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Determining market value for Anton Stralman

Stralman's will be a tough contract to determine.

Stralman’s will be a tough contract to determine.

When Anton Stralman rejected a three-year, $9 million offer from the Rangers over the weekend, a lot of fans were outraged. This would be the fourth Ranger this season to “reject a perfectly good offer.” Henrik Lundqvist’s negotiations took a while before he re-signed, as did Dan Girardi’s. Ryan Callahan’s never materialized, and he was shipped to Tampa Bay at the trade deadline.

Unrestricted free agency is a tricky beast. Market value is generally determined by comparable contracts, but the player has all the leverage. As we saw with Cally, teams will be willing to give him seven years and $6 million, which makes his value higher. It’s best to view this objectively, which is tough considering how much we all love the Rangers.

When it comes to Stralman, and in particular defensemen who are not relied upon to produce offensively, market value is a little more difficult to determine. Using point production isn’t the best indicator of value, so we have to be a little more creative.

Capgeek has a comparables tool we can use to find comparable contracts to Stralman. It’s pretty good, and the results give us a starting point. I used Keith Ballard, Chris Butler, and Mark Stuart as comparables from a point production standpoint. Their peripherals are all pretty similar to Stralman’s as well, but Stralman drives a lot more puck possession than all three here.

And therein lies the conundrum. Teams that use Corsi as an indicator of value see where Stralman lies on the spectrum. For those wondering: He’s #1 in the league at driving puck possession at 5v5 (based on minimum 48 games played, using relative Corsi to account for team effect).

230px-Anton_Stralman_2013-03-16

Stralman

Now, using relative Corsi on its own is flawed logic. We need to take into account quality of competition faced and zone starts. Stralman still starts over half his shifts (50.7%) in the offensive zone, which certainly helps his possession numbers. His QoC numbers represent top-four minutes, which is consistent with his deployment.

I made an attempt to find usage comparables for Stralman by taking those with puck possession above a 4.5% Corsi relative, over 50% zone starts, and over 28% ToTm% QoC. Unfortunately that left us with just a pair of comparables: James Wisniewski and Victor Hedman. Stralman doesn’t compare well to these two since they actually put up offensive numbers.

Stralman is a really interesting case. He should be producing more based on his ability to control puck possession, but he simply doesn’t do that. His 34 point season seems to be a blip on the radar and not consistent with his career production.

So how does all of this determine his value?

I’d value him higher than where Capgeek has his comparables, but less than his #fancystat comparables. His numbers are nice, but they aren’t translating to the score sheet, and that is the bigger problem. It certainly affects his value on the ice and will affect his contract. I don’t think Stralman is worth more than the $3 million he rejected, but it wouldn’t shock me to see him get more on the open market. I’d venture a guess that he gets three or four years around $4 million a year.

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20 Responses to “Determining market value for Anton Stralman”

  1. Mikeyyy says:

    A right handed damn that drives puck possession.

    4mil.

  2. Frank Cerbone says:

    So Stralman spends a little more than 50% f his starts in the offensive zone and is #1 in the NHL at 5 on 5 driving puck possession.

    Pretty impressive…wonder how Staal compares with
    Stralman. Gotta believe Stralman’s numbers are better than Staal, just from watching both on the ice.

    Another question would like to compare Richards versus Stepan. Richards clearly looks like he is struggling defensively even with the obvious +/- numbers.

  3. Walt says:

    Stralman is soft, and in my opinion way over rated!! If he wants to stay, small raise, cost of living type, is in order. If he makes demands that are way out of line, please show the man the door, so as to not hit him in the ass on the way out!!!!!!!

    The obvious question we all should be thinking about, what would he look like had he not skated with Marc Staal?????? Not good I would think.

  4. JS says:

    Irregardless of the stats, my observation is that Stralman is very frequently the last Ranger to “possess” the puck prior to a turnover. He gets trapped along the boards easily, doesn’t see the good outlet pass and just pushes it along the boards into the neutral zone where the forward has little chance of keeping it. Watch for yourselves and see how often the puck comes back into our zone within seconds of Stralman having it.

  5. Chris F says:

    Stralman is making $1.8 million a year. Rangers are offering him a nice raise, $3 million per year, for 3 years.

    Take it or leave it.

  6. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Very surprised the man turned down 9 mil. Perhaps coveted defensive depth for a playoff push was not the only reason Sather dealt for Diaz at the deadline.

  7. Chris F says:

    Man. Vancouver got lit up last night, giving up 7 goals in the 3rd period to the Islanders. They’ve lost 12 of 14 and seem to be imploding.

    Trading Schneider and Luongo was brilliant.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      That town turned into a circus this year. Hard to see Gillis staying in the good graces of the club beyond this summer.

  8. Steff says:

    Didn’t Stralman’s agent deny That he turned down that offer?!?
    See sny rangers blog/daily news.

  9. jcosmo says:

    $3M is fair. He may not be a great defenseman but he and the unit of 6 is very solid and I’d hate to see it broken up. $3M to 3.25M and no more than three years, or let him go.

  10. Forever 1994 says:

    As much as I like Stralman we need some more size on D. I’d trade his rights before the draft for a pick and let Diaz or McIlrath compete for the spot with Staal. If they resign Staal I would love to see him with McIlrath next season.

  11. Frank Cerbone says:

    FYI Stralman was a +9 with Del Zotto.

    But the Stralman/DelZotto pairing was broken up because Staal couldn’t function with a Girardi/Staal, Del Zotto/Staal, or Bickel/Staal pairing.

    Diaz is similar to Stralman, so a Staal/Diaz pairing might work.

    Thank you Christer Backstrom for discovering Diaz,Lundquist,Hagelin, & Fasth without investing nothing more than 5th rd draft pick. Backstrom now plying his wares with Montreal as a European scout.

  12. Frank Cerbone says:

    A Mcilrath/Staal pairing will never happen; can’t get the pick out of their own zone.

  13. tperillo says:

    His agent denied there was an offer.