Anton Stralman
AP Photo/Bruce Bennett, Pool

Anton Stralman reveals the hurtful free agency process he endured during the 2014 offseason with the New York Rangers.

Defenseman Anton Stralman recently signed a free-agent deal with the Florida Panthers. It was a process that went extremely well compared to the last time he was a UFA fresh off a season with New York Rangers.

Speaking with Joe Smith of The Athletic, Stralman had some interesting things to say about his time leading up to his signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Summer of 2014.

“The situation that happened in New York five years ago was painful to be part of. They dragged me along and left me empty-handed on July 1, and I had to pick Tampa and Colorado. I had 45 minutes. I’m like, “Whoa, what happened?” We thought the whole time we were going to sign with the Rangers. And they dropped the ball — told me an hour before noon — then signed Dan Boyle right on noon. I’m like, “OK, I guess that’s it.”

Stralman was averaging over 18 minutes a game as a Blueshirt, and up until the free agency period, felt he was a lock to re-sign with the Rangers. The team decided to sign with Dan Boyle and Stralman’s world was turned upside down as the clock ticked closer to noon.

He wound up signing with Tampa Bay where he enjoyed a successful five seasons.

He now will take his services to the Florida Panthers, who signed Stralman to a three-year, $16.5-million deal on July 1. For Anton Stralman, it’s been a smoother transition this time around, one that he and his family are satisfied with.

Follow Frank Curto on TWITTER

Elite Access