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

Jul 1, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT

Anton Stralman Getty Images

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.

  1. afrancis55 - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Brings much better defense and much better long term value than Niskanen. Great signing Yzerman! Go Bolts!!

    • 7mantel - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      Anton is a good d-man! I for one will miss him !

    • pjblake2redwings - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      You can have him. Ill take Niskanen and his scoring in Detroit over Stralman anyday

      • pfhockey - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        That’s why we have Hedman and Garrison. We also drafted DeAngelo but he’ll take a couple of years. This team has a bunch of good puck movers now.

      • rbbbaron - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        Swing and a miss on both those guys. Cue up the Holland apologists

  2. bwayblueshirt - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    This should have been us. Instead we get another overpaid crypt-keeper. Wasn’t Sather supposed to retire?

    • anthonykornheiser - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      boyle was injured last yr and ask any sharks fan, is still good. He signed for 3 more years than Boyle. By the end of boyles contract allen will be beyond ready to step in on D.
      you are comparing apples to oranges. boyle for the next two seasons gives the nyr PP a tremendous boost.

      • thefutureofoil - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        As a Kings fan, we are sorry to see Boyle go. Lost a step and easy to dominate physically.

        Rangers blowing it by signing aging vets past their prime again. You would think Sather would have learned after Richards.

      • bwayblueshirt - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        He’s also 10 years younger than Boyle. That’s kind of important. Is the fact that Boyle was recently injured supposed to make me feel better? Dude’s old.

    • 7mantel - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      Dolan must be talking him out of it !

  3. puckyou14 - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    creating signing for the Bolts.

  4. puckyou14 - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    great*

  5. flyerspsu - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Purcell + Crombeen for Stralman and a 6th rd pick

    damn good deal by yzerman, the lightning are going to be scary in the future

  6. smarterthantheauthor - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Blue line is settled. Now, how about a solid faceoff guy with a scoring touch?

  7. barkar942 - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Sather should have kept him for this kind of money. Now we have another grandpa in the lineup!

  8. stakex - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    If that’s what Stralman was asking the Rangers for, I’m pretty surprised they didn’t give it to him. With that said, its a lot of money and time for a guy who has absolutely no offensive ability and didn’t really emerge as a sought after player until this season. This is another one of those deals that only time will tell who was the winner here.

  9. President Charles Logan - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    He’s better then Matt Carle thats for sure!

    • stevemackenzie58 - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      People. You need to look at the big picture. Perfect example are the Kings. They didn’t have Scuderi, Matt Greene, Willie Mitchell, Robin Regehr for their scoring ability. You need the stay-at-home defensemen to compliment your scoring D. I see what Yzerman is doing. Building a winner.

      • moarjam - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        Yeah but LA didn’t pay those guys $4.5m a year….

        Look I like Stralman a lot. He’s a solid peice but this just seems like a lot for him. No one besides rangers fans knew who he was before the finals!

        But hey, if you have the cap space why not use it. I just think this contract might hurt in a few years when you guys are trying to resign your young studs.

  10. nyrnashty - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Stralmans sample size is about the same as Ville Leino the one year with the Flyers before going to Buffalo, I’m glad we let him walk for that money. He’s a 2.5 million dollar player at best. Everyone jumped on his nuts because he had a few good months. That’s a lot of money to gamble on someone floating around the league for that long of a time. I hope he does well in Tampa, but I don’t see him there for the long run of that contract.

    • boltsfan777 - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      Why would you want him to do well in Tampa?

      • moarjam - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        -he likes Stralman

        -Stralman seems like a good guy

        -he doesn’t begrudge Stralman for taking a boatload of money

        -he’s not some petty fanboy that automatically hates a player when they are no longer on their team.

        Just a few reasons why he might hope Stralman does well!

  11. DED - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Sorry to see him go. With Pouliot walking, Sather could’ve given Stralman this contract. Would’ve been a good deal considering that he’s three years younger than Girardi and same age as Staal.

