5:46 pm: The Washington Capitals have made the deal official, bringing Strome to the United States’ capital on a one-year, $3.5MM deal.
For Washington, this is an important signing to give them a legitimate second-line center in the absence of Nicklas Backstrom. While the team is more optimistic Backstrom will be able to return during the season after a serious hip surgery that could threaten his career, Strome is a strong option with top-six experience to replace him.
Despite going unqualified by the Chicago Blackhawks (and some puzzling early-season scratches by former head coach Jeremy Colliton), the 25-year-old had a strong year on a weak Chicago team with a career-high 22 goals and 26 assists for 48 points in 69 games. With the chance to play with names like Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, Anthony Mantha, T.J. Oshie, Connor Brown, and others, Strome could finally hit the offensive potential he had when he was drafted third overall in 2015.
It’s a strong signing for Washington, who’s had a quietly great offseason by adding defensive depth and signing veteran netminder Darcy Kuemper.