Earlier today, the Buffalo Sabres and Sam Reinhart avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year, $5.2 million contract. While not a perfect comparison, it’s one that may foreshadow what contract Ryan Strome gets from the Rangers if they avoid arbitration. At the very least, it’s somewhat of a comparable contract.
A long term deal for Strome doesn’t appear to be on the table, but there is certainly a good case for a short term contract. The Reinhart deal is one that could be used by both sides as something to build off, since the production was similar last season.
This is easy – both are centers who can play wing, both are RFAs, and both put up 50+ points last season. Reinhart did it playing primarily with Jack Eichel, while Strome with Artemi Panarin. Neither really drive play, but both can be good passengers on a line.
That’s actually a good amount of similarities for arbitration and/or negotiations. Evolving-Hockey had Reinhart at $5.26 million if he got a one year deal. They only had him at an 8% chance of getting that one year deal, but he did and the dollar amount was right.
As for Strome on a one year deal, EH has him at $4.75 million, but only a 3% chance of getting that one year deal. Given how the offseason has progressed, it seems more and more likely that Strome will only get a year with the Rangers. That is, if he’s still with the Rangers when the season starts.
This is where the Rangers will chime in to get the contract lower. Strome put up more points than Reinhart this year (59 vs. 50), but Reinhart has put up at least 50 points each of the last three seasons. He’s also a year younger than Strome.
On the other hand, this is Strome’s first year over 50 points since his 2014-2015 season. That matters in arbitration. It’s also one of the many reasons why the Rangers don’t want to commit to him long term. The track record isn’t there.
Ryan Strome’s camp is likely to use Sam Reinhart’s contract in arbitration and contract negotiations. While there are certainly similarities, it’s not a perfect comparison. The Rangers already concerned about anything more than $4.5 million for Strome, so this makes you wonder what their plans are. It still seems like a trade is their first preference. Are they willing to go above that $4.5 million marker for a year?