Anton Stralman, best defenseman available, signs totally reasonable deal with Tampa Bay Lightning

While everyone else is still chasing Matt Niskanen, the Tampa Bay Lightning have signed the best UFA defenseman available in Anton Stralman to a 5 year, 20 million dollar contract.

The report first came from a Swedish report that former New York Ranger Anton Stralman has chosen the Tampa Bay Lightning:

It was later confirmed by several reliable North American sources:

Anton Stralman is not an offensive defenseman -- his career high in points was 34 with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009-10 -- but he's a darling of the hockey analytics community for his outstanding puck possession numbers the past few seasons.

The best part of the deal isn't the fact that Stralman will either form a puck possession juggernaut with Victor Hedman (Swedish Corsi Power Duo) or fix whatever is wrong with Matt Carle on the second pairing: it's that the deal is so reasonable. 5 years for a 27-year old, prime-aged defenseman, at just $4 million per.



The original terms weren't 100% accurate:

Still a steal for a guy like Stralman, who excels at moving the puck out of trouble and into scoring areas. While he lacks flashy offensive tools, he is reliable, efficient, and comes much, much cheaper than other premiere guys on the market.

The official release from the team:

TAMPA BAY -The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Anton Stralman (STROHL-muhn, AN-tawn) to a five-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announce.

Stralman, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, spent the previous three seasons with the New York Rangers. Last season he recorded a goal and 13 points with a plus-9 in 81 games in New York. Stralman averaged 19:24 in ice time per game in 2013-14 which ranked fourth on the team. His 12 assists and 104 shots on goal were third among all Ranger defensemen. Stralman helped New York to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, playing in 25 postseason contests. He recorded five assists and averaged 21:03 in ice time per game, while his plus-4 rating was second among Ranger blue-liners.

A native of Tibro, Sweden, Stralman has played in 394 career NHL games with the Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs. During his seven-year NHL career he has accumulated 18 goals and 112 points with 159 penalty minutes. He is a combined plus-32 in the previous three seasons in New York. Stralman has played in 55 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with the Rangers in the previous three seasons, recording three goals and 11 points.

Stralman was drafted by the Maple Leafs in the 7th round, 216th overall, at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.