Chris Drury’s offseason is almost all about the centers, now. The Rangers’ general manager not only is sifting through Mika Zibanejad contract extension talks amid concurrent discussions with the Sabres regarding Jack Eichel, but he is also pondering Ryan Strome’s place in the organization and the wisdom of indirectly swapping him out for impending free agent Phillip Danault.
When the market opens at noon on Wednesday, the Blueshirts won’t be aiming for luxury items. Rather, they will be targeting need. And if Drury believes the need for a shutdown center who is strong at the dots is paramount among all concerns, then he could get into the bidding for the 28-year-old pivot who played an outsized role in Montreal’s run to the Stanley Cup finals.
Strome, who has been instrumental in aiding and abetting Artemi Panarin’s exceptional work on Broadway for the past two seasons, has drawn a fair amount of interest around the league. His expiring contract worth a $4.5 million cap hit works well for any club seeking a second-line dispatcher.