It was a tough season for Patrick Wiercioch pretty much from start to finish, something that could be said for a lot of players in black and red. When he was in the lineup he actually played pretty solid, but for some reason he hasn’t seemed to get the full confidence of coach Paul MacLean to remain in the lineup on a regular basis.
Wiercioch started the season as a member of the second pairing with Jared Cowen, but the struggles of both early on put the Ottawa Senators defensive unit into disarray as the staff scrambled to find some combinations that worked. Patrick Wiercioch found himself in a platoon situation with Eric Gryba for much of the season and when all hands were on deck it was about 50/50 as to whether or not Wiercioch would play.
His puck moving ability was a benefit to the team, but he struggled to contain opposing forwards in his own end and often found himself out of position.
- Set career highs in assists (19) and points (23)
- Only got into 53 out of 82 games due to the platoon situations
- Cody Ceci‘s emergence midway through the season pushed Patrick Wiercioch even further down the depth chart
Wiercioch just completed the first of a 3 year contract, that sees his actual salary double this year to $2.2M and then next he gets another raise to $2.7M. His salary cap hit is $2M
Patrick Wiercioch is in that spot where he could be used as part of a bigger package in a bigger trade. He does still have some value and has a decent salary for the next 2 seasons. That would also benefit the Senators, but I am not sure he can get out of Paul MacLean’s doghouse long enough to establish himself further. With 7 defensemen set to be on 1 way contracts, and that doesn’t include Ceci who figures to be on the team, someone has to go this summer and that would most likely be Wiercioch
GRADE – C : His offensive upside as a puck mover is obvious and will still improve, but there is still work to be done in his own end without the puck.