What Ryan Strome said on the radio about this past season and more

7:45PM: Strome was on NHL Network and said:

  • Why you have been a good fit with the Rangers, “Multiple things put together, my play and confidence and stuff like that, but at the same time the Rangers have given me an opportunity to play and play with some pretty good players and play more minutes than I’ve ever been used to, and play in all situations. Me and my Dad were joking about it, when you are on your third organization and you have a lot of young guys on the team, it’s amazing how much different you are looked at by the staff and management. Just to be viewed by a fresh set of eyes has helped a lot, been a good relationship so far.”
  • On playing with Panarin, “I guess you never really know how it’s going to work out, I didn’t really expect to be playing with that much when he signed. To split up him and Zibanejad, Zibanejad’s line was so good all year and then for us to come together and click really helped, just having a dual threat for teams to go against was nice for our coaching staff and team and a guy like him makes so many plays. He plays the way I probably always wanted to play, the way I played in junior hockey, a ton of give-and-gos, a ton of cycling, puck movement. With him it’s so much, he’s a guy that relies on instinct and knowing where you are going to be. We were able to gain that a little bit and had a lot of confidence and success and it was a great year. Hoping to keep things going for a few more years.”
  • On how he has developed with the Rangers and David Quinn’s role, “the four-minutes a game is a good point, you go from a 15-minute a game guy, playing second PP, a little bit of penalty killing here and there, you go to a new team, a new set of eyes. When we traded Kevin Hayes at the deadline the opportunity for me to play more minutes was there and I took the ball and ran with it. To play on the PK and first PP unit all-year, being relied on in a lot more situations, as a bit of a leader, a guy that has seen a lot, had some ups and downs and I just feel that I can help in a lot of areas and they thought the same thing and it’s been a good and healthy relationship and he has shown a ton of confidence in me, a ton of faith. He’s still hard on me, challenging me to be better and there is some behind the scenes where he is getting all over me, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Having a coach who is hard on you but also puts his trust in you has been positive for me, and like I said, this is a great opportunity for me to keep growing and our team together and I think we got a pretty good thing going.”
  • What is your approach to next year and growing your game, “honestly, one of the best advice I’ve ever gotten in our exit meeting this year, from our coach and GM, I probably had like 75% of my games were good games, maybe 80% and then the other 20% I really wore it on my body language and results and I think they want me to take that 20% of the bad games and try to make them manageable games, you aren’t going to score every night, not going to get a point, not going to contribute but there are ways to contribute defensively, with faceoffs, being a good teammate and leader and it’s one of the most interesting things I’ve ever heard in an exit meeting. It really rang true to me and it’s something I’ll look towards. Being a guy that scores a lot of points this year for our team, you want to go out and score and get assists but there are other ways to contribute and as a guy that is relied upon in different situations, I think it’s important to remember that not every night is going to be pretty and you have to find ways to win hockey games and when you are counted on you have to bring your A-game every night and that is the next step in my maturity and I think I’m in a great spot to take that next step.”
  • On how not scoring can impact your game, “I think I learned, maybe, the hard way, getting traded to Edmonton and playing behind Draisaitl and McDavid, everyone is judging you on goals and assists but Todd McLellan put me in a PK role for the first time in my life and third-line center, relied on to provide stability in the bottom-six. As much as I think I have more in my game than that, I think it helped me grow as a person and player and realizing that there are other ways to impact the game, if you are not scoring, what are you doing type of thing. My time in Edmonton allowed me to realize that and grow from that, now getting a chance in the top-six, to combine all of the career experiences I have and bottle them together. It’s been a good relationship in NY, a lot of positives and I wanted to see it through and really excited to have two more years to grow personally and as a team.”

2:26PM: Ryan Strome was on Hockey Central at Noon and said the following (Sportsnet):

On avoiding arbitration, “As a player, being through a few contracts now, you understand that it’s a business and although you are fighting over a lot of money, at the same time they are still offering you a fair amount, so it’s not like they don’t like you by any means, it’s important to keep that in mind. Since it’s election time, a lot of people will probably understand this analogy, but I kind of compare the player brief and team brief as Fox News and CNN, completely different. They try to get you for whatever they can. As far as the business, that is the best analogy I’ve been able to give people lately.”





