The Chicago Blackhawks are ready to rebuild. Who, if anyone, can the Islanders pry away from Stan Bowman’s clutches?
Yes, I would love to see number 88 in Islanders blue and orange but the likelihood of that happening isn’t very high. According to Stan Bowman, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Jonathon Toews, and Brent Seabrook will not be moved.
Today in a message to their fans, the Blackhawks pretty much admitted to going full rebuild. It was expected after letting Corey Crawford go and trading away Brandon Sadd the writing was already on the wall.
Even though some of the big names might not be on the move, can the Islanders try to pull some other names out from Chicago?
An intriguing name that comes to mind is Dylan Strome, yes the younger brother of Ryan Strome. Strome is an RFA coming off a 38 point (12 goals, 26 assists) season in 58 games. Paced out over a full season, Strome would’ve finished with 54 points.
That would be back to back 50 point seasons from a 23-year-old who should be getting better year over year. Most of Dylan’s success came at center, but when on the wing he was playing with a 19-year-old developmental piece in Kirby Dach.
I’d assume that he would fare better next to a Brock Nelson or Mathew Barzal. So what would it take to land a player like Strome from Chicago?
A second-round pick and defensive prospect Bode Wilde should be enough to get the deal done. At that point, Strome shouldn’t yield more than a $4 million AAV in restricted free agency which tends to help with the Islanders cap crunch rather than acquiring someone like Patrik Laine or Mike Hoffman who would have a hit over $6 million.
Is Strome the perfect fit for this team, absolutely not but there aren’t too many perfect fits in the COVID era and if the goal is to get better this should theoretically do that with a high upside 23-year-old.
Strome – Barzal – Eberle
Lee – Nelson – Bailey
Beauvillier – Pageau – Wahlstrom
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Suddenly, that lineup looks a little more offensive. If the Islanders had to get nuts and trade Casey Cizikas to clear cap space then Strome could move back to center on L3 and Pageau could drop down a line.
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Hopefully, that wouldn’t need to happen but the point is Strome could be a versatile piece for this team at Left Wing or Center which definitely holds some value.