After watching a long line of restricted free agents waiting until the end of the summer (and many well into training camp) to sign, many teams are trying to get their RFAs locked up as soon as possible. After the Chicago Blackhawks signed Alex DeBrincat to a new three-year, $19.2MM deal the day before the season started, the next question many fans have now is whether Dylan Strome might be next in line for a contract.
The tough point for Chicago, however, is the sample size, according to NBC Sports’ Charlie Roumeliotis. Strome struggled significantly while with Arizona before finally taking off once traded to the Blackhawks. He scored 17 goals and 51 points in 58 games once traded to the Blackhawks. However, does that mean Strome should get a big contract based on that partial season?
“I don’t anticipate negotiating through the press with Dylan either and I think that was a nice thing with Alex, you guys kind of left us alone with that one, so I would suggest to do the same thing,” Stan Bowman joked with the media. “But we have time on that. Certainly that’s the next order of business. Whether we do it now or in a month or in six months, I can’t say at this point, but certainly that’s something we’ll take a look at.”
- NHL.com’s Mitchell Clinton reports that Winnipeg Jets veteran center Bryan Little skated with the team at Sunday’s morning skate, wearing a gold non-contact jersey. Little has been out for a week since suffering a concussion a week ago in their preseason finale against the Wild. It’s a step in the right direction, but don’t expect Little to be inserted into the lineup immediately. “You get him out there with a lot of traffic and motion and see how he feels,” said head coach Paul Maurice. “He’s moved closer, but I don’t think he’s ready for (Pittsburgh) because he’d need more than one full contact practice. We’ll get him through at least one or two more in the gold.”
- The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro (subscription required) writes that forward Jason Dickinson is still expected to be out another week, if not more, with an upper-body injury after taking a cross check against Boston, while veteran Blake Comeau remains out between two to four weeks with a lower-body injury. Dickinson was just starting to establish himself as a second-line option for Dallas before the injury. He scored six goals and 22 points last year in his first full season. The team is hoping for more from the 24-year-old. Comeau is a key bottom-line player for Dallas.