NHL Rumors: Ryan Strome contract update, Claude Giroux future, and are the Sabres a spot for Matt Murray

nhl rumors ryan strome
Oct 25, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Ryan Strome (16) passes the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are on a roll as they’ve won 8 in their last 9 contests. During that stretch, Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin have combined for 20 points (10 points each).

Chemistry is not always an easy thing to find in the NHL, but for the Blueshirts, Panarin and Strome are like a PB&J sandwich.

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NHL Rumors: Rangers talking with Strome

Larry Brooks of the NY Post reported on Wednesday that the Rangers and Strome have at least begun to discuss a new contract.

The Post has learned that president-general manager Chris Drury and the pending unrestricted free agent center’s representatives have begun to engage in talks aimed at maintaining the Strome-Artemi Panarin connection well beyond this season.

NY Post

Dating back to Panarin’s arrival in 2019-20, his .85 points per game (122 pts in 143 games) ranks 23rd for all centers in the NHL. That won’t be easy to replace.

However, the Rangers are cap crunched next season and have to plan for Kaapo Kakko’s next deal. They also have to reserve money for Alexis Lafrenière and K’Andre Miller in 2023-24.

If Strome, who makes $4.5M on his current deal, is willing to sacrifice money for security, maybe something can be done. He will turn 29 in July so the Rangers must also be careful with the number of years.

One source tells me if the term is right, Strome may accept $5.75M. Strome is well within his right to ask for more.

The future of Claude Giroux

nhl rumors flyers
Mar 25, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers assistant coach Michel Therrian, center Claude Giroux (28), head coach Alain Vigneault and center Kevin Hayes (13) against the New York Rangers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Claude Giroux is heading towards UFA status this summer. The Flyers are headed to the bottom of the standings as their streak of not winning a game has reached 7 (0-5-2).

Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher held a press conference yesterday that this was critical week. Losing to the Rangers 4-1 last night wasn’t the start they were looking for. This has many believing change is coming soon and at some point it will include Giroux.

Giroux, 33, is coming off a season where he scored 43 points in 54 games. This is the final year of a contract that comes with a $8.275M cap hit. He has 18 points in 21 games so far.

If he officially hits the market, he will be a top rental for a contender at the trade deadline.

Sabres make sense for Matt Murray

The Ottawa Senators placed Matt Murray on waivers last week, and he expectedly cleared. He’s currently in the AHL with Belleville.

In his brief time with the Sens he is 10-18-1 with a GAA of 3.35 and SV% of just .892 in 33 appearances. Murray, 27, is also winless this season for Ottawa (0-5-0). Last season, he signed a 4 year extension worth $6.25M.

One team that many thought might have put in a claim for Murray was the Sabres. They did not, but the interest is still there.

“It doesn’t sound like there were many trade talks prior to the waiver move, and we’ll see if there’s any fit while Murray tries to get his game back at AHL Belleville,” Elliotte Friedman reported. “Buffalo makes the most sense, but will want salary retention or some other sweetener. The Sabres are definitely looking for an upgrade.”