It wasn’t all that long ago that Blackhawks center Dylan Strome was viewed as a potential centerpiece player when he was drafted third overall by Arizona back in 2015. Even as recently as 2019-20 when he had a good season with Chicago, he still looked like a part of a longer-term core in Chicago. But since then, he has struggled mightily and it doesn’t appear as if other teams around the league believe he could rebound as Mark Lazerus of The Athletic reports (subscription link) that they haven’t been able to get a team to meet their asking price of a mid-round draft pick for Strome’s services. The 24-year-old has just a goal and two assists this season in 12 games while being a frequent healthy scratch. His AAV of $3MM is problematic while a $3.6MM qualifying offer looms large as well. If a mid-round pick isn’t feasible, it appears that interim GM Kyle Davidson will need to consider some retention to try to find a new place for Strome to play.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- The Avalanche will be welcoming back defenseman Bowen Byram tonight, notes Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now. The sophomore was off to a strong start to his season with eight points in 11 games while logging nearly 20 minutes a game before suffering an upper-body injury a little over two weeks ago. Despite being IR-eligible, Byram has remained on Colorado’s active roster so no move to free up a roster spot will be needed.
- While Wild winger Mats Zuccarello left Friday’s victory over Winnipeg after taking a slash in the hand, head coach Dean Evason told reporters including Dane Mizutani of the Pioneer Press that his absence was precautionary and that he could have returned if needed. However, Sarah McLellan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune relays (Twitter link) that the veteran was absent from practice today which could call into question his availability for Sunday’s game versus Tampa Bay.