The New York Islanders announced that they have re-signed restricted free agent center Ryan Strome to a two year deal. Newsday’s Arthur Staple reports that the contract is worth a total of $5MM. Cap Friendly adds that Strome will earn $2MM in 2016-17 and $3MM in 2017-18, meaning his qualifying offer in the 2018 offseason will be $3MM.
Strome, the fifth overall pick of the Isles in 2011, is coming off a down year where he recorded just 28 points (8-20-28) in 71 games, down considerably from a 50 point campaign in 2014-15. As a result, it’s not surprising to see the bridge deal get done to see how he fares over the next couple of years before the team decides whether or not to commit to him on a long-term deal.
Despite his struggles last season, Strome is still expected to be a top six forward and could push offseason acquisition P.A. Parenteau for time on their top line, a vacancy that was created by the departure of Kyle Okposo to Buffalo at the beginning of free agency.
[Related: Islanders Depth Chart]
The team imposed deadline to have all players signed by training camp has come into play in the past as former NHL winger Sean Bergenheim didn’t sign by the start of camp back in 2006 and wound up spending that season in the RSL and SEL instead.
With the contract, the Isles now have their full roster under contract including 14 forwards on one way deals. They have a little more than $1.1MM in cap space according to Cap Friendly although their projected roster has 25 players, two more than the maximum. At any rate, they’ve left themselves some wiggle room heading into the season.
With this deal done and the signing of Valeri Nichushkin in the KHL now official, there are just 12 remaining restricted free agents. Among those, Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau is the most prominent player without a deal for the upcoming season.
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