Ex-Flames d-man gets hitched in Calgary condo

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:22 AM ET

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As far as weddings go, Anton Stralman's was a little out of the ordinary.

Taking place inside his sparsely furnished apartment in Calgary last month, with Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and team services manager Julie Gamble serving as witnesses, the Swedish defenceman married his fiancee Johanna so his family could finally be together in Ohio.

"It was obviously not ideal, but we got it done, and we're together, and that's what's important," Stralman said before suiting up against the Flames last night.

"We had a huge problem."

The problem was obtaining a visa for Johanna even though she and Anton have had two children together.

Traded to the Flames from Toronto in the summer and then shipped to the Jackets in the pre-season, the 23-year-old Stralman's life has been crazy for months.

Johanna gave birth in Calgary to their son, Lowve, during training camp.

"As long as we could prove that I was a father to them, there was no problem. They got their visas," Stralman said of the frustrating exclusion of his girlfriend because they weren't legally hitched. "They didn't think my fiancee had strong ties to me or North America, even though our boy that was born in Calgary was obviously Canadian."

On Oct. 19, the day before the Jackets played the Flames, they made it official in a ceremony he can laugh at now.

The groom wore jeans and a T-shirt. Their two-year-old daughter, Liv, had a tantrum when her toy horse went missing and didn't calm down until Gamble found it behind a stereo. There were no friends and family present. Most of the furniture was gone, leaving few spots of comfort for the kids to watch from.

"One was in the car seat, the other one was lying on the floor trying to feed her little toy horse cat food," Stralman said. "Now, we all laugh about it. That was hilarious."

The Blue Jackets' annual rookie dinner in downtown Calgary the night before had to serve as his bachelor party, which defenceman Mike Commodore told the Columbus Dispatch was the "lamest bachelor party ever."

But nothing about the process was traditional.

They'll rectify that in the summer of 2011 as originally planned and get married all over again in Sweden in front of family and friends.

"I want it outside, but the weather in Sweden is pretty unpredictable, so we'll see about that. Just a traditional wedding back home with family and friends."


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