Anton Stralman officially leaves the NHL.
Christian Petersen  

Anton Stralman officially leaves the NHL.

The veteran defenseman of over 900 NHL games appears to be moving on to the next phase of his hockey career.

Jonathan Larivee

It appears to be the end of an era when it comes to one of the National Hockey League's true overachievers.

On Saturday, Sweden's HV71 announced that they had come to terms on a new one-year deal with veteran NHL defenseman Anton Stralman. This would appear to indicate that Stralman was unable to secure himself a deal for the second consecutive offseason and has opted to return to his home country.

Stralman released a statement in conjunction with today's announcement.

"I'm really excited," said Stralman on Saturday. "It will be a lot of fun to come to Jonkoping and get to play in front of such a dedicated hockey audience as HV71 has. I myself have memories of when my father took me as a child to Rosenlundshallen and we were crowded into the standing room. To now be able to return to something that was a part of my upbringing naturally feels awesome."

Rosenlundshallen was Sweden's first hockey arena and it was located in the city of Jonkoping where Stralman will now be playing, so I have no doubt that this move genuinely holds special meaning to the 36 year old defenseman.

It will truly be sad to see him go as Stralman was one of the NHL's genuine overachievers, having originally been drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 7th round (216th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Despite being a long shot to even make the NHL at the time of his selection, Stralman would go on to appear in 938 regular season games during his career and in an additional 113 Stanley Cup playoff games, making two trips to the Stanley Cup Final in the process.

Last season Stralman would go unsigned but eventually settled on a professional tryout offer with the Boston Bruins. Stralman would appear in just 8 NHL games for the Bruins, spending the majority of his playing time last season at the American Hockey League level with the Bruins' AHL affiliate the Providence Bruins.

Stralman either received no such offers this summer, or simply opted not to go through that process again and will now be heading home. I wish him nothing but continued success on the next chapter of his career.