Opinion: The Capitals’ Signing of Dylan Strome Could Prove To Be the Steal of the 2022 Offseason

“I think when a team kind of walks away from you, giving you up for nothing you obviously have a little bit of a chip on your shoulder and want to prove they made a mistake…”, were the words Capitals forward Dylan Strome spoke during his first press conference with the media on September 23.

Having not been tendered a qualifying offer by the Chicago Blackhawks, sending him to free agency, the Caps’ acquisition of Strome could prove to be the steal of the offseason should he make good on those words.

A former third overall pick of the Arizona Coyotes (2015), Strome recorded 22 Goals and 48 Points in 69 Games Played in 2021-22 with Chicago, who, as a result of a rebuilding process, opted not to give him a $3.6 million qualifying offer allowing him to hit the open market, where Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan scooped him up on a one-year, $3.5 million deal.

Through the Capitals’ training camp and preseason games in which he’s played Strome has shown the offensive potential that could make him a pivotal part of the Washington offense this season. He has seen time on the first power play unit and in his first preseason game in a Caps sweater, scored two goals (one of which came with the man-advantage) to carry the Capitals to a 3-1 victory.

The offensive upside Strome brings this season is not the only reason I believe that MacLellan’s signing of the Mississauga, Ontario, native could be considered the steal of the summer. At the conclusion of this season, Strome, is still a Restricted Free Agent. At only 25-years old, he is young enough to be part of the next core of the team, who planned on giving their young prospects opportunities to step up in more roles this season before making offseason moves that delayed the youth movement for the time being.

And while the hypothetical price tag for a productive season will likely be more substantial than the $3.5 million deal he is currently playing on, locking up a potential core player given the team’s coming roster decisions next summer would be well worth any such investment.

Placing such expectations on Strome before the regular season starts, however the sample size he has given thus far into his first season in Washington and his past productivity makes me believe that he will be one of Head Coach Peter Laviolette’s most important forwards this season, and a signing by Brian MacLellan that could play a pivotal role going forward.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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7 Responses to Opinion: The Capitals’ Signing of Dylan Strome Could Prove To Be the Steal of the 2022 Offseason

  1. Dan+Hornbaker says:

    Agree agree agree!! Like you I imagine, I am not so worried if he is the steal of the offseason as much as I hope he kills it with the Caps and if someone else wins best signing of 22 free agency, I can live with it. Really hope it is Darcey actually. There is so little downside to the Strome signing with 1 more year of control and if he disappoints, let him go and he likely still served a good purpose.

    But to your bigger point I believe, Strome, CM, LaPierre, Protas and Kuzy give the Caps what could be a great landing spot of centers after almost 15 year plus run of top of the league play. I love how so many of the Caps other youngsters should be ready next year when we have so much money to spend. Plus the obvious ability to sing a FA or two of consequence.

    • KimRB says:

      The problem though, is that you’re burning off years from the career of your once in the a lifetime, face of the franchise player, with one and done playoffs. Personally I would have preferred an outright rebuild, then you can be in Cup winning mode again, right about at Ovi’s last year or two in the league.
      The Strome deal is a good gamble on a reclamation project. Worked out pretty good with Connolly.

      • Ryan says:

        That’s not how rebuilds work. They take years of drafting high end talent and then years of training that talent to be NHL ready. You don’t rebuild a team when you have franchise talent at the core. A rebuild would’ve wiped out all of Ovi’s chances at another cup run.

      • Dan+Hornbaker says:

        Do you guys not see the other rebuilds? Most never work/ Y’all act like a rebuild is some simple formula…few succeed at it. Look at Edmonton for 20 years and just now pretty good, most would agree that they are now barely a Cup contender…after how many top 5 picks??? New Jersey anyone, Buffalo…???

        Caps approach has been great and I am liking the future more and more as well.

        • Ryan says:

          Caps haven’t had the need to rebuild. It’s been a competing roster for a long time now, resulting from a painful rebuild (gotta look pretty far back). This is one of those statements we’re going to put a “let’s revisit this a couple of years”. When the Caps need to rebuild we’re all going to know it.
          To your point though, rebuilding is hard. As I said before, it takes years of patience in drafting, training and acquisition and not all of it works out. It’s literally running a business, when you do it right, it has staying power.
          New Jersey, Buffalo, Ottawa are all still in rebuild mode. NYR is slowly coming out of rebuild mode – look how good they’re getting. The Avs – cup winner – result of rebuilding. Zoom out – it takes a lot of time.

  2. redLitYogi says:

    He certainly knows has to be a playmaker — he looks very comfortable in the offensive zone. He seems to see the ice well and he lets the game come to him. But, my ambitions are modest for him — get a decent year out of him and maybe he becomes trade chip. I’d rather go with the young trio we drafted, McMichael, Lapierre, Protas as the new core down the middle.

    • Dan+Hornbaker says:

      I don’t disagree about going with the ones we drafter, but I prefer to go with the better player(s). I also don’t think Protas will be a center mostly in the NHL and if he is, it will be 4th line. He is so good in the corners.

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