Reading the Tea Leafs: Anton Strålman

Following on the success of two other dormant series PPP and I have decided that in order to fill the gap in NHL news that we'll take a look at each of the current Leafs, possible Leafs on the Marlies, and prospects. We'll recap their performance last year, what we can expect from them, and how they can win our hearts (hint: signing the contract was a good first step...unless your name is Bryan McCabe). We have no idea how long of a series this will end up being or how consistent it will be but with two of us expect it to only be half as half-assed and twice as timely. 

Uhhhhhh holy shit. I was at that game, Saturday night vs. the Habs and I still can't believe that goal. Strålman with the shake n' bake followed by a ding.

I feel like I should end this intro with misplaced rap music.

Contract Status (according to NHL Numbers)
$732K salary, $615K cap hit, RFA July 1, 2010

Age (as of October 1, 2008)
22 - August 1, 1986

NHL Seasons
One half.

 

Run of the Mill Biographical Information

 

2007-2008 Stats and Team Ranking

(Scoring rates via Behind The Net)

Counting Stats Total/Rank Category 5-on-5 5-on-4 4-on-5
Games Played 50-18 TOI/60 10.86 1.43 0.09
Goals 3-18 Pts/60 0.66 1.68 0.00
Assists 6-18 GFON/60 1.77 5.03 0.00
Points 9-19 GAON/60 2.54 2.52 0.00

Former Leaf he'd have to play like in order to be christened a deity
Bryan McCabe pre-lockout. Except Strålman doesn't hit already, so, uh. Seriously though Strålman could develop into an amazing offensive d-man, hopefully he'll learn how to defend.

Biggest Question Marks
Is Strålman a crummy forward who plays defense? He's got the offensive talent that doesn't make him look out of place next to Kaberle, but he doesn't have Kaberle's defensive instincts... yet.

2007-2008 Summary
Anton scored a beautiful pair against Montreal on HNIC. Sure the Leafs were out of the playoffs by then but maybe if he had played instead of Andy Wozniewski they'd have qualified. Oh, did you all forget about Herpes? He, Raycroft, and the Jewish liberal media conspiracy are the reason Toronto missed the playoffs (also our terrible goals against but really how can you expect to win when the odds are tha stacked against you?).

Projected 2008-2009 role/team
I would love love love to see Strålman get big minutes along side Mike Van Ryn or Jeff Finger, for different reasons. With Van Ryn, the two would provide a great secondary scoring touch from the blueline behind Kubina and Kaberle, with Finger alongside him I feel like Anton's offensive abilities will pair well with Jeff's defensive abilities to make them a beautiful pair, just like peanut butter and pickle sandwiches.

Strålman should be on the team from game one onwards. If he develops right we could have another Kaberle on our hands in three or four years when the Leafs hope to be competitive again. Buy a Strålman jersey now and be ahead of the curve.

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