Jordan Eberle had the puck on his stick, and he had time, Corey Perry bearing down with ill will on his mind. The play did not work out well for Eberle, nor the aftermath. Sometimes in life you pay in full for a mistake or lapse in judgement, and that play (or an accumulation of many such plays) probably sent Peter Chiarelli to the trade market. If you’re looking for a reason beyond cap, that’s my answer to you.
Lots of people online going crazy about this deal, but we have discussed it going back some time. We also discussed the Kris Russell signing, which appears to be on the horizon. We also talked about the club signing Spencer Foo as an option on RW (to compete with Jesse Puljujarvi and Anton Slepyshev). If you don’t like these moves, we can chat. If you’re shocked by them? Where you been?
The question you have to ask yourself is this: Can Ryan Strome find success on a soft minutes scoring line (at center) or as RW alongside Connor McDavid? That’s the challenge here in my opinion. Strome is likely to be Leon Draisaitl’s mirror man (although both will probably be on the 1PP) and spend time where the big German center isn’t at any given time.
- Kirk Luedeke: Average size, but grew a bit since last year, which helped him in terms of where he’s regarded amongst scouts. Excellent skater who can beat defenders with his speed or elusiveness. Very soft hands and superb puckhandler who uses his feet and creativity to be a going concern offensively. Just a dynamic scorer who isn’t quite in RNH’s class, but isn’t too far off, either.
I had Ryan Strome at No. 5 in the 2011 draft and he was a highly touted player entering the draft. Since he arrived in the NHL, Strome has posted one quality season (2014-15) and two that have been disappointing (the two seasons since). One of the things I like to look at with skill players is 5×5 scoring per 60.
RYAN STROME BOXCARS AND 5X5/60
Seems to me the first thing Todd McLellan is going to need to do is tell young Strome to shoot the puck like he did early in his career. He has a good one, heavy shot that can make goalies miss. Other than that, we’re dealing with a 2016-17 season that represents a recovery from his nadir and perhaps suggests he is heading in a better direction.
Peter Chiarelli spoke at his avail today about Strome as a center and also about having two centers on the same line. Strome’s strong side for faceoffs is weak side for Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, meaning Strome should be busy and that his career FO percentage (44.2) may improve with the strong side business (I don’t know he he was utilized in NYC).
STROME VERSUS EBERLE, LAST SEASON
You’ve seen this before, we are talking two 5×5 points added to Strome in order to make this level. Don’t be fooled, Eberle is the superior player, but this isn’t a terrible bet by Peter Chiarelli today. If he had cap room, would he have made this deal? My bet is no, he would not have made the deal. The money and cap saved is part of the deal, and ignoring it, or not valuing it, means missing important elements. Kris Russell and Spencer Foo await us! It’s already been a fun summer.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
If you’ve waded this far into the post you deserve my opinion. This was a net loss and the trade could have waited until next summer. It continues a trend of getting less than 100 cents on the dollar in feature trades that may eventually cost Peter Chiarelli his job as general manager of this organization.
I don’t see it happening any time soon. If both Jesse Puljujarvi and Tyler Benson turn out, and the club can grab one of Eeli Tolvanen, Kailer Yamamoto, Robert Thomas or Josh Norris, things should start coming together in terms of forward depth. Spencer Foo may arrive next week and he could be part of the future.
This trade was a net loss, but I do like the bet. Ryan Strome is a big center who has struggled in an organization famous for sabotaging their own youths. Strome is a lesser player, but not necessarily a lesser talent. Todd McLellan may unlock Strome and that’s the bet the club made. We Wait.