CHICAGO – With a few young forwards injured and Jonathan Toews out indefinitely, many were wondering when the Blackhawks might get a deal done with Dylan Strome.
He figured to be one of those players who could help provide some offensive help with the captain, Kirby Dach, and Alex Nylander on the sidelines for a bit.
They waited as late as they could, but on the eve of training camp, Strome is in the fold with a deal.
The Blackhawks extended the forward for two more seasons at $3 million, bringing Strome into the fold as the team begins workouts at Fifth Third Arena on Monday.
“We believe Dylan is ready to take the next step in his career and build off the strides he has made in his first two years in Chicago,” said Blackhawks president of hockey operations Stan Bowman. “He has great offensive instincts and brings creativity and skill to our team. We are thrilled he is now signed and able to join us tomorrow for the start of training camp.”
Strome will add some much needed offensive punch, which he’s done at times since being acquired from the Coyotes in November of 2018. He had 17 goals and 34 assists after joining the Blackhawks in 51 games that season and kept up the production the next season.
During the pandemic-shortened 2019-2020 season, he had 12 goals and 26 assists in 58 games, then added two goals along with a helper during the Stanley Cup postseason.
With Toews out indefinitely, Strome could take his spot as the center on the Blackhawks’ top line with Alex DeBrincat and Kane. If the Blackhawks and the forward didn’t come to an agreement, Strome might have had to sit out for a bit in a holdout situation.
Luckily, and barely, it didn’t come to that.
“I think the Blackhawks wanted a little bit of a shorter term, which is fine. You kinda have to bet on yourself a little bit,” said Strome. “It was just figuring out the money, and I let my agent do that. He was talking with Stan on a daily basis, so I knew they were pretty close to getting something done.
“I’m happy I didn’t miss any days, so it was good that the way the timing worked out.”
Just in time, to be specific.