I don’t think any Ranger fans thought contract talks with Anton Stralman would go smoothly, but Renaud Lavoie gives us our first indication that the defenseman could be in a new uniform by next Tuesday afternoon…
Talks between Rangers and Anton Stralman are not going as expected. We’ll see if it’s gona change in the next few days. #tvasports
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 25, 2014
Larry Brooks at the New York Post recently reported that the Rangers have allotted $4 million per year for Stralman.
…wait? Is “not going as expected” good or bad? I didn’t expect them to go well at all, so does that mean they’re close to a new contract? In all seriousness, with the far inferior defenseman Nikita Nikitan getting a two year, $9 million contract from the Oilers earlier today, I’m not so sure $4 million per will be enough to re-sign Stralman who has indicated security for his family is a priority in his contract negotiations.
…losing Stralman would be a blow, but it’s not like he isn’t replaceable. Whether it’s Klein or J. Moore stepping up and grabbing a top four roll next season or Sather going outside the organization (free agent market has gotten thin with signings of Nikitin and Ron Hainsey), I don’t see the Rangers defense falling completely apart without the Swedish blueliner.
…if the Rangers do decide to stay in-house to replace Stralman, I’d be real excited about the prospect of Conor Allen getting a real shot to win the sixth defensive spot.
Adam has a great piece on whether the Rangers should retain or release Stralman, which you can read here.