While Dylan Strome respects that the Blackhawks made a business decision when they decided not to qualify him, he admitted that it was also frustrating.
Strome scored 22 goals and 48 points in 69 contests with Chicago in 2021-22. It was a bounce back season for him, but the Blackhawks still decided against providing him with a qualifying offer. That made him an unrestricted free agent. “It’s a little bit, I mean, it’s frustrating, of course, because you think that you have a good season and you put all this effort and hard work and everything into a team, like you work so hard to be on a team and to make them want you and then they kind of just let you go,” Strome said. “It’s definitely not fun to hear for anyone. I don’t think anyone wants to hear that you don’t get qualified, but at the same time, new opportunities arise and you’ve got to adapt on the fly.” When he entered the UFA market, the Capitals expressed interest in him and he ultimately signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract. With Nicklas Backstrom out indefinitely, Strome could enter the season as Washington’s second-line center.