    Congratulations to Lightning fans. This is a good deal for the team.

  12. maalea - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    Ranger fans:

    I hope you enjoyed the run to the finals, it’s going to be a long time before you make another.

  13. bleedrangerblue - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    I’m kind of torn by losing Stralman. He played well Nd had his good moments, we need more offensive minded D men. Now Boyle that f**ing disturbs me. He is too old.

    • moarjam - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      I’m with you. I’ll miss him and wish he resigned, just not for anything close to that contract…very torn.

      I also have a terrible feeling about Dan Boyle.

  14. rpiotr01 - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    I think the real loser in this situation is Detroit, which has been dying for a right handed shooting D-man and had one there for the taking in Stralman for a relativly modest amount of money.

    As a Ranger fan I can take him or leave him. He had a nice playoffs but isn’t an All-Star. We also have a pretty good back end with McD, Girardi and Staal. I assume Sather just didn’t want to commit 5 years to a guy not at a position of need.

    • dolphanphan - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:30 PM

      Girardi cost us the Stanley Cup.
      Staal was non-existent in the playoffs. Are you sure you’re talking about the same team?

  15. dolphanphan - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    We all knew he was going to leave the Rangers the instant he started lying like all athletes do. “Oh, it’s not about the money. It’s about taking a long look at what is right for my family.” Blah blah blah. Liar went for more money. Do his kids care if daddy makes 5 million a year on a new team or “only” 4.8 million by staying loyal to the Rangers?

  16. rupp246 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    What caused us to lose the cup was that we couldn’t score on the power play. Boyle if anything will help us us hear. Look everyone forgets we still have to sign19to77
    Jun 28, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT

    Coming from a man who continues to throw money around like a drunk at a strip club even now, long after the creation of the salary cap, this is pretty rich.

    bwayblueshirt
    Jun 28, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT
    Slats is a dope. Boyle earned a bigger role. Boyle/Moore should be our 3C/4C. And we kept Carcillo and dealt Dorsett? What’s going on up there, man…

    barkar942
    Jun 28, 2014, 2:51 PM EDT
    Perhaps along with his old age has come wisdom, young grasshopper.
    I fully agree with his comments about Boyle. He has been playing to his true ability, and if he thinks he is going to be a second line center, he will be getting paid well in Edmonton and never play another playoff game in his career. I personally home Dom Moore resigns and Boyle, too, but the old mighty BIG $$$$$$$$ are ready to flow.
    He is playing hardball, and here is the Ranger’s offer. Sign or go bye bye.

    DED
    Jun 28, 2014, 3:29 PM EDT
    Any idea what was offered to Boyle, Pouliot, and Moore?

    With regards to the last two, Sather was smart to only sign them to one year deals as Pouliot never lived up to expectations of past teams (1st round pick, 4th overall) and Moore (a journeyman) was out for the previous season. Both were unknown quantities. Sather’s reputation with reckless spending on UFA’s in the past is well known, so it was a bit shocking to me that he signed them to reasonable deals. Now that these guys have had good seasons (for them) both during the regular season and playoffs, do they have inflated senses of self or is Sather playing hardball like he does with RFA’s?

    With Stralman not jumping at Sather’s first offer and two guys already gone (Richards and Dorsett), I’m starting to wonder how much roster turnover the Rangers are going to have this year.

    stakex
    Jun 28, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT
    I don’t know why so many of my fellow Rangers fans tend to fall in love with and significantly over estimate the 3rd-4th line players years after year.

    Boyle is a 4th line player, end of story. He had one fluke year in which he somehow managed to score 21 goals… but in the three seasons since he has scored only 19 in 202 games. Sure, he scored a big goal in game 5 against LA, but that was only his 3rd goal of the playoffs… and aside from penalty killing, was a virtual non-factor for long stretches of the post-season. There are a ton of players out there that would fill a 3rd line center role a lot better.

