New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton should offer center Ryan Strome a new contract extension right now.
Sign the man.
There’s been plenty of talk regarding the statuses of players like Chris Kreider and Alexandar Georgiev. The real priority is 26-year-old Strome. The exciting season he’s enjoying while playing along Artemi Panarin has been phenomenal to watch.
Over the past few seasons, the organization has been sellers at the trade deadline. They’ve been on the lookout for improvement for the following season, rather than making a playoff push.
This season, the tide has turned. The club has a player who’s put up consistent numbers since the Rangers traded for him.
Through Saturday’s thrilling 5-4 OT win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Strome has appeared in 101 games for the Rangers. In that time, he has recorded 28 goals and 40 assists, good for 68 points.
He finished last year with 33 points in 63 games for the Rangers. In comparison, Strome has registered 38 points in just 33 games this year.
The center is doing everything the club has asked of him in his short time as a Blueshirt.
Confidence goes both ways
The coaching staff has shown their confidence in Strome. Pairing him with Panarin has been one of the few consistencies David Quinn has shown this season.
Strome has appreciated what the coaching staff has offered him as he stated to Loud.com’s Vince Mercogliano, “The Rangers are the first team that ever put me at center in the top six. I’ve taken the opportunity and run with it. Maybe it’s taken a little longer than I thought, but certainly, I learned from the ups and downs.”
The center has nine multi-point games this season. He’s ranked second on the team in points (35), fourth in goals (10), second in assists (25) and second on the team in face-off percentage (49.26). He’s tallied 11 points (4 G, 7 A) over the last 10 games.
Contract status /offer
Strome will be a restricted free agent eligible for arbitration at the end of the season. He’s making $3.1 million this season.
The organization shouldn’t be worried about Strome’s consistency or a possible drop in his performance.
He’s shown that reliability over the last two seasons with the team. He appears to have his best seasons still ahead of him and his chemistry with Panrin certainly helps his case.
The Rangers don’t have to offer the seven-year veteran a long-term extension. Considering he’ll become an unrestricted free agent after the conclusion of his next contract, the Rangers should be looking to offer a three-year extension.
A competitive figure would be $4.5 million per year for three years. That would solidify the team at the center position.
Having Mika Zibanejad and Strome as the top two centers with Filip Chytil looking strong centering the third line would have the club battling for wins consistently.
Panarin is locked in for the next six seasons after this one and it would be great to see if he and Strome can continue what they have going now.
The Rangers have plenty of unanswered questions with the trade deadline only two months away. Re-signing Strome would quickly answer one of those questions.
The Blueshirts should take advantage of the situation and extend Strome to a multi-year deal now. They need to start addressing the team’s needs while the team is not in desperate need.
It has taken time for the first-overall pick of the New York Islanders to find his groove in the NHL.
Luckily for the Rangers, he seems to have found a home in New York.
Happy New Year fans. May your family be healthy and safe. May the New York Rangers continue to play exciting and inspiring hockey as the calendar turns to 2020.
Now, please offer Ryan Strome a contract extension already.