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Photo Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers re-sign Ryan Strome to a two-year deal with $3.1 million AAV

According to the wonderful world of Twitter, Ryan Strome has signed a two-year contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers with a cap hit of $3.1 million per season. The exact number our Jason Gregor wrote about yesterday.

Since coming over in the trade that sent Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders, Ryan Strome has been a polarizing player for some fans and even, at times, the organization itself. That said, Ryan Strome provided the team with exactly what they should have expected when they acquired him, a perennial 30-35 point player with the ability to centre the third line and play on the penalty kill. Over the last three seasons, Strome has been reasonably consistent in terms of his production and fancy stats, and he really seemed to be at his best when playing at centre rather than on the wing.

The Fancies:

NYI 2015-16: 71 games, 8 goals, 20 assists, 50.6 CF%, +1.8 CF% rel
NYI 2016-17: 69 games, 13 goals, 17 assists, 45.9 CF%, -2.1 CF% rel
EDM 2017-18: 82 games, 13 goals, 21 assists, 50.8 CF%, -0.1 CF% rel

Back in April, Cam Lewis profiled Strome and summarized his first season with the Oilers quite well.

Strome’s point-per-game in all situations in the past three seasons have been 0.39, 0.43, and 0.41 respectively. In 2014-15, Strome had what appeared to be a breakout season in which he recorded 50 points in 81 games, but given the two follow-up seasons, it’s pretty obvious that was the exception rather than the rule. With that considered, the Oilers got the player in 2017-18 they should have been expecting. If the Oilers expected more from Strome, that’s on them. That’s on their professional scouts who watched him, it’s on Peter Chiarelli for targeting him in a one-for-one deal for Eberle.

If you can convince yourself to not attach him to Eberle, it becomes a lot easier to accept Strome for what he is. He’s a solid, two-way player who can play in a variety of situations. He can centre your third line and be responsible, he can produce some offence in a top-six role, he can play both centre and wing, and he can be useful on the power play and penalty kill. He isn’t spectacular, but he’s a versatile depth player with upside, and there’s certainly value to that.

In 82 games played with the Oilers last season, the former 5th overall pick put up 13 goals and 21 assists for 34 points in a year where he was playing all over the lineup, something that will hopefully be avoided this time around. When compared to players in a similar production bracket who have signed contracts recently, Strome’s $3.1 million cap hit actually puts him below guys like Andrew Cogliano (0.42 points-per-game) who got $3.25 million over three years, Nick Bonino (0.43 points-per-game) who got $4.1 million over four years, and Lars Eller (0.37 points-per-game) who got $3.5 million over five years.

THE WRAP…

While it can be hard to disassociate Ryan Strome with Jordan Eberle considering he was the sole return in that trade, we have to remember that this isn’t Strome’s fault. Instead, what we should try to do is look at the guy for what he is, a responsible two-way player with the ability to kill penalties and chip in with some secondary scoring. I doubt he’ll ever get back to being the 50-point player that he was a few years back for the Islanders but he can still be a useful contributor to a team that needs guys that can play responsibly.

Personally, if I’m Todd McLellan, I write Strome’s name in ink as the third line centre and forget about trying to moonlight him as a winger. It didn’t work in New York and it’s not going to work here. As we saw a year ago, Strome looked much more confident when he was playing down the middle and that should be the plan for him moving forward. Over the past three seasons, Strome has produced at a rate of 0.41 points-per-game and it seems reasonable to expect that he’ll fall in and around that number this year as well. But you know never, maybe the Oilers will actually keep Strome in a spot where he feels comfortable rather than shuffling him around and maybe, just maybe, we can see those offensive numbers get bumped up a touch.

What do you guys think?

STROME’S OILERS CAREER SO FAR

Season GP G A P +/- PIM PPG PPP SHG SHP GWG OTG S S%
2017-18 82 13 21 34 -4 33 2 6 0 1 3 0 147 8.8
NHL Career 340 58 102 160 1 156 10 33 1 2 8 0 661 8.8

Source: Edmonton Oilers, Verified Twitter Account, 7/6/2018 – 9:30 am MST

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    I’m glad you guys have good writers and quality content, BM. The comment section on here these days is more insufferable and low-effort than the team itself.

  • Boukalz82

    I don’t mind this at all. We now have 6 capable centres. I would like to see a few more moves though. I wonder if Carolina would take Lucic, Pula, and next years 1st for Skinner and Faulk? We would then need to get rid of Russell for whatever we could get. I know that’s no easy task. We would then have the money to get Maroon back. We can’t have both looch and Maroon.. lines would look something like this.
    Maroon-Mcj-Nuge
    Skinner-Drai-Reider/Yama
    JJ-Strome-Rattie/Yama/Reider
    Caggiula-Brodziak-kassian
    Klefbom-Larson
    Nurse-Faulk
    Sekera-Benning
    Drai Skin line could be epic!

