Mike Lundin, the free agent defenseman signed last summer by the Ottawa Senators, has been cleared to play after being out with a broken finger since the season began.
With his return, the Ottawa blueline becomes very crowded. The three young defensemen, Patrick Wiercioch, Andre Benoit and Mark Borowiecki have played very well in stretches and although have had some growing pains, are fitting in nicely. With Sergei Gonchar ready to return from the flu (hopefully) and now Lundin soon ready for game action, where will everyone fit in?
The top pairing of Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot isn’t going to change. Methot has played admirably alongside the Norris winner and complements him nicely. Gonchar will anchor the second pairing, likely with Lundin when he is ready to go.
That leaves the third pairing of Chris Phillips and probably Wiercioch all things being equal. Weircioch has had ups and downs, but is steady and has shown he is ready to contribute now.
As for Benoit and Borowiecki, one will likely stay and one will be sent back to Binghamton once Lundin is ready for game action. Borowiecki will likely stay as the 7th defenseman because he brings an element of toughness that is lacking on the rest of the blue line and can be inserted into the lineup if needed.