason though, certainly Seattle would be, and for now Strome is a Ranger.