The ink wasn’t even dry on our article regarding the Ryan Strome for Ryan Spooner trade before we got wind that brother Dylan Strome will also be assuming new scenery. On Monday, the Blackhawks and Coyotes (again) executed a trade. And yet again, it looks like the Hawks got pansted, in roughly the same way they got snookered in the Marian Hossa salary dump fiasco. In that deal, Oesterle and Hinostroza were in our top 100 players regarding salary per AB point. What CHI received in return was money to spend on aging veterans. Hmmm.
That’s what makes a market, we suppose.
In the latest trade, CHI sent Nick Schmaltz, who was 16th (!!) in the NHL on an AB score adjusted for salary basis, to ARZ for Strome and Perlini…….sheesh. Schmaltz has a very attractive comparison set……with players like Yanni Gourde and Pierre Luc Dubois as neighbors. Hawks fans should be aghast……they traded away another good young player……to Arizona (again)…….If Schmaltz is not a stud, he’s at least a ten year man and a proven quantity. What are Strome and Perlini?
It is true that these two may have some upside, possibly considerable, and the speculation around which has been well documented (and documented well, see below). However, this trade fascinates us on a number of other levels over and above the usual excellent points made by Secondcityhockey (one of our favorite SBnation blogs). Well-rounded players like Schmaltz are becoming rarer by the minute.
We have yet to figure out why teams like Chicago, Los Angeles and the Rangers are willing to trade away guys whose intangible values are obvious (to us at least), for very little consideration other than comparable salary and point production. The spate of recent trades involving Tanner Pearson and Ryan Spooner indicate to us that some teams are just not adopting philosophies similar to that espoused by HFFA…….but others are…….and are making trades in the nascent stages of the year to improve more than marginally in our opinion.
What’s next, Tampa trading Brayden Point? PHI moving Travis Konecny? Oh wait, we wouldn’t rule out the latter, although we admit the new GM in PHI may not be as clueless as the departed one was. We’ll see.
We echo the sentiment that the most notable and obvious benefit to Chicago in this case is the possibility that Dylan Strome, drafted third overall in 2015 by Arizona with the No. 3 pick (ahead of Mitch Marner, Mikko Rantanen, Mathew Barzal and Thomas Chabot, will someday become a player of the caliber of this group. The numbers cited in the SCH article demonstrate that Strome became a different player (very different) when being paired on the same line as Alex Debrincat when the two of them played minor hockey in Erie. Since Strome has never regained that mojo in the NHL, maybe a reuniting at the re-United Center could be exactly what he (and the Hawks) need. He better be, because this trade is an unmitigated disaster otherwise. Two points for Strome in his first game in CHI last night is some preliminary validation….even though the Hawks lost 8-3 to Vegas.
Finally, to be balanced, we should point out that Dylan Strome is at the top of the Bell Curve league wide for money-adjusted AB points (as well as AB score), even on Arizona. So the potential for him to prove a solid (or even more than durable) NHL player is there, despite his lack of production so far in his career. A mid range AB score represents an acceptable amount of skill and decision making, which is half the battle, especially for a young player.
Despite the merits of Strome, improvement in the short term for the Hawks will be a little more difficult because Schmaltz may/will be difficult to replace in the near term and represents sizeable risk that CHI actually disadvantaged themselves (again) in a trade with Arizona.