Unrestricted free agent defenseman for the New York Rangers Anton Stralman will not be with the Rangers this upcoming season. Is this official, you ask? No, but it is becoming more and more clear that Stralman in a Rangers’ jersey is no longer in the cards.
Reports surfaced a few months ago that before the Olympic break, Rangers GM Glen Sather reached out and offered Stralman a three-year deal worth $3 million per season, and Stralman rejected that initial offer. Fast forward to late June, less than one week away from the start of free agency on July 1, and Stralman and the Rangers are still not seeing eye to eye. Supposedly the Rangers’ latest offer to Stralman was $4 million over a three-four year span, and it was just reported yesterday by TVA Sports reporter in Montreal Renaud Lavoie that contract negotiations between Stralman and the Rangers are “not going as expected.” Since I do not think Sather will be willing to spend more than $4 million for Stralman, I think it is pretty safe to say that Stralman will be wearing a new uniform come October.
There is no doubt that Stralman will be missed, and I know a lot of Rangers fans think Sather should overpay Stralman because of how great his defense was in the postseason last year, but that would not be wise.
Giving a second pair defenseman more than $4 million is not a smart investment to begin with, but also giving into Stralman’s demands would put the Rangers’ spending on defenseman to more than $20 million, with at least another defenseman left to be signed.
Now, spending more than $20 million on defensemen is not uncommon, but usually the teams that do so have more than one offensive defenseman. I mean, other than Ryan McDonagh, who recorded 14 goals and 29 assists totaling 43 points last season, there are absolutely no offensive defensemen on this team who can put up big point totals. This is a problem, because when it all comes down to it, goals win games and offensive production earns you the big bucks.
So, giving Stralman, who recorded one goal and 12 assists, totaling 13 points last season, anything more than $4 million per season is overpaying and just not worth it.
What is your opinion?
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