    Now the reason Dorsett was traded is pretty simple: Cap space. He scored 4g and 4a during the season, with only 1a in 23 playoff games. He brings some grit and toughness, but hardly a diamond in the rough… especially with $1.6 million cap hit. The Rangers also didn’t keep Carcillo, at least not yet. He’s a free agent and there is little sign the Rangers are going to make him an offer.

    rpiotr01
    Jun 28, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT
    This Ranger team was set up for the very short term. They had a great run but came up short, now you pay the piper. I’d focus on rebuilding for another run with Hank in 3-4 seasons, and much as I like some of these guys, don’t tie up the cap on bottom of the roster guys.

    curtainman
    Jun 28, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT
    Can we stop talking like these guys are top 20 players? Boyle only showed up in the playoffs, and was great…for a 4th line player. He has hands of stone and skates like a kid who just started playing. Moore was also good…for a 3rd/4th line player. Pouliut shows the most skill…when he wasnt taking atrocious offensive zone penalties. Lets not hype these guys up too much…they are role players at best.

    stakex
    Jun 28, 2014, 5:02 PM EDT
    A rebuild… you’re joking right? The majority of their top players will be back next year, and most of them are 30 or under. Hardly any reason to panic into a rebuild. Not to mention Lundqvist is 32… sitting around rebuilding for four years right in the middle of his prime is just not acceptable.

    Far short of a rebuild, the Rangers only have three priorities to take care of this offseason to remain contenders:

    1. Re-sign the key RFAs (Kreider, Zuccarello, John Moore, and possible Brassard), and see about keeping some of the FA talent.

    2. Find a 2nd-3rd line center to replace Richards.

    Its possible the Rangers might re-sign Brassard to be the 2nd line center, while bringing JT Miller in to center the 3rd line. That would still require the addition of a 4ht line center (perhaps Moore), but that’s a fairly easy hole to plug. They could also look to acquire a 2nd line center via trade or free agency, which would almost certainly result in Brassard being let go.

    3. Depth on defense. If Stralman walks, its likely that Klein will be the 4th defensemen.Not a great trade, more Klein is competent in that role. Re-signing J Moore would still leave the Rangers looking for a solid 6th on defense, which might need to be filled by free agency.

    —————

    So to recap: Signing the key free agents, patch the hole at center, and a depth defensemen. That should be all the Rangers need to stay competitive going into this season. A Cup run would require outstanding play from everyone again, but isn’t that true for every team?

    phtjoey
    Jun 28, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT
    Answer; 30 years old you chase the championship

    phtjoey
    Jun 28, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT
    < 30 years old you chase the money

    mizzike20
    Jun 28, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
    It’s pretty simple. When your 3rd and 4th line guys produce more than the guys getting more minutes and way more dollars than them, can you blame them for wanting more money?
    Look at the Kings model of success – if the top guys take a million or more less to stay (think Gaborik), then you can afford to lavish more dough on your third and fourth line (Richards). If the King took a million less a year on his new contract, then a guy like Moore or Dorsett stay. All of this ‘care about winning’ crap should apply to the big guys and not just the 3rd and 4th liners.

    dbida
    Jun 28, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
    I’m sorry but I’m not convinced this team is now the cream of the crop of the Eastern Conference. Compared to the West, the east is still a long way off. Sure Pitt slipped but other than MAYBE Boston I see all the east playoff teams and pretty comparable. Pit, NY, Tampa, Det, Mont, Columbus… When each team is healthy and rolling at full speed I feel like they’re all pretty comparable.

    bleedrangerblue
    Jun 28, 2014, 5:41 PM EDT
    Boston? Really they are in bad shape.

    bwayblueshirt
    Jun 28, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT
    I thought Carbomb was locked up for another year, so my mistake there. But I think you’re wrong about Boyle. He does everything. He hits, he blocks almost as many shots as Hank does, he’s the main reason our PK was so dominant in the playoffs, oh, and one other thing. He won 86 freaking percent of his faceoffs. I would not be upset at all if the signed him to be a 3C at $2 mil.

