As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. The second round started yesterday with #1 Henrik Lundqvist beating #9 Martin Rucinsky. Today, the second round continues with #4 Artem Anisimov (who beat #13 Erik Christensen) taking on #5 Anton Stralman (who beat #12 Aaron Voros).
Artem Anisimov (acquired – 2006 draft, 2nd round)
Anisimov had an interesting stint in New York. After coming over to the US and skating with the Wolfpack for two seasons, registering 81 points in his second season, Anisimov made the team outright in 2009. For his three years on Broadway, Anisimov missed just three games, all in 2011-2012. In those 243 games, Anisimov put together an offensive line of 46-62-108 while bouncing between the top-six and fourth line and barely seeing powerplay time. In fact, Anisimov put together the fourth-best even strength P/60 (1.72) in his final year with the Rangers, and never dropped below 1.69. Despite impressive P/60 numbers, Anisimov never really solidified himself in the John Tortorella roster.
Anisimov’s time on Broadway came to a close when he was shipped to Columbus in a package for Rick Nash.
Anton Stralman (acquired – unrestricted free agent, 2011)
Stalman has been a pretty solid signing since the Devils cut him out of training camp in 2011. Scoring doesn’t tell the whole story for the 26-year-old defenseman, but he does have a line of 6-19-25 in 101 games (all 48 this year) with the Rangers. Stralman didn’t even become a mainstay in the lineup until December of 2011, when injuries to Marc Staal, Mike Sauer, Jeff Woywitka, and Steve Eminger forced Stralman into the lineup. He answered by playing 17 minutes a game and being a solid and reliable defenseman. He’s not flashy, but he gets the job done.
So who do you think is the better Ranger, Anisimov or Stralman? Vote thumbs up for the higher seed (Anisimov), or thumbs down for the lower seed (Stralman). Voting ends at midnight tonight.