2019 Ducks Free Agent Targets: Anton Stralman

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 4: Anton Stralman #6 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates with the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at the Scotiabank Arena on April 4, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 4: Anton Stralman #6 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates with the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at the Scotiabank Arena on April 4, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The 2019 NHL Free Agent Class is littered with quite a few household names, but with the Anaheim Ducks in a transitional period, and Bob Murray notably being hesitant to spend on the free-agent market, the Ducks can still get some value out of the free agent market.

The Anaheim Ducks find themselves in a really weird position, they’re in the midst of a re-tool but their roster isn’t gutted of talent, their prospects are seemingly ready to take the next step and they don’t have a ton of holes to fill (even if the current occupants of roster spots might not exactly inspire confidence). Over the next 3 articles, I’m going to discuss 3 players set to hit the free-agent market that the Ducks should consider bringing in this off-season.

ANTON STRALMAN- Defenseman- Current Team: Tampa Bay Lightning

Anton Stralman has been a part of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the past 5 seasons after coming over on July 1st, 2014. He’s been a key component of their team and has been one of Jon Cooper’s most deployed defenders during the first 4 years of that deal. Unfortunately, Anton was hit with the injury bug this season and only dressed for 47 games this season, and had difficulty finding his groove when he was not injured, often leading to him being the odd-man out in their fairly crowded defensive rotation. Still, Stralman put up a respectable 17 points in 47 games, on pace for roughly 30 points over the course of a full season.

Stralman will likely not be retained by Tampa short of him taking a massive pay-cut. The Bolts have 4 defenders who are seeming locks to make the roster next season (Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak, they also have Jan Rutta signed for another year, and Dan Girardi and Braydon Coburn joining Anton Stralman as potential free-agents. Out of the 3 potential free-agents, Stralman played the least by a sizeable margin. The Bolts find themselves in somewhat of a cap crunch, and while their GM can definitely work some magic (Including being the front runner for Erik Karlsson by most reports), I think it’s safe to say that 2 if not all 3 of the expiring defensemen will be playing on a new team next season.

Stralman would be a great fit for the Ducks who find themselves short on Right-handed defensemen, and while Bob Murray proved last season he’s not averse to putting players on their off-side, picking up a responsible defender who can help to calm the nerves of a player like a Cam Fowler or Brendan Guhle as they play on their natural side. Stralman is getting up there in age at 32 years old and likely will be taking a pay cut on a short term deal but he’s the veteran type player that the Ducks should covet as they continue to groom their young core.

Expected Contract Value- 2-year contract at 2.5 million AAV

What do you think? Would you like to see Anton Stralman fill the role that we’ve seen players like Sheldon Souray and Ben Lovejoy fill in the past as veteran stop-gaps?

Next. The Anaheim Ducks Should Trade for Jason Zucker. dark

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