The New York Islanders have reached an agreement with the only remaining RFA on their books; Ryan Strome. Both sides agreed to a nice little “show me” bridge deal, and clears the way for him to join training camp.
New York Islanders training camp opens in just two days. And before the news came out that Ryan Strome had signed his deal, Islanders fans were looking at the very real probability of Strome missing camp, and maybe even the season.
When Charles Wang was majority owner the Islanders had an internal policy that stated player who remained unsigned by training camp would not have their contracts negotiated until the end of the season. And with two days to go it looked like the policy could be enforced for the former 50 point player.
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Wang is no longer the majority owner, so who knows if the team would continue enforcing this policy. Thankfully, we don’t have to find out. Because Strome agreed to a two-year $5 million contract extension.
With a cap hit of $2.5 million the deal is clearly a “show me” contract. Show me, as in the organization, that you, Strome, are the player you were back in 2014-15 when you scored 50 points. Show me that you are not the player that scored 28 points in 2015-16. Show me that you’re worth the money.
At this point the Islanders organization has no idea what exactly Strome is. They just figured out that he was a center and should play at center. But as far as his calibre is concerned they have no idea.
The organization has faith in him. They feel that he can get back to those highs from 2014-15, but they won’t pay him based on faith. The $787,000 raise on his AAV reflects that faith.
Strome has two years to prove he’s that player from 2014-15. He has two years to show the team and the fans that there’s a reason he was drafted fifth overall. And if he can get to those levels of production from two years ago, not only does the organization get incredible cap value from the deal, but Stome will get that pay out he wants.