Anton Stralman has been sent down to the Marlies presumably to accommodate the return of Jonas Frogren off the injury reserve come Tuesday against New Jersey (or possibly because he was sitting the press box & not playing). In keeping with the “if you come to play you stay” mantra that Ron Wilson has been preaching, Jaime Sifers’ run with the big club has been extended.
Stralman was outwardly displeased last time he was demoted to the AHL, which makes one a little uneasy about his potential reaction this time around. Due to waiver restrictions, it was going to have to be one of Sifers or Stralman, and there’s no doubt Sifers is deserving of an extended stay with the big club based on his performance so far.
Stralman could’ve been left in the press box instead, but he’s better off logging considerable minutes with the Marlies than he is sitting on the sidelines, whether he likes it or not.
With Schenn out, the Leafs would have only one real defense-first presence (Jeff Finger) in their top six if Stralman were to be retained. One of Jonas Frogren or Jaime Sifers is needed to supply an additional defensive presence, especially for penalty killing purposes. Stralman, as an offensive defenseman, is the odd man out for now. In fact, he may be until one of Pavel Kubina or Tomas Kaberle can be peddled.