but if one of these defense have injury this year who are our next defense in order between :
brian lashoff,gleason fournier,max nicastro,adam almqvist
maybe the wings need to sign a couple of reserve defense ...
Smith is not number 2 out of the gate, it would be nice if he gets there by the end of the season but I sure don't expect it. My guess is the top pairing will be Kronwall and Ericsson to start the season.
They will add another name before the season, think we are just waiting on the CBA on that. Now an interesting problem is like we saw with NBA players signing in China. Some of these guys might sign deals for the season in the KHL or other places in Europe. So waiting into a potential work stoppage could really strain who is available.
I think Ian White is the number 2 out of the gate. Will he be paired with Kronwall? I don't know, probably not. I think you could see a Kronwall - White pairing on the PP/PK, though. It'll be tough to really gauge who plays on what pairing and who plays with who until the start of training camp.
I mean, Quincey, for example, he could be anywhere from a top pairing d-man in Detroit to a bottom pairing d-man... I think the only real definitive thing we know is that Kindl will be a bottom pairing guy, and Kronwall will be a top pairing guy. I don't think we know anything else. Smith very well may be on the top pairing with Kronwall, though I doubt it is that.
There's still defensemen on the market. I'm fairly confident that we'll sign at least 1. I agree with kyle that currently White is higher on the depth chart than Smith. I think we'll see Smith climb the chart fairly quick. With our current D, I could see him quickly becoming a fixture on the 2nd pair. In all honesty though, it's a crap shoot when guessing what the depth chart is finally going to look like