Flash of Lightning: Anton Stralman

“Flash of Lightning” is a feature that is a quick feature that previews a specific player or trade regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning.

When Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman traded Teddy Purcell, B.J. Crombeen and less-than-an-hour Bolt Sam Gagner, it was rumored that he was making a big push for a free agent. Moving those players and their respective salaries was intended to send a message to a specific free agent—Anton Stralman.

Stralman shone brightly for the New York Rangers in their magical playoff run to the Stanley Cup Final and has been a quietly good player for the Rangers over the years. His Corsi numbers may seem a bit erratic but Stralman has shown only improvement after a down season.

In his first season with the Columbus, he had a Corsi percentage of 52 percent. His final season with the Rangers was pretty incredible as he posted a Corsi percentage of 57 percent. While that’s reasonably unsustainable, it does give a glimpse into what kind of player the Lightning are getting.

Stralman is a top-four defenseman who is only going to make the defensive corps of the Lightning even better and is a definite upgrade over Sami Salo. Stralman not only fills the hole left by the departing Salo but he is also an upgrade as well.

Not to mention the contract that Stralman signed isn’t bad at at all. To get a top-four defenseman who can provide top minutes and have the potential to have another career year in terms of Corsi percentage for $4.5 million against the cap is not bad at all. Getting a defenseman who is top-8 in terms of puck possession numbers is a pretty good steal. It also provides some stability for the next few years as Yzerman signed him to a 5-year deal.

Paring Stralman up with Victor Hedman that will indeed be a potent pairing that coach Jon Cooper can use. That’s something that the Lightning have been lacking since essentially ever. Hedman had to pick up the slack with Salo and now with Stralman that shouldn’t be the case if Hedman is paired up with him.