Thursday, November 3, 2011
Rangers Sign Defenseman Anton Stralman
According to ESPNNewYork.com, Anton Stralman's agent has confirmed that the Rangers have agreed to terms with the defenseman on a one-year, $900,000 deal. The Rangers have not officially confirmed the signing yet, but they likely are waiting until after the game tonight before announcing it.
No word yet if the deal is a one-way contract yet.
Stralman, 25, attended training camp with the Devils as a tryout this year but wasn't offered a contract. The Rangers have reportedly had an offer on the table for him for the last few weeks and he was debating between accepting the Rangers' offer or playing in Sweden.
Stralman was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs as a fifth round pick in the 2007 Entry Level Draft. He's spent four seasons in the NHL with the Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets. In the 2009-2010 season he recorded 6 goals and 28 assists for 34 points and a minus-17 rating in 73 games with the Blue Jackets. Last year, he skated in 51 games with Columbus and recorded 1 goal and 17 assists for 18 points and a minus-11 rating.
I imagine that even if the Rangers plan on using Stalman in the NHL they'll likely have him go on a conditioning stint with the Connecticut Whale since he hasn't played hockey for a few weeks now.
I'm not sure how much of an upgrade Stralman will prove to be over Jeff Woywitka, but it can't hurt for the Rangers to continue shopping for low-cost defensemen while Marc Staal is out. I don't think the signing necessarily has anything to do with Staal's progression from his concussion because the Rangers made this offer to Stralman several weeks ago.