Anton Stralman

Tortorella on Stralman: “When I first saw him, I didn’t like him”

Any team that played without three starters on defense would likely find ways to struggle. The Rangers have found ways to thrive, instead.

With no Marc Staal, Michael Sauer, Steve Eminger, and Jeff Woywitka – a mix of starters and depth alike – the Rangers have been able to plug in a mix of rookies and journeymen to keep winning. Chief among them is Anton Stralman, a guy that John Tortorella wasn’t exactly a big fan of as Dave Lozo from finds out.

“I didn’t know who the hell he was when we got him,” Tortorella said. “When I first saw him, I didn’t like him.”

Stralman’s reputation before coming to New York was that of an offensive defenseman who was virtually allergic to playing physical hockey. Instead, Stralman has adopted to Tortorella’s ways and stepped up his game all over the ice. Tortorella says that as they’ve given him more to do, the more he’s played the way they want him to both offensively and defensively.

Seeing Stralman fit in better has to be frustrating for both Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs fans alike who saw him struggle with their teams. Now he’s working out well as a guy able to keep the Rangers defense rolling along during a mild injury crisis. Not bad for a guy who was once thought to be too soft to stick in the NHL.

Kassian sent to hospital after being involved in car accident

Scott Darling, Zack Kassian

Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Kassian was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed into a tree.

The SUV was being driven by a 20-year-old female at the time of the accident.

Montreal police confirmed that speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, but alcohol may have.

The Canadiens have since confirmed the incident took place and have also mentioned that Kassian was taken to hospital.

A club official described his injuries as being “minor”.

“(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident of the street on which the accident took place. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”

This story will be updated when more information is made available.

Habs and Fleischmann agree on one-year deal

Tomas Fleischmann,
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The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract.

According to TVA Sports, the deal is worth $750,000.

The 31-year-old was invited to camp on a professional tryout, but his preseason performance showed that he could still contribute at the NHL level.

Fleischmann found instant chemistry with new linemates David Desharnais and Dale Weise, and it looks like the trio will open the regular season as Montreal’s third line.

The veteran winger started  last season with Florida, but was traded to Anaheim on Feb. 28. He had a hard time cracking the Duck’s lineup and was a healthy scratch in most of their playoff games last spring.

Fleischmann scored eight goals and 27 points in 66 games last season.