One could argue that since the Hartford Whalers became the Carolina Hurricanes, the franchise has never had the true number one defenseman most teams covet. Even the 2006 Stanley Cup-winning team was a mash-up of role players.
Veteran shutdown defender Glen Wesley was once so highly regarded as an offensive defenseman that the Whalers gave up three first-round picks for him, but by the time his career was finished he was instead one of the league's best positional, defense-first rearguards. Swift-skating Bret Hedican had the size and speed every team wants in a top blueliner, but he was always better-suited in a defensive role.… read more
Training Camp should be interesting this year. Seems like it's almost a "make or break" type of off-season for a lot of players this year.
Dalpe: If he at least doesn't make it at least as a 3rd liner this year, seems like his chances are pretty slim long term. I suspect the team will give him another chance this year. I suspect his spot in the NHL will be on the wing?
Boychuk: IMO, he would have to blow the doors off in training camp and secure a top 6 spot or that's it. My guess is he is part of a trade though instead.
Samson: Unless there is a major shake-up at the NHL level and even if Sutter was in the top 6, I can't see where there is a spot for him in the bottom six (Welsh, Nodl, Dwyer, Brent, LaRose, Stewart, Bowman). I suspect he will be let go.
Nash: With the addition of Welsh, it's getting increasingly more difficult to see where there is a spot for Nash. Staal, Brandon Sutter, Brent, Welsh, Dalpe. Maybe a 4th line role and utilize Brent differently? Not sure where he fits at least this season unless there are injuries.
Brett Sutter: Same as Nash. Unless Tim Brent is utilized differently, don't see how he fits unless there are injuries.
Sanguinetti: If he doesn't make the NHL squad this season, not sure when he will with guys like Murphy and Dumoulin knocking on the door. Again, assuming there are no trades that is.