Editorials

5 Defensemen Blackhawks Should Target In Free Agency

By Tony Gianares
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 27: Jake Gardiner #51 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Winnipeg Jets during the first period at the Scotiabank Arena on October 27, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 27: Jake Gardiner #51 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Winnipeg Jets during the first period at the Scotiabank Arena on October 27, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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TAMPA, FL – FEBRUARY 21: Anton Stralman #6 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Buffalo Sabres in the second period at Amalie Arena on February 21, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL – FEBRUARY 21: Anton Stralman #6 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Buffalo Sabres in the second period at Amalie Arena on February 21, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Anton Stralman

Anton Stralman is a Top 4 caliber defenseman and might not be flashy, but he gets the job done. He has been the epitome of consistency during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning over the past 5 seasons. Since joining the Lightning in 2014, Stralman tallied 130 points (101G, 130A) in 355 games with an 80 ± rating.

The Blackhawks could really use a steady presence like Anton Stralman on the blue line. A big part of his game is his defensive awareness and his ability to block shots. He also has an underrated shot. During his 12 year career, Stralman has made goalies’  lives a lot easier while blocking a total of 756 shots (419 with TBL) in 746 games.

There are a couple of concerns that I have with Anton Stralman. This season, he only played in 47 games due to injury and he turns 33 years old in August. I believe there is still some tread left on the tires, but the question is how much? A short term deal could be beneficial for both parties.

Stralman is on the last year of a 5-year, $22.5 mil contract ($4.5 mil AAV). With age and durability as factors, his next contract could end up in the $3-5 mil AAV range.

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