Ottawa Senators Under the Most Pressure to Perform in 2014/15

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Mar 5, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Ottawa Senators defenseman

Patrick Wiercioch

(46) controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Wiercioch:

Patty W, everyone’s favourite PP specialist. He’s a tall defenceman, but doesn’t always fit into Paul Maclean’s system. We saw that last season. Despite being a wizard on the Powerplay, Paul Maclean favoured the services of Eric Gryba over Patrick Wiercioch. This season will allow Wiercioch to erase all of that and try to earn himself a full time spot ahead of Mark Borowiecki, Eric Gryba, and Cody Ceci.

He’s been penciled into Ottawa’s Top 