    bwayblueshirt
    Jun 28, 2014, 6:04 PM EDT
    Boyle and Moore both skate very well, and they bring a physical element that is sorely lacking. If there’s one thing you can take away from these playoffs, it’s that grit still equals wins, and if the Rangers become an Icecapades team with no one to knock heads when necessary, we’ve seen our last SCF for a while.

    idonthavethebloodyoucrave
    Jun 28, 2014, 6:09 PM EDT
    Cause the Rangers have a long history of winning Cup after Cup … ROFLMAO!!!

    billiam55
    Jun 28, 2014, 6:17 PM EDT
    i think hes learned his lesson.

    mizzike20
    Jun 28, 2014, 6:38 PM EDT
    You’re never in bad shape when you have goaltending like Rask. Look no further than the Rangers for that.

    bleedrangerblue
    Jun 28, 2014, 7:28 PM EDT
    Don’t count the Rangers out people. They learned what it takes to win a cup. They will lose a few people and gain a few. Our core group will be there. I expect A great upcoming season. Who wouldn’t? They lost Richards… They may lose Boyle… Dorsett is gone…. I’m not worried they will be hungry, you’ll see

    stakex
    Jun 28, 2014, 7:36 PM EDT
    Hey I like Boyle for what he does, and those are all things he does well. For $2 million? Sure, I’d be happy to see him stay. The problem is that Boyle wants an expanded role, and likely the expanded paycheck that comes with it…. and smartly the Rangers don’t plan to offer him either of those.

    Also, the Rangers likely have a 3rd line center already picked out for next year in JT Miller.

    papajack1259
    Jun 28, 2014, 7:49 PM EDT
    Glen shut up and do your job you ain’t won squat. in 15 years when these guys are washed up they can’t eat a cup.You spend in the wrong spots. It started with that whack coach Torts leave the game to AV and just shut up

    pf1065
    Jun 28, 2014, 8:07 PM EDT
    We’re doomed as long as Sather is around. These guys can’t play forever like he can be a GM. They have to earn their money now. Check the altruism at the door!

    jcuervo962002
    Jun 28, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT
    Hey guys- Boyle teased us with a fluke season a while back. And for 3 years (and a couple of years prior to it) he has been given chance after chance to prove he belongs anywhere else but the 4th line. He has been moved up when people get hurt, been put on the PP. Same result, no production. Boyle is a great on faceoffs, sound defensively and probably one of the best penalty killers in the NHL- but cant put the puck in the net. Thats a 4th liner if I ever saw one.

    I am a big believer that you dont’ pay for intangibles, you pay for points. Not a dime over 2 million slats, and thats being generous because I like the guy.

    I am sure MTL is counting the days until Prusts contract is over, a 4th liner at 2.5 million per. He has played 90 games and has 27 points. Boyle is going to get more than Prust in UFA because of his size and because he is a center. But doesnt bring much more on the offensive side. Someone if gonna pay him big and regret it before years end.

    Now Dominic Moore not being contacted at all bothers me, that guy should be our 4th line center.

    jcuervo962002
    Jun 28, 2014, 8:42 PM EDT
    Also, not sure anyone- even Ranger fans – think they are the “cream of the crop”. By January anyone with any hockey sense knew that the East was Boston, and then everyone else. If Boston got KO’d in an upset, then the East was anybody’s game. But the West is way better, and the proof was there in a 4-1 final. Yeah, The Rangers were there in every game, but the end result is what matters and it was a 4-1 series.

    By the looks of it, the East will be very even again next season and it will be anybody’s game.

    teramarus
    Jun 28, 2014, 8:54 PM EDT
    Uh, they want to win. That’s why they’re leaving town. Rangers won’t see a cup final again for at least a decade, why stay?

    bleedrangerblue
    Jun 28, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT
    Idiots here

    zuc, Krueger and Broussard and that's going to take up a lot of whatever money the rangers have left.

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