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Stint with Rangers gave Lightning's Stralman a career

Tuesday, 12.02.2014 / 9:22 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper thinks of Anton Stralman in the same way he thinks of elite defenseman in the NHL.

"This guy is a stud," Cooper said Monday. "He's a quiet stud. I had no idea how good he was."

Stralman almost wasn't any of that. He almost wasn't anything in the NHL but a castoff whose body betrayed him at too young of an age.

The asthma Stralman discovered he had as a kid in Sweden began to deteriorate his lungs through infections he once thought would be impossible to diagnose and cure.

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I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest. I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on.

— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on playing in his first Stanley Cup Final