As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Henrik Lundqvist won the first matchup against Olli Jokinen in a landslide. And yesterday we saw Martin Rucinsky (#9) upset Nigel Dawes (#8). Today’s matchup is #5 Anton Stralman vs. #12 Aaron Voros:
Anton Stralman (acquired – unrestricted free agent, 2011)
Stalman has been a pretty solid signing since the Devils cut him out of training camp in 2011. Scoring doesn’t tell the whole story for the 26-year-old defenseman, but he does have a line of 6-19-25 in 101 games (all 48 this year) with the Rangers. Stralman didn’t even become a mainstay in the lineup until December of 2011, when injuries to Marc Staal, Mike Sauer, Jeff Woywitka, and Steve Eminger forced Stralman into the lineup. He answered by playing 17 minutes a game and being a solid and reliable defenseman. He’s not flashy, but he gets the job done.
Aaron Voros (acquired – unrestricted free agent, 2008)
Voros is a curious character. Most remember his first five games as a Ranger, when he clicked with Brandon Dubinsky and Brian Boyle to the tune of a 3-4-7 start in those five games. It was surprising because Voros wasn’t known as an offensive minded player, just a forward who can fight. Voros would go 5-4-9 for the rest of the season. He found himself sitting in the pressbox towards the end of that season and for half of the following season. All told, Voros put together a line of 11-12-23 with 211 PIMs in 95 games.
Voros would eventually be waived in June 0f 2010, and then traded with Ryan Hillier to Anaheim for Steve Eminger the following month.
So who do you think is the better Ranger, Stralman or Voros? Vote thumbs up for the higher seed (Stralman), or thumbs down for the lower seed (Voros). Voting ends at midnight tonight.