Dylan Strome Says Capitals “Showed The Most Interest” During His First Free Agency Experience

New Washington Capitals center Dylan Strome appeared on a recent episode of the “Leafs Lunch” podcast. He discussed playing with captain Alex Ovechkin during training camp and how his first taste of free agency was, which lead him to sign with Washington in mid-July.

In the Capitals’ third and fifth preseason games, both Strome and Ovechkin suited up. He called playing with Ovechkin an “awesome” adjustment.

“Everything he’s made out to be—I think he’s an unbelievable player, unbelievable guy, very fun to be on his team, and even through the preseason, he’s always having fun…he obviously takes it really [seriously] when the games come around, but he’s a guy who likes to have fun in practice, likes to score goals. I think there’s no question about that. It’s been a lot of fun so far at camp and all through the preseason.”

“It was a crazy week-and-a-half or so,” he said on testing the waters of free agency for the first time in his career this past off-season.

“I found out on like the Thursday or Friday that I wasn’t going to be qualified by Chicago, so the free agency was on the Wednesday of the next week, so it was only like four or five days when it was racing through my mind which team I might go to.”

He gave his own take on the experience, saying, “I think a lot of people have a misconstrued perception of what free agency is like. I mean, maybe for three or four guys there’s kind of the option of whatever team they want to go to, they can go to pretty much…it’s more what teams are interested in you and you kind of have to pick from there I think. Washington reached out on the Wednesday—three or four calls to my agent and they were kind of going back and forth.”

Strome mentioned he was aware of the team dealing with injuries: center Nicklas Backstrom (hip, underwent resurfacing surgery on June 18, recovery timeline unknown) and right wing Tom Wilson (torn ACL, underwent surgery on May 25, expected to return in early December).

“I think they weren’t afraid to go out there and make a little bit of a splash and obviously, they got [Darcy Kuemper] and traded for [Connor Brown], and picked up myself, so I think we’re three guys who can help the team, help the team win…I was really excited and they showed the most interest, and ultimately that was where I made my decision.

Strome said “just starting off good” will be important as he starts his first season with Washington. He explained that the second half of last season was when he ramped up productivity on the ice after being scratched for multiple games and the coaching change behind the Blackhawks bench. The 25-year-old recorded 48 points, including a career-high 22 goals, and a 52% face-off percentage last season.

“I’ve put in a good position to succeed at the beginning already in camp and on the first power-play, playing with some good wingers, so I’m excited. I think this team has a lot of aspirations and great coaching staff and a lot of veteran guys, so it’s fun to be a part of.”

It’s likely Strome will play in the Capitals’ preseason finale Saturday night at Capital One Arena hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets (7 PM, NBC Sports Washington).

Listen to the full “Leafs Lunch” episode here.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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7 Responses to Dylan Strome Says Capitals “Showed The Most Interest” During His First Free Agency Experience

  1. Lance says:

    I like Strome’s attitude. He should fit right in. He figures to be a good faceoff option along with Dowd. What’s not to like?!

  2. Dylan Strome will prove to be one of 2022 great FA signings. Will add much need help in the face off circle, scoring and grit around the net. The challenge will be next year to sign him to a multi-year deal. After this year, he’s going to be in high demand. Like that his brother is in the Caps system, as well. Welcome to Washington, Dylan!

  3. Jonathan says:

    Thank you Della! Nice writeup.

  4. Whatnot says:

    I still can’t believe we got Strome for nothing. Such poor player management from Chicago.

  5. DWGie26 says:

    So essentially we gave away Sammy. Got Strome for free. That’s a helluva trade for us!

  6. Peter says:

    Meanwhile Ovechin’s buddy Vladmir Putin bombs Ukraine civilians to smithereens.

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