I see it hasn't been mentioned but the good people of HFBoards voted Beauch the 25th best d-man in the league. Nieds, Pronger and Schneider were ahead of him so if nieds stays that's 4 top25 defensemen of the league on the same blueline.
I took out the ones clearly ahead, the rest are challengable, guys like Regehr, McCabe, Stuart and Redden were not very good last year. Seems like you gave guys with a reputation the nod even though they didn't play all that well last year.
Frankie played his best last year when Niedermayer or Pronger were out. If he wasn't behind two of the best pp defensemen in the league his offense would be better no question.
i agree he is a top-25 as well. and from that list i dont agree with probably 8 - 10 also. there are just too many who are just above average IMO. besides, beauchemin stepped up SO many times last season that its hard not see how underrated he was. methinks he'll be even better this season, assuming he gets the ice time he deserves. pronger and neidermeyer (if he returns) and schneider will probably get more time than Frenchie unfortunately