Bortuzzo still has top-4 potential in my eyes, a below average top-4 defender, but he could still play that role. On paper their styles would seem to match well, but giving Bortz that responsibility/minutes out of the gate.
I'd actually be content with HCDB giving Bortz not only a spot on this team, but one with an expanded role. Better than ******* Lovejoy or Reese. It balances out the D-core a little more too.
We'll see. But this is a lot better than, let's say, a Martin-Niskanen combo...that'd be...ugh
It would suck for the right-shooting D-men, but pairing Martin with a left D-man could be good for him. Martin's played his very best NHL hockey as a right defenseman in New Jersey. I wouldn't mind getting that guy back. Strait would be a good partner for him, actually. Or Dumoulin. Or even Orpik.
Lots of intrigue on D. I kinda wish we had a regular camp (with preseason games) to see this play out.
There has been some discussion mentioned by some NHL people (though nothing confirmed) about possibly allowing teams to start with a bigger roster than 23 players for the first week or two of the season, to help with the evaluation process. I'm not sure how much it would benefit the Pens since they pretty much know their line-up to a high-degree and want to establish the rhythm, but it could help some other teams, or even us, to give us a chance to see some other guys in action. It could also buy us a touch of time before we would need to make a waiver/trade decision on a guy like Strait, Lovejoy or Tangradi.
What intrigues me the most about the article though are these parts:
Bylsma, who knows better than most how much Martin struggled in 2011-12, projects him as a top-four defenseman, and is leaning toward deploying him with Brooks Orpik on the top defense-oriented pairing.
"Depending on how our lineup shakes out in camp and going into the first game, being paired with Orpik is a possibility that we maybe haven't done in the past," Bylsma said.
So if Orpik and Martin are together, who's with Letang?
Honestly, in my eyes, he's lost credibility for this. I'm sure he didn't intend to, but c'mon. This isn't the "surprise" people were foreseeing, because um an Orpik-Martin line isn't exactly a surprise.