As you all know that there is a log jam in the defence with the unability to trade Kuba or Gonchar and the much improved play of Brian Lee has caused somewhat of a logjam in the defence, not much spots open for the top prospects of Cowen and Rundblad.
So let's say these are the pairings for next season.
Philips-Lee (Playing off each other really well, Lee is outshining Philips right now, considered Ottawa's new shutdown pair by the coaches)
Kuba-Karlsson (The worst pairing, I can't stand this one.)
Gonchar-Carkner (Meh pairing, both slow as hell)
So who will make it, and how?
I think Cowen will make it first and by the deadline of hopefully trading Kuba to someone, Rundblad after spending some time getting used to the NA ice in the AHL gets called up just like Karlsson.
At the beggining of the season.
Kuba should be shipped out this off-season and Lee will be our 7th D. Carkner should stay on the 3rd pairing as he's too valuable to scratch in my opinion. We need his toughness on the backend. Lee has played well lately but I can't see him take a spot from one of the youngsters.
We're rebuilding, so there isn't going to be any time better to have young guys take over this ****** ass team and develop for 2-3 years. Excited to see Silfverberg come over next season as well, I hope he can crack the opening day roster and prove Dorian wrong.
They'll have to balance offense and defense in the back end somehow. It's hard to imagine all of Karlsson, Rundblad, and Gonchar playing in the back end. Add Cowen, and would this be the youngest D group in the league?
I didn't say sit him all year, no need to be overdramatic. If they want to give Rundblad the same leeway to make mistakes and learn from them like they did with Karlsson, Karlsson may have to sit some games. That is assuming Karlsson isn't better next year. I expect he will be better.
They will both be playing by the end of the year, straight out of camp, well thats another story. I have faith that Murray can ditch at least 1 DMan at the draft. I pretty much garentee that Rundblad will play game 1 next year, it will be part of the deal getting him over from Sweden but just like the year Karlsson came over he will be sent down if he struggles
It's not a bad idea to carry 7D. Carkner or lee would be the healthy scratches.
Right now Lee is outplaying Carkner as he's holding up against other team's top pairings and shutting them down. I don't see him getting scratched next year at all.
I could see Carkner being expendable if Cowen makes the team.
They'll probably try and open up a spot by dealing Kuba by the draft or after, they might fail, they might consider a buy out. They also might have to throw Lee in a deal if they want to move Nashville's pick into the top 10...let's face it, if anyone's been watching the kid since he started playing this year, they've probably liked what they've seen as far as a 23 year old prospective 4th Dman. Considering he's cheap, he may get interest.
Carkner is almost certainly the de facto 7th Dman.
If Kuba remains into next season, it's one too many LDs is Gonchar has to play the left. Cowen may start in the AHL until they find a team to take Kuba as a rental...hopefully he would play better to facilitate that. MAYBE, just maybe, they consider moving KARLSSON to forward during this time to see what happens.
What happens if we draft Larsson? Then what? You have too many D-men. If Lee's value is so high or growing as this thread is claiming then flip him and a pick at the draft to move up. Or straight up for a pick.
Kuba needs to be go too, good luck finding someone to pick up his salary though. I say buy out.
Don't forget that people are overly protective of Karlsson on our team. Try not to throw any negativity his way...he's just a boy and he's going to be the best defenceman we've ever had. :sarcasm
Anyway...I think Rundblad and Cowen both make the team next year. I think Rundblad becomes our go to guy by the end of the year.
Eh, I don't think people are overly protective - I think people are just realistic as opposed to absurd. Shattering a 20 year old's confidence because he makes defensive mistakes that mostly have to do with his size is dumb. There's nothing to be gained from it.
As to Rundblad v. Karlsson, I think that will be an excellent motivating factor for Karlsson and make both of them better as a result.