What’s eating Ryan Strome. The New York Islanders forward just can’t seem to get anything out of the former fifth overall draft pick. So now what do they do?
When Jack Capuano was fired by the New York Islanders earlier this month it was thought that Ryan Strome might finally be able to get out from beneath the bus he was constantly thrown under. But just three games into interim coach Doug Weight’s tenure and Strome is already being benched at key moments in the game.
Strome was a noticeable absentee as the New York Islanders tried to battle for a win against divisional rival the Philadelphia Flyers. For parts of the third Strome was stapled to the bench for a second gaff committed earlier in the game.
His first mistake was whiffing on a shot. A mistake that Doug Weight, in his post game press briefing stated was simple human error. Strome’s second mistake wasn’t backchecking and covering that “good ice”. And that’s why Weight benched him.
It just doesn’t seem to matter who’s behind the bench, Strome just seems to have a knack for ticking off coaches. So now what do the Isles do with him?
Taken ninth overall in the 2011 draft Strome broke out for 50 points in 2014-15. It was an amazing display and something that surely had Garth Snow walking the halls of the Nassau Coliseum in full strut, thinking he stole that draft.
Since, Strome has regressed year-after-year. Last year was a 28 point season, and now this year Strome’s on pace for 26 points. He was sent down to Bridgeport for two weeks last season for a conditioning stint and has been a healthy scratch and benched this season.
So Now What?
There’s something there with Strome. Either he doesn’t suit the Islanders system or the Islanders are just putting him in role that doesn’t suit his talents. Wherever you fall on the Ryan Strome pendulum, you know there’s something there.
The Islanders essentially said that when they offered him a two-year $5 million deal over the summer. They know there’s a player there, but they, and the rest of us, just aren’t sure what type of player that is. And if Garth Snow and the Islanders think he has some value, then there’s another team in the league that’s going to think the same.
So maybe Garth packages Strome around other pieces to land that top-level winger to put next to his superstar center. There are team’s out there that will take a shot at Ryan Strome given his small $2.5 million cap hit, his tender 24 years of age, and that 50 point potential.
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Or maybe Snow leaves Strome exposed in the expansion draft in the hopes that former Isle-colleague George McPhee takes him and frees up some cap space for the inevitable monster Tavares contract extension of 2018-19.
Losing Ryan Strome for nothing to Vegas sounds like a less desirable option, but at this point either option seems like a good one. Both the Islanders and Strome need to just shake hands, say “thanks for trying”, and go their separate ways.
Something needs to happen with Ryan Strome to get him to where he should be. At this point, it’s likely to only happen with a change of scenery.