Should the Rangers try and keep Stralman?

May 10, 2012, by

Undoubtedly one of the unexpected surprises for the Rangers in this post season has been Anton Stralman. Stralman had a solid regular season for the Rangers, especially given that he arrived after the pre-season. That said no one could have foreseen Stralman playing as well as he has in the playoffs thus far. It has been a massive bonus for the Rangers.

While we have discussed the likelihood of Stralman’s next contract being elsewhere before (due to probable contract demands), perhaps a point we haven’t touched upon enough is whether the Rangers should seek to retain Stralman after this season.

Stralman has ensured the poor play of Stu Bickel hasn’t been too costly this off season. He has provided offense and has been solid in his own end. It goes without saying that Stralman is an NHL player next season. With Dylan McIlrath and Tim Erixon progressing to the point they may be viable candidates next year (Erixon especially so) there may not be a point in bringing back Stralman. However, the Rangers possess one of the best defence’s in the league and Stralman is part of that deep group.

The Rangers should at the very least find out what the cost of keeping Stralman will be (make no mistake, Sather will do just that) and at the right price Stralman makes sense. Bickel has regressed enough in recent weeks to cast doubt over his long term suitability and McIlrath would likely be best served by starting with the Whale next year. In addition, being more offense first than the rest of the blue line corps aside from Del Zotto, Stralman provides a little more balance to the unit. With a season in the Rangers system he could be even better next year.

We have seen the borderline ridiculous minutes Girardi, McDonagh and co. have been logging – exaggerated more so in the playoffs – and Stralman being capable of playing 16+ minutes a night during the regular season would go some way in easing the burden on the top four. With his impressive play Stralman is ensuring he has an NHL future. The Rangers should try and make that future (at least in the short term) with them.


  1. TheWrage says:

    Not to mention, we have no idea if/when Micahel Sauer will suit up again. Stralman becomes that much more valuable if Sauer isn’t healthy and Erixon/McIlrath aren’t ready.

  2. ranger17 says:

    Stralman MDZ Staal McD Girardi Erixon Bickel Woywitka Eminger Valentenko McIlrath take your pick . Then think about Suter or Weber to the mix Even with Kreider we still need Parise or Nash
    #### BR Gabby
    Hags Step Kreider
    Cally AA Dubie
    Prust Boyle Rupp
    Staal Girardi
    McD Sauer
    MDZ ####
    Suter Weber
    Mitch and Feds are gone i think so we sign a free agent , and then there is Zucc and a few kids in Hartford that might be ready

    • Matt J says:

      Suter and Weber are pipe dreams. So is Rick Nash.

    • Mar says:

      Don’t think we should put Hagelin, Stepan, and Kreider together. All three of those guys need to play with a proven scorer. Also, we don’t know how Sauer will be at the beginning of next year. I also don’t see us getting Suter & Weber, or getting rid of Fedotenko after seeing him in the playoffs this year.

      • Comnsnse says:

        What “proven scorers”? That’s the Ranger problem! Amazingly the Rangers should not need another D. With Ericson and possibly McIllrath and the emergence of Stralman plus what they have. Fedotenko is a serviceable 3-4 liner. The league abounds with them,many who are younger and cheaper.

  3. ranger17 says:

    Would love to see the Cup this year but this is going to be a very good team for the next 3 or 4 years down the road . Parise would only cost money as would Suter or Weber . Nash would cost us 3 roster players and a 1st round draft pick Dubie AA MDZ and 1st or Dubie Thomas MDZ and 1st either way we need Parise or Nash for the 1st line and PP

    • Zen says:

      Don’t expect any of those guys to end up here. Nash isn’t happening as CBJ will want the same ransom and Weber has a year left on his contract. I really don’t think Parise will ever play for the Rangers. If he leaves, it is unlikely to be to play for a NJD rival. Suter is a strong possibility, but realize that he will want more money than Richards, and how do you fit that in to the cap when McD is surely to get a boatload of cash the following year? Don’t get me wrong… I would love to get any of those guys, but it seems quite unlikely.

    • jean says:

      Good for 3-4more years?? I hope you’re right, but Richard and Gaborik aren’t getting better…they are only going to decline. Henrik needs to show he is ready to step up as a great playoff goalie. Time is now.

      • Mattstake says:

        Henrick needs to show he’s a playoff caliber goalie?? what are you smoking?? You’re clueless.

  4. Zen says:

    I agree that Sauer is the key here. If he is not coming back, then you might spend a little extra to bring back Stralman. Otherwise, I think he will be out of the team’s price range. Sather should definitely check into it though. Good player.

