The New York Rangers are not very optimistic of Marc Staal returning very soon, and that's pretty obvious. What also seems apparent is that the coaching staff is not sold on the last string of defenders. The latest indication of that is based upon their contract offer to Anton Stralman, which was confirmed by The Record's Tom Gulitti.â†µ
Oddly enough, the 25-year-old Stralman was with the New Jersey Devils in training camp, but was not offered a contract when his tryout agreement expired Oct. 6, though he continued to practice with them until returning to his native Sweden about a week later. Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello left the option open to bring Stralman back, but ultimately no firm offer was made, and Monday would not speak about the possibility of him signing with New Jersey, according to Gulitti.â†µ
Stralman, a right-handed shot, is said to be weighing an offer in the Swedish Elite League, as well. The blueliner has played 212 games in his career, with the Toronto Maple Leafs and most recently with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has 11 goals and 63 assists in his NHL career; he had one goal and 17 assists with Columbus last season.â†µ
The 6-foot-1, 193-pound Stralman is definitely a more offensive-minded defenseman, with a bit more upside, than the ones the Rangers' have been employing on the third pairing. It seems like the Blueshirts are taking the "throw a bunch of darts at a board and hope one sticks" approach with their last defenseman.â†µ
New York isn't saying much about Staal, but the related rumors/actions are revealing the harsh truth.