I just asked Gorton if they waited on the QO w/ Strome because they were seeing if a trade came together.
"A little bit of that. Ryan’s due a significant raise & we had some things we were talking to some teams about. I wanted to keep the options open until the very last second"
— Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) October 7, 2020
This is what was assumed when news got out that Strome wasn’t qualified initially. After all, it didn’t make much sense to just let him walk as an unrestricted free agent. That was never in the cards, and would have been horrible asset management.
A qualifying offer simply kicks the can down the road. The Rangers will still have time to work out a trade for Ryan Strome, which appears to be their preferred path. The Blueshirts have a restrictive, but not horrific, cap situation. It looks like Strome will be at least one casualty.