Coyotes' GM has no regrets shipping Strome, Perlini to Blackhawks
As a general rule, general managers in any sport don't unleash verbal lashings upon players they just sent to another organization.
It's simply not a good long-term business strategy for building a winner.
But Arizona General Manager John Chayka had no problem unloading on Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini after he sent those two young forwards to the Blackhawks in exchange for Nick Schmaltz Sunday night.
"For us, there's a key difference between patience and hope," Chayka said in a story by the Athletic's Craig Morgan. "I don't think hope is a good long-term strategy. I thought we showed the requisite patience for these guys in terms of their development."
Chayka didn't believe Strome or Perlini were showing proper progress and would not become the players he'd hoped they'd become when Arizona drafted them.
"I owe it to our organization and our fans to see if there's anything out there to improve our group," Chayka said. "Obviously, the alternative is to just hold and to hope, but you run the risk of the asset expiring."
We'll pause here to remind everyone that Strome is just 21 years old and Perlini is 22. Both took the high road when told of Chayka's comments.
"He has every right to say what he feels," said Strome, who had 3 goals and 3 assists in 20 games with Arizona this season. "He's obviously a very smart general manager, so obviously his words mean a lot. I tried to do my best when I was there with what I was given to produce, and help the team win. "Obviously they didn't feel like I was doing good enough, so hopefully I can show here what I mean to an organization and I can have some fun doing it."
Said Perlini: "I don't really have too many comments to be honest. I'm grateful for the opportunity that they gave me to get my career going. I had a lot of fun in Arizona. It was a great situation -- great for myself and Stromer to come in and play and get our feet wet."
Morgan pointed out in his story Strome was not good at puck battles and he couldn't "push the pace the way (coach Rick) Tocchet wanted to because of a lack of foot speed."
So there are definitely some red flags here for Blackhawks fans.
Unless Schmaltz changes his philosophy, however, Arizona is going to find out that -- while wildly talented and impressive with the puck on his stick -- Schmaltz has some maddening habits of his own. Like a reluctance to shoot. A reluctance to get to the middle of the ice. And a reluctance to go after a puck when he might get hit.
For all the criticism being thrown at Strome and Perlini, remember that Schmaltz has just 3 goals in his last 39 games. Also, more than one Hawks insider has been disappointed Schmaltz seems more interested in developing his golf game than his hockey skills in the off-season.
It's a 12-months-a-year job now, as one former Hawk pointed out on a podcast Monday. Take a few months off and your game isn't going to grow the way it should.
Also don't forget Schmaltz will be a restricted free agent this summer, while Strome won't become an RFA until after next season.
In the big picture, there's a great chance this deal could work out well for both teams.
Ideally, Schmaltz uses this as a wake-up call, turns into a 20-goal, 60-point scorer and helps Arizona become a team to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.
Meanwhile, Strome comes to Chicago and reignites his chemistry with best friend and former Erie Otters teammate Alex DeBrincat. Not only that, but he develops into a steady second-line center, a force on the power play and a responsible two-way player that General Manager Stan Bowman signs to a reasonable deal down the road.
As for the speedy Perlini, the Hawks would love for him to provide depth scoring, add to the power play and use his 6-foot-3, 211-pound frame as a consistent net presence.
If all of that happens, it's a win-win for the Blackhawks and the Coyotes.
If not, one GM may be eating his words in the not-too-distant future.