The New York Rangers addressed the hole on their blueline by signing free agent Anton Stralman to a one-year deal worth $900,000. Bringing Stralman into the fold should help address the rather large void that has been on the Rangers back-end since the organization realized alternate captain Marc Staal was going to be out with effects from the concussion he suffered last season. Stralman is a defenseman with NHL experience that the organization was able to bring in without giving up assets or making any long-term commitment.
Obviously, Plan A is for Marc Staal to start feeling better and return to the lineup as quickly as possible. The all-star is the leader of New York’s defensive corps and changes the entire complexion of the team. But in lieu of a miraculous overnight recovery, the Rangers have been forced into a position that they needed to address their roster.
We heard yesterday that the Rangers had offered a one-year deal to lure Stralman away from his native Sweden—sounds like he only needed a day to think it over. Stralman, while not a star defenseman by any stretch of the imagination, is a guy with NHL experience who can add some stability to the Rangers’ bottom pairing. Between Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto, Michael Sauer, and Ryan McDonough, the Rangers have players who can do the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, they’ve been playing musical chairs with the bottom pairing this season. It’s been so bad, it’s like the music stopped and NO one had a place to sit.
Hopefully for Rangers fans, Stralman can at least provide a little certainty while the organization continues to deal with the uncertainty surrounding Staal.