  • OTOF2

    So is this all we can expect for the McDavid factor? Overpaid or border line / high end of the range? I remember reading posts on this site that every player would be willing to take a discount just to play on the Oil with McDavid. Ha. Not so much. Pass me another welfare cheque!

    • HelpMeBabyJesus

      Faulk has said he doesn’t want to come to a Canadian team. We shipped Marroon out because he was too slow…still is. Russell is the only player that gives 110 % every shift. Is he overpaid, maybe but i’ll take him on my team any day. Lucic and his wife want out of Edmonton just like Pronger’s family did. He won’t fight or even really stick up for his teammates. Ennis, who just signed with TO is the type of player we need to sign…cheap with upside. Sigh…

      • 18% body fat

        actually we shipped out maroon to salvage an asset for a free agent we couldnt afford. If you can shed Lucic or Russel, i guarentee they would bring him back. Ask your self what is better for the team lucic 6m x 5 years or maroon 4×4 going forward

  • toprightcorner

    Most will say it is too much money, but it is a fair price. In arbitration he would get between $3 and $3.5 and then only be able to sign him for a year and if he had a slightly better season, he would probably get $4 mill. This 2 year deal likely saves the Oilers on cap space over that term compared to going to arbitration. I think Strome has a really good chance and improving his numbers a bit next year and score 15-18 goals. He scored 13 on a team that had a horrendous year and also had a 20+ game scoring drought. This could potentially ed up being a value contract.

  • HelpMeBabyJesus

    Yes, it is too much money. Go arbitration and see if he actually earns a better contract after one year. We are getting bled to death by overpaying players that don’t do more than average.

  • Danoilerfanincalgary

    This is a solid signing he will be available for the Seattle expansion with a year left on his contract The money looks right for this player and Strome still has upside here is hoping that he has a good year.

  • Big Nuggets

    Compared to Jay Beagle this is a great contract. Hopefully Strome can solidify his game this season and be consistent. I would rather have a more 2-way 3rd line center but for the time being I can support Strome.

  • Johnny Utah

    Hate to say it but these slight overpays are a reality for Edmonton. I grew up here, but fact is, it’s not a Los Angeles or a New York. Bigger factor is also that there is a losing culture here. Any McDavid effect has been negated by 10+ years of being in the gutter. A lot of these players only know the Oilers as losers – they’ve been near of bottom of the standings for most of these players’ lives. And then you throw the negative fans, media attention to this mix, and I can’t see why anyone would take a discount.

    As for this deal in particular, yeah maybe slightly above market, but only marginally. Cap goes up, so do salaries. Always an adjustment for people to get used to (this would be 2.5 three years ago). I would argue that most guys listed as comparables bring a little more grit than Strome, but Strome has more offensive upside so I’d say it cancels out. Not a huge overpay in my eyes.

    • camdog

      There’s a price to socialism. Three million in Canada taxed at 50% is not the same as 3 million in Florida, where state taxes are non existent. California and New York taxes are similar to Canada but are nicer places to be. An over pay in Edmonton doesn’t always equate to more earned dollars for said player especially in the smaller American markets. The salary cap is flawed, it acts like equalization payments, to help out the smaller American markets that have lower tax rates.

      • Johnny Utah

        100% agree. Only thing I’d say on the other side of that is that endorsements + perks are much better in a market like Edmonton. That said, doesn’t always offset the points I listed or the tax implications you mention, especially for 3rd line guys

  • Flint

    With the current cap situation, Nurse is going to need to come in well under 4 million AAV. That seriously puts EDM in a offer-sheet risk area. For 4mil, you can offer sheet Nurse (if he accepts) and give up just a second rounder. No matter where you view Nurse, he cannot be lost by EDM for a second round pick. If EDM matches, which they would do, then they are right against the cap with about 1 million to spare and much the same team as last year and some more RFA’s coming up next year. Something has to give.

  • MrBung

    Third line center. Unfortunately Strome got some of the criticism for Chias salary dump and one for one deal. so expectations for Strome weren’t in line. Didn’t help that Stauffer was blubbering at the beginning of last season and inflating what he would contribute.

  • ed from edmonton

    Despite the wishful thinking of many there is no chance that the Oil can off load Lucic or Sekera this summer and in any way improve their team for the 18/19 season. Any trade would be a negative value trade to open up some cap space, which would have only a remote chance of being used in the 18/19 season. The risk here is if both players stay at the same level as they played in the first half of 2018 any trade is unlikely going forward. Only out for the Oil is for these players to return and play at a higher level. Even if either end up in the press box in the 18/19 season it won’t make the team any worse than if they are traded at this time.

    Russel’s modified no trade is kicking in, so he is somewhat tradeable. Despite many people’s mistaken impression you will find that Russel’s $4M contract is within the range of recent signing like DeHaan and Holden. If someone like Bouchard, Bear or maybe even Jones is ready for NHL minutes Russel would be the guy most likely to be sent away.