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Who is our #4 Defenseman?

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Assuming no one gets traded, I see Kaberle taking the 4th spot. Him and Corvo worked well together near the end of the year. However, that's not exactly the best defensively solid pairing in the world, and I can see Lavi wanting to switch it up after a couple games.

If Kaberle gets traded, or Lavi wants to switch it up, or Babchuk has a great pre-season/camp showing, I see Babs taking the 4th spot. Corvo has said he enjoys playing with an offensive defensemen, and other than Kaberle, Babchuk's the only offensive-type remaining. This pairing might work, as it's a little better defensively, and Corvo's got the lateral speed to make up for Babchuk's lack of.

As for who misses the lineup, barring a great showing in the preseason/camp, I see Melichar taking that spot. Nothing against the guy, but loyalty plays a part. D-berg will be on the bottom pairing, if only because he sat out a lot of games last year, and Wallin will probably take the other spot, since he only stayed in Carolina to play.

If Kaberle takes the 4th spot, Babchuk gets bumped down a line and Melichar and Wallin sit.

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Good question and until camp... I honestly don't know.

We know Kaberle, Wallin, Babchuk and Seidenberg have the talent...what we dont know is whose coming to camp ready to play.

Unless Kaberle gets his stuff together I personally think it'll be Kabs riding the pine. He has all the tools to get that spot though, there is no denying that. Just does he have the mental endurance to fight for it?

I can't see Wallin riding the pine, I dont think Melichar is very good (assumption from bad reviews) and I think to many offensive defensemen would be just as bad as having to many defensive d-men. I'm not even sure why everyone thinks Wallin is so bad, the guy was the original bargaining chip to obtain Joni a year ago until he denied a trade. Obviously we wound up trading Cole instead, if Edmonton was willing to trade Joni for Wallin...man...to me it says alot for Nik.

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Even if Kaberle stays I bet he is a bottom pair defenseman or a scratch. Without actual training camp results, my money would be on Babchuck being the additional part of the top 4.

But I'm not necessarily convinced that Pitkanen and Gleason will be the top pair. They are both left handed shots and since training camp hasn't started yet, we don't know how good their chemistry will be. Plus as mentioned above Corvo seems to like playing with another offensive minded player so we could even see Corvo and Pitkanen as a more offensive pair and Gleason with someone as a more defensive oriented pair. Regardless of pairings I would bet the top four is Pitkanen, Gleason, Corvo and Babchuk.

As for the remaining pair to play I hope it will be whichever two have the best training camp. My initial guess is that that pair will be Seidenberg and Wallin but only time will tell. So that leaves Kaberle and Melichar in the press box until the injuries hit or Laviolette starts playing 7 defensemen.

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Gleason-Pits

Corvo-Babs

Wallin-Seids/Melichar

Kabs elsewhere.

But then again who knows. I think that line up is pretty decent but it really depends on camp. I see Babs with Corvo because when he played with us he took an offensive role. He seemed to do well with it but isnt as fragile as Kaberle. And to echo what someone else said earlier, Wallin isn't as bad as everyone makes him out to be. Especially for a third line. Even on the second line its not a bad position for him.

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This is the second time I've heard of this....where did you get that from, about Marion??

I'm not sure how to put links to other topics, but if you go down about 25 topics you will find a thread on this. It was a rumor from Hockeyleaks.com posted by Law Dawg.

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I voted for Kaberle because of his experience with the team, although everything I read on here indicates he may not even be on the team anymore, my second choice is definately Dennis Siedenberg.. I thought he stepped up last year and played a good game, and you noticed when he was in the game and had his name called, a good hit, a good pinch a nice clearing pass etc.

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I voted Seidenberg as well since Corvo seems to always play best with a more offensive minded defenseman. With the choices left (depending on Kaberle being traded), Seids has the most offensive upside (unless Babchuk has learned to hit something smaller than a barn with his shot). The team has said in the past that he had the best passing from the blue line on the team, which is exactly what we need on that pairing to go with Corvo. Seids to pass up the ice, Corvo to carry the puck. A real lethal combo.

