Friday, November 18, 2011

Stralman: "A Ways Away"

The New York Rangers went to the trouble of locating, wooing, (editor - "wooing"?) (Dave Pucks - you know what I mean) and then signing a journeyman defensive player - Anton Stralman - to shore up a perceived weakness in their defensive top six.

Stralman played for the Toronto "Make-Believes" for about half of 2 seasons from 2007-2009, then played for Columbus the last 2 seasons. Unloved as a free agent, Stralman tried out for the (hated) Devils in camp this year but failed to make the team. So naturally Glen Sather pounced, and the former Blue Jacket is now a Blueshirt.

And then as soon as Sather signed Anton - on November 5th - he took this new weapon in the Ranger's arsenal and did....


Absolutely Nothing. For close to 2 weeks now.

Anton certainly hasn't seen any ice time. Or bench time for that matter.

Anton has been working out with Ranger staff - but not with the actual hockey team.

And how have the Rangers done without him? Uh - perfectly. Seven straight victories. A goals-against average well under 2 goals a game. A defensive performance that is clearly superior to what we had last year (when we had a healthy Marc Staal).

So is Stralman close to joining the Rangers team? Let's see what John Tortorella has to say:

"He's still a ways away. I still think there's some work to do there. I don't know what the lineup will be in Montreal, but I still think we have a number of things to accomplish with him."

So there you have it – Stralman is signed, sealed, and delivered – but not exactly ours. At least not yet. But if the Rangers ever lose another hockey game – expect Torts and Sather to start pushing whatever buttons they have.

And right now – one of those buttons is named Anton.

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