  5. Matt J says:

    Absolutely keep him. At the very least he can set up good competition for others vying for a spot, or be a very good player sitting in the press box most nights. Not to mention if any of our D struggle Torts wouldn’t shudder at the idea of scratching one of them.

    Next year Bickel is probably gone, and we could have Mcilrath (though he’s a couple years away still), Erixon, Hrivik, and if we sign Justin Schultz potentially.

    Having too many defenseman is a good problem to have.

  6. Scully says:

    I know Stralman’s been playing well and all, but he took penalties in both Game 4 and 6 right in the beginning of games that directly led to momentum swings and eventually goals in Washington’s favor. I know the penalties are a bit sketchy, but it needs to be said that for all the good he’s done in the offensive zone he’s had some major defensive lapses as often as he’s made a good defensive play. I’m not saying we need to bring in Suter or Webber (although I wouldn’t be complaining if we did), I’m just saying that if his contract demand is even the slightest bit unreasonable we should let him go (unless we know without a doubt that Sauer won’t be ready next year etc…). Basically it’s a tough decision and hopefully will wind up being an easy one :).

  7. Rob sahm says:

    I agree strallman can be useful I would keep him there is no way we get parise or shea webber what we need is to bring in iginlia whether he is long in the tooth or not the man will help our pp

  8. Chris F says:

    No to Suter. No to Weber.

    This Rangers blue-line is solid, and they have many more up and coming D-men. No need to go drop substantial amounts of cash bringing in more defensive depth.

    Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, MDZ, Stralman, Eminger, and hopefully Sauer should all be retained.

    That still leaves McIlrath coming up soon. It leaves Bickel if he develops better. It leaves Erixson in the mix.

    If the Rangers drop cash on a big-time player, it should be of the Parise-calibre. Offense is where the Rangers lack.

    Though, I’d be happy with no major off-season acquisitions.

  9. ranger17 says:

    Agre wit all . We can just stay the path we are on and still be a very good team going forward .Who do you keep Feds Mitch Eminger Bickel Strealman Prust is a FA Dubie AA MDZ

  10. Walt says:

    Stralman should be signed to a reasonable contract! He creates competition for the 6-7 D-man on the roster. If we can sign the Schultz kid, then we can use Stralman as trade bait for some scoreing forward. The troubling unknown is Sauer. First, for his health I hope he can return. Secondly, he, and McD would be the second pairing, with Girardi and Marc being the first, and MDZ with ? as the third. Forget the Suter, Weber guys, that is a pipe dream.

    The key to the future success is offense. We are very deep on D, now we need another true scorer. As it stands the following lines should be in place:

    Rupp-JT Miller-?

    Then let these lines skate together for longer than a 30 second shift!

  11. Chris. C says:

    Great post Chris, Finally Stalman gets the praise he deserves. He has slowly been gathering minutes with PP time and even strength. Other points are his point shots are rarely getting blocked and are getting through, he gets the puck in deep when it needs to be, and he has a underrated first pass. The penalty issues – eh not gonna break down the bone head plays that happen in from of him. But Stalman is a great addition and should be keeped for the right price.

  12. Blueshirt in Paris says:

    Interesting timing of the article since Stralman had probably one of his worst games this post season last night.

    • Chris says:

      He did indeed. But I was looking at the overall picture regardless of one good or bad game. He has been solid.

  13. Comnsnse says:

    Stralman is a keeper and has played as well or better than Staal this season. The Rangers need a proven PP QB and a clear out D with some mean! The Ranger D is essentially a technique D so hopefully McIllrath will make this roster sometine next year. If not,after 3 years he’ll be labeled a bust,considering he was drafted before Fowler. A Sather “stretch”.

  14. kgb16 says:

    Stralman blew the first play of the game, but it happens. Does anyone have a problem with Staal’s defense these days? He seems to be on the ice for a lot of goals against. If his defensive game doesn’t improve, Staal could be moved for a mid level scorer. Then keeping Stralman makes more sense, and we may gain some cap room.

  15. AD says:

    I do not believe Stralman should be with the club next season. He has outperformed 6th/7th d-man expectations, no doubt, and has a few timely goals in the playoffs. However, his defense is on the weaker side of average and his lack of speed often leads to untimely penalties that have hurt the team, most notably during this playoff series versus the Caps. We need to upgrade our bottom pairing if we want to get better as a team, so I think Stralman returns only if the club has no success in improving the defense off-season.

  16. mattstake says:

    It’s time for Tort to play the 4th line. this is ridiculous. brings in rupp and doesnt play him. in the meantime, the team is getting knocked all over the place. ridiculous. if you’re not gonna play rupp, then why the f did you sign him??? 3 lines doesn’t work in the playoffs torterella.. get it through your head!!!! nor does playing 4 defensemen!!!