The Edmonton Oilers have moved Ryan Strome to the New York Rangers for Ryan Spooner. The trade is considered a change of scenery for both players.
OFFICIAL: #NYR have acquired Ryan Strome from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Ryan Spooner.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) November 16, 2018
Strome, 25, has skated in 358 career NHL games over parts of six seasons with NYI and EDM, registering 59 goals and 103 assists for 162 points, along with 170 penalty minutes. pic.twitter.com/5m7IR8uD5b
In Edmonton, Strome had only one goal and one assist in 18 games. He originally joined the Oilers in the summer of 2017 when Edmonton traded Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders. The hope was the Strome would be a slightly less expensive version of Eberle, giving the Oilers some scoring in the top six and room on their salary cap as Connor McDavid became a very expensive superstar to keep. It didn't turn out that way as Strome had only 36 points in 100 games.
Spooner was part of the Rick Nash trade that sent Nash to the Boston Bruins. A 40 point player in Boston, Spooner never quite put things together in New York and failed to grab a top-six role as a center, scoring only 18 points in 36 games.
Peter Chiarelli, the Edmonton Oilers general manager originally drafted Spooner when he was with the Bruins and the lack of production coming from Strome made this trade an option Edmonton was willing to take. The Oilers must see a higher ceiling in Spooner and it may be that he has that considering he's had runs where he's scored at a much better clip than Strome — in 2017-18, Spooner scored 41 points in 59 games, good for .69 points per game on average.
The New York Rangers have agreed to retain $900K in salary, making this an even trade in terms of salary cap hit to the team. The only difference is that Spooner has one more season after this one on his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season. Strome, meanwhile, is an RFA at the end of this year.
The question will be if a change to scenery can get either player going offensively since both have struggled to open this year's NHL campaign.
What This Means
Both teams wanted to switch things up and the Rangers wanted to get out from a two-year commitment to Spooner. The Oilers, however, might try Spooner on the top-line wing spot and in a prime position on the power play where Spooner has an ability to get his offence going. Should he, the trade will look like a win for Edmonton.