The Blackhawks and RFA center Dylan Strome have made some progress as they attempt to work out a new contract, notes Scott Powers of The Athletic (subscription link) who classifies the status of negotiations as closer than before. The 23-year-old made an immediate impact with Chicago after being acquired from Arizona in 2018 with 51 points (17-34-51) in 58 games but those numbers took a step back last season with just 38 points (12-26-38) in 58 contests. Without arbitration rights, Strome doesn’t have much leverage other than trying to drag out negotiations in the hopes of getting Chicago to up their offer but he should still come in at a number that’s well above his $832.5K qualifying offer. With Kirby Dach and Alexander Nylander out with long-term injuries, Strome’s importance is considerably higher so it wouldn’t be surprising to see both sides take another run at getting a deal done over the next day or two.
More from the new-look Central Division:
- Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser took part in a full practice today for the first time since suffering a back injury back in October of 2019, relays Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News. The team intends to be cautious with his playing time early on considering how much time he has missed so while he has logged over 20 minutes a night in each of the last seven seasons, it seems unlikely that he will see that much action early on in 2020-21.
- Alex Nedeljkovic’s one-way salary should give him a leg up on the battle for the taxi squad spot on Carolina’s roster, suggests Michael Smith on the Hurricanes’ team website. The 24-year-old spent most of last season with their AHL affiliate in Charlotte but had a 3.05 GAA with a .887 SV% in four appearances with the Hurricanes last season. He carries a $750K price tag in terms of salary while veteran Antoine Bibeau, who has a similar number of NHL games under his belt, is on a two-way deal. In either situation, Nedeljkovic will need to pass through waivers unclaimed unless Carolina opts to carry him on their 23-man roster which would mean that they wouldn’t need to carry a netminder on their taxi squad.