On preparing for the season, “It’s something that we have had to adjust on the go. When you have a trainer or you have your skates, in January/February you start to map out your summer, even though you are still in the season. You want to get it all dialed in and everything like that. Honestly, coming back for the return to play and playoffs kind of made me realize to do things a little differently. I didn’t skate as much as I had in the previous summers, I really focused on working out, staying healthy and getting treatment, and stuff like that. I found that the less skating I did, I found to be a little more fresh when we came back for training camp and a little more eager. Maybe it was a one-off, but I’m going to approach it like that this time around. I’ve only skated 4-5 times, just going to ease my way back into it. I work out everyday, still, but not going to stress too much about skating since we don’t really have a deadline.”

On this past season, “I think you have to back to the season before, when I got traded, the last 20-30 games. After the trade deadline we got rid of Kevin Hayes and a few other guys, Zuccarello, and there were some openings and an opportunity to prove myself. I came in and played really well and I finished with, I think, 19-goals and a lot in the second half of the year. I think it was more a year and a half, rather than a year, coaches gave me an opportunity. This was the first-time in my whole career that I played as a center in the top-six. Being drafted as a center and an offensive guy and then playing a ton of wing and third-line in Edmonton, behind those two big guys, this is really my first opportunity to take the ball and run with it, that is kind of what I did. A lot of it has to do with my play, but a lot of it is the opportunity the Rangers gave me. They trusted me in that role and 10-games into this season I was playing with an $11.5 million dollar guy, not the way I would have predicted it when we signed him, but it worked out pretty good for me and our team had a nice balance when we split up a few of our top guys and it seemed to work throughout the year. I think it’s a combo of a lot of things, confidence is a big thing as well and continue to always work on my skills. I finally got an opportunity to take those big minutes and take the ball and run with it.”

On the night before the NHL shut things down, “I’m pissed off because I had 3 or 4 chances to get to 20-goals that night and I missed wide open nets, left, right and center and it turned out to be the last game of the regular season and I fell two short, that is what I’m going to remember (laugh). Honestly, we were in the same boat as you guys, everyone kind of downplayed everything, our doctors talked to us, the league talked to us and said it was potentially a flu-like situation, maybe a little worse, you just gotta be careful. I remember, the first-time it clicked in is when the Rangers told us not to sign anything for fans outside MSG and not really stop for the fans and stuff and I found that to be weird. Then we went on the road for a west coast swing and, actually, the referee is the one who told me before the start of the third period, that the NBA canceled and that was the first time it clicked in, it could be our last period here, who the hell knows what is going to happen. Weird enough, we went back to our hotel in Colorado after the game, we were supposed to go to Arizona and have the rookie party, so we were all kind of upset about that and we go back to our hotel room and in the morning we got on the bus and went to the plane and at that point we still didn’t even know if we were going back to NY or the next city we were playing in. We were sitting on the runway with all our stuff, wondering if we are going to NY or continuing this thing, we had no idea. We were kind of up in the air like everyone else, it was, honestly, really weird, especially trying to plan with wives and girlfriends and people with families, it was a really unique time. Sure enough we came back to NY, we waited around the City for 5-10 days and then eventually got the word that we could go back home.”

On shuffling between center and, “I definitely think it is easier for a center to play wing than vice versa, center is a pretty hard position. Being a center in the NHL is very demanding, when you are in junior hockey you think it’s so easy to play in the NHL but you play night in and out against guys that are 55-60% faceoff guys their whole career, they are big, strong and play these big minutes and it’s not an easy task. I don’t think playing the wing is necessarily a bad thing, I think it’s a great way to ease into things and have a little less responsibility. As I’ve gotten older and experienced the highs and lows of first-line, fourth-line and everything else in-between, LW, RW, center, I think I’m definitely realizing that as I’m getting more comfortable in the NHL, I definitely feel more comfortable at center. I can feel it now, game-in, game-out. I played a little bit of wing this year for a few games at a time and I just feel like I’m back in my natural position at center. It’s tough as a player, when you are one of the better players growing up you are always the center, I can probably count on one hand how many games I played on the wing from the time I was six-years old. Then you get to the NHL and it’s a whole different beast, you have defense pinching down on you, you have to be in different spots, you have a little bit of a different role out there, not taking faceoffs which kind of engage you in the game. There is so much that goes into it, I think it is good for your learning curve for that easy progression but it’s hard to take a natural centerman, for me, I think I’m pretty cerebral and kind of feel the game out, I’m not the fastest or strongest but it’s easy for a center to play that way, but as a winger it’s a little tough, you have to be more tenacious and getting in on pucks more. There is a lot that goes into it obviously, looking back on it now, it’s been good for my development learning wise, but I definitely feel back home at center.”