Plus, I see the third pairing being more of a pure shut-down D. If Seids isn't on the 2nd pairing with Corvo, then he's likely knocked down to 7th (or 8th). That third pairing would be Wallin and either Melichar or Babchuk, depending on who performs better in training camp/pre-season, with the other filling in as needed. If we don't have room for Seids playing more then we probably should have traded him rather than re-sign him like we did. All IMHO, of course, since as others said they could go for a more balanced third pairing and he might be there instead then.

Speaking of pairings, we now could actually have two PP teams with two defensemen on each instead of the five forwards we've seen. Corvo and Pitkanen QB'ing each, and we can also add in booming shots from Babchuk and Seidenberg to play opposite them, plus have a little extra D there to help stop short-handed chances going the other way. That's absolutely huge for this team, and I personally can't wait to see what this team looks like on the ice. :D

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Interesting. At this point in the polling we have:

Seidenberg as the clear winner, but with Babchuk getting nearly 1/3 of the votes. No love for Wallin and Melichar in this position. Kabs in the middle of the pack.

Certainly we hope it will come down to training camp. The only alternative to that would be that the coach as already writting the person in at #4. In that case it would have to be Kabs or Wallin, so no thanks, PLEASE!

It is interesting that Seidenberg gets so much fan love, but so little coach love over that last couple of years. He has been a healthy scratch alot. Even when Frank was looking a bit tepid. I wonder what the coaches have seen that we are missing on Seidenberg? Maybe this is his year to step up.

I also find the hopes for Babchuk interesting. I find myself leaning more and more into this hope that Babchuk may have developed his game over the last year, perhaps been slightly humbled, and may come in and just grab this spot. He certainly showed talent while he was here.

The fact that Seidenberg and Babchuk are considered the next two guys behind our big three on defense is also telling. Our frequent pine warmer and our Russian cast-off are being looked to for this important role. Certainly neither of them is proven. Thus my contention that in a perfect world we would find a proven second pair dman, while somehow losing Kaberle and even Wallin. But this is very unlikely, so hopefully one of these guys steps up.

Seidenberg would be fine, so long as the coach is seeing the improvements in the areas that kept him in the press box before. Kaberle would have to have a strong rebound. The guy may have been overrated in the cup year, but he has definitely fallen off since the shoulder surgery. He had a clean up surgery. Maybe he is going to come back strong. If he does, he can be an effective puck mover. Gotta see it to beleive it though. And it appears that other GM's aren't beleivers either, since we can't unload him yet.

My vote, though is for Babchuk. That whole send-down-no-thanks-ok-then-its-Russia-for-you thing was kind of weird. He was lost in a numers game. Then it got ugly. He was playing pretty well. Word is he has gotten better. He has the talent to fill this role. I am hopeful.

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Interesting. At this point in the polling we have:

Seidenberg as the clear winner, but with Babchuk getting nearly 1/3 of the votes. No love for Wallin and Melichar in this position. Kabs in the middle of the pack...

I agree with Seidenberg but the rest I have my own opinion. Wallin takes a close 2nd for this question, then Bab's, then Kab's, then Melichar. I am not a big Melichar fan as the last time I saw him play in Pittsburgh he had trouble screening his own goalie. I fear unless we can get this bad trait out of him, Cam/Michael will be shouting at him to move.

Anyway, I am SO ready for hockey! Is it September yet?

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Does anyone know how good Melichar is? I know he played in Europe last year and he used to play for the Pens, but other than that I don't know anything about him.

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Decent 2-way defenseman. Not alot of offense to his game but makes the safe play and is consistant.

Think Commodore, without as much physicality but with better positioning.

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Decent 2-way defenseman. Not alot of offense to his game but makes the safe play and is consistant.

Think Commodore, without as much physicality but with better positioning.

I too have found trouble getting information on Melichar. Is your opinion based on your observations?

Commodore, for his shortcommings just got a whopper contract. If Melichar is just about as good he will be a steal. Just wonder why he played in Europe last year if he is so good.

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My opinion on Melichar is based on what I've seen of his play, as well as the opinions of several hockey analysts on both TSN and XM Radio...

As for why he played in Europe last year.. there are ALOT of players who simply couldn't find NHL jobs last year, despite being solid players...

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I voted Kaberle, simply becasue of his chemistry with Corvo last season, and because some in the front office (and here) believe if you're paid more, you're slotted higher. I think Seids or Babchuk should get the 4th slot, but I'm betting it's Kaberle.

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