Washington Capitals Sign Dylan Strome To One-Year Deal – Why It’s One Of Best Bargains Of Free Agency
When gauging the free agent market, teams need to be careful.
Offering a player too much term or full no-move or no-trade clauses could come back to haunt.
This is because players tend to get worse as they age.
But this isn’t the same case with Strome, who is signing a one-year deal reportedly worth $3.5 million with the Washington Capitals.
Typically to become a free agent, the player must have played in the NHL for seven years or must be 27 years or older.
Strome is a rarer case.
The 25-year-old center was likely let go because the Chicago Blackhawks have their site sets at the top players in next year’s draft, which features projected first-overall-pick Connor Bedard.
Although former third-overall-pick Strome is set to play for his third NHL team already, the Ontario, Canadian native has only gotten better.
Last season, playing in the Blackhawk’s top-six, Strome registered 48 points in 69 games.
That’s a massive improvement from his 17 points in just 40 games played in the previous year, as Strome then struggled with injuries.
Also, his underlying metrics were solid.
Strome has a projected wins above replacement (WAR) percentage of 83%, according to data from NHL analytics site JFreshHockey.
Dylan Strome, signed 1x$3.5M by WSH, is a playmaking top six centre with a good shot. Has a knack for delivering high-danger passes off the rush and making good decisions under pressure around the net. #AllCaps pic.twitter.com/tODaUHxMSC
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 14, 2022
WAR measures a player’s total contribution to a team.
For the Capitals, it was a rare opportunity to claim a young promising player without surrendering any assets.
Strome will now be given the chance to potentially play on a line with Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin.
An even sweeter part of the deal for the Capitals is Strome will be a restricted free agent next year.
So, if the organization wishes, it will have team control for another year and can tender Strome.
But there is a challenge that lies ahead for the Capitals.
According to CapFriendly, the team is now more than $6 million over the cap.
It’s possible that the Capitals may have a few players that will start the season on long-term injury reserve (LTIR).
That would buy it some extra time because those players wouldn’t count against the cap as long as they are on the list.
For example, 35-year-old Nicklas Backstrom, who carries a cap charge of $9.2 million is one candidate for (LTIR).
Backstrom has a hip injury that has been described as “chronic.”
His hockey future remains cloudy.