It’s decision day for the Rangers and Ryan Strome

So here we are. Many didn’t think it would get to arbitration day but the two sides are very likely heading to the hearing. At the moment, the gap between the two sides is over $2 million with Ryan Strome asking for $5.7 million and the Rangers countering with $3.6.

Ryan Strome and the Rangers: How we got here

The 27 year-old pivot is up for a significant raise this offseason. Jeff Gorton knows it, Ryan Strome knows it, and his agent Mark Guy does too. The Rangers second line center is coming off a 2 year deal that paid him $3.1 million annually.

This season was Ryan’s best as he notched 59 points in 70 games. Had he played a full 82, his .84 points per game would have been good for 69 points. Strome finished two points behind players like Ryan O’Reilly ($7.5M) and three points behind Anze Kopitar ($10M), so you know he’s getting paid.

Ryan Strome’s pending hearing

rangers arbitration ryan strome
Strome and Kreider eerily similar (AP)

I was recently told the Rangers and Ryan Strome were making progress on a new one or two year deal per a source familiar with the situation. This has not panned out and I haven’t heard a reason why or any new updates.

Ideally the Rangers would like to get Strome in around $4 million to $4.5. Of course that is a marginal raise to his current $3.1 deal. Today, he could receive over $5 million and put the Rangers in a bind.

A one year deal that will allow him to become a UFA next season could likely come in under the $5 million range. Adding another year is buying free agency from Strome and thus push it to the $5 to $5.5 million dollar range.

The Walk-Away and Walk-Back scenario

Could the Rangers really walk away from Strome like they did with Nik Zherdev? The answer is yes and that’s because for this season only, there is something called a walk back. That’s where Strome could still win his arbitration and opt to accept the Rangers offer if he doesn’t like what he finds on the open market.

Today is decision day for everyone involved. Do they avoid the arbitrator at the last minute like they did with Chris Kreider in 2016? Or do they walk away from an award as they did with Nik Zherdev in 2009. We will see today.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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