Thread: Injury Report: Willie Mitchell Had Knee Surgery
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01-15-2013, 01:56 AM
Ziggy Stardust
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Some short term options to consider as Mitchell's replacement...

Jordan Leopold (BUF)
Roman Hamrlik (WSH)
Brett Clark (UFA)
Mark Eaton (UFA)
Kent Huskins (UFA)
Colin White (UFA)

Only two real trade options on the list with four UFA defensemen who wouldn't cost anything, except for roster and cap space.

Darryl Sutter is familiar with Leopold, having had him as part of his team during the Flames Cup run. He could serve as a decent 2nd pairing defenseman and be a good insurance policy to have around the team should any defenseman be banged up. Certainly a better option than Davis Drewiske.

The Capitals have a 8 signed defensemen and is another former Darryl Sutter player as part of the Flames from 2005-2007.

Mark Eaton would probably be the best free agent option. He was a teammate of Rob Scuderi on the Cup winning Penguins roster and he was paired with a young offensive minded defenseman back then: Kris Letang. Eaton is also a veteran leader and could serve a role that is similar to Mitchell. Although he averaged a little over 16 mins of ice time last season, he's hovered around 19-20 minutes in previous years.

I'd say the another good option to play the middle pairing would be Brett Clark. He's appeared in all 164 games over the past two seasons for the Lightning. He's averaged 18+ minutes and could be that veteran defense partner that the Kings could pair with Voynov until Mitchell returns. He'd also be an upgrade as the 7th defenseman on the roster.

I wouldn't be as confident in giving Huskins or White ice time on the second pairing.

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