Lightning strikes: Tampa Bay signs Stralman — five years, $22.5 million

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Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman got his new defenseman and got a good deal for him.

ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Lightning have signed former New York Ranger Anton Stralman to a five-year, $22.5 million deal.

Stralman, 27, spent the past three seasons with the Rangers and emerged as one of their top defenders during their run to the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings. He had a goal and 12 assists last season and had five more helpers during the postseason.

Stralman paired up with Marc Staal in New York and joins a Tampa team that’s seen their blue line corps become something worth watching. He joins Victor Hedman, Matt Carle, newly-acquired Jason Garrison, and Radko Gudas to make up a skilled and tough defensive crew.

The Lightning clearly made room for Stralman on Sunday night with the deals they made to send Teddy Purcell and Nate Thompson out of town.