The Islanders and Ryan Strome agreed on a two-year, $5-million contract Tuesday morning, averting any last-minute drama over whether the 23-year-old Strome would take his contract talks down to the wire with a Thursday morning deadline looming.
Strome, the fifth pick in the 2011 draft, struggled through the 2015-16 season, posting eight goals and 20 assists in 71 games after a 50-point season the year before. Strome was demoted to the minors for three weeks in November and was a healthy scratch in three of the Islanders’ 11 playoff games last spring.
But he is still a key figure in the team’s plans and both GM Garth Snow and coach Jack Capuano have said this offseason that Strome, who played primarily on the wing the past two seasons, would get a long look at center now that Frans Nielsen signed a free-agent deal with the Red Wings.
Strome needed to sign by Thursday’s official start of camp or, per Islanders team rule, sit out the entire season. He arrived on Long Island on Sunday and joined 15 teammates for an informal skate at IceWorks on Monday, signs that he was not concerned over a potential stalemate.
”My job is to be ready for camp,” Strome said on Monday. “I feel like I had a good summer, I worked extremely hard, changed some things up in my routine and I feel good about getting ready for the season. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be here with my teammates ready to go. Good skate, good to be back with the guys, lot of laughs and we’re getting ready to go.”
The Islanders also announced Tuesday that Claude Loiselle has joined the organization as a consultant. Loiselle had been assistant GM with the Leafs and Lightning and played parts of three seasons (1992-94) with the Islanders at the end of a 12-year playing career.