New York Rangers News: Offer Still On For D Anton Stralman
Last week I reported that the New York Rangers had an offer on the table for unrestricted free agent defenseman Anton Stralman. Stralman, 25, attended New Jersey Devils training camp on a tryout basis in September but was never offered to stay beyond his October 6 tryout expiration date. So with Marc Staal out of the lineup at the time, the Rangers sent in their offer in hopes of building upon their defensive depth, which was/is lacking .
With Staal still out of the lineup and all signs pointing to him remaining that way for quite some time, GM Glen Sather has reportedly kept that offer in-tact, as per Darren Dreger of TSN:
Stralman registered one goal and 17 assists for 18 points last season with the Jackets, but was a minus-11 overall rating in 51 games played. Realize, though, that the Blueshirts are not in search of a superstar here. Plain and simple, they are looking for some additional experience on the blue-line with Staalsy being out for a while, and Stralman, at a cheap price, could very well fill that role temporarily.
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His strength, based on scouting reports, is blocking shots, which would compliment the Rangers' new defensive strategy very well. MSG Network analyst Joe Micheletti actually did a nice job of diagramming how head coach John Tortorella had his team positioned in their own zone if you watched the broadcast the other night.
Basically, in order to make the life of the goaltender easier, the Rangers are now collapsing to the net and blocking more shots. Also, they are clearing the slot and crease of traffic and cleaning up loose rebounds as well. It's a conservative type of defensive play, but after Saturday's collapse on a three-goal lead, they don't have much of a choice.
Anyway, in that respect, Stralman would be a beneficial addition to this hockey club. At the moment he is still in Sweden and has not made any indications, at least that we know of, that would suggest he plans on signing with the Rangers.
And on Marc Staal, the team announced on Monday that they do not have any new information to share on his status, which means everything's status quo there. Staal still has recovering to do, but it seems to me that he's sort of been stuck at the stage he is at now for a while. He is not improving nor getting worse, which I guess could be a good thing in a way, but it is also a pretty obvious sign that he will not be joining the Rangers in the near future.