2: Anton Stralman, a new nice guy?
With the retirement of Henrik and Daniel Sedin, the possible departure of Loui Eriksson and the potential for Edler to sign elsewhere this summer, this leaves a huge vacancy for resident Swede/Really Nice Guy.
That void could be filled by Tampa Bay Lightning rearguard Anton Stralman who — aged 33 by the start of next season — could be the Canucks’ lead veteran on the blue line for a couple of years while players like Quinn Hughes, Olli Juolevi and Josh Teves become established NHL players.
Stralman is a dependable blueliner, not flashy in any kind of way, but a steady, reliable presence for any team. He has played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers and, for the last five years, the Lightning.
With the Lightning looking to reset and go again after their historic sweep at the hands of the Blue Jackets, Stralman could well be a cap casualty. The Canucks would be smart to consider his acquisition.
While Stralman missed 35 games this season to injury, he missed just 21 games over the previous six seasons. He’s a 30-point defenceman who plays a tidy game, makes few mistakes, and could be the perfect foil for someone like Quinn Hughes to flourish in a more attacking role. Think Dan Hamhuis. He’s also a righty, which would allow Quinn Hughes to play on his natural left side.
What Stralman would cost on July 1st is anyone’s guess, but I’d estimate a two or three-year deal around the $4.5 million he receives now would be enough to bring him to Vancouver. Would he be a more preferable option for Canucks fans than Jake Gardiner?