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02-27-2012, 11:35 AM
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Of course a defenseman will look better with another all-world defenseman on his pair and they will look slightly worse without that all-world partner. Those who are saying that one will struggle without the other are exaggerating.

Suter does benefit from having Weber on his pair. Offensively, not only can he feed the puck to Weber for a cannon blast, but he will also have more open ice due to defenders wanting to take away Weber's shot. However, I disagree with the idea that Suter's offense is made significantly better with Weber. Suter has good on-ice vision regardless of where he is playing. In the defensive zone he is one of the best positional defensemen in the league. He knows how to separate the body from the puck effectively. His pass on the break out is pretty good. In the offensive zone, especially on the powerplay, he has a great understanding of when and where to pinch in. Suter has a knack for sneaking in to open up the backdoor play (either by putting himself in position to take the shot, or by pinching in wide and below the dot to get a pass off for the backdoor).

Suter is basically on par with Weber in terms of overall skill. Suter is the better skater, better passer, is better at getting into position, and has a higher overall hockey IQ. Weber is better offensively, obviously is more physical, and has the slight edge in the leadership department.

Suter is definitely a top defenseman on virtually every team in the league. He is well-worth $7m IMO. Definitely a franchise defenseman unless you have the luxury of watching another top 5-10 dman sport your team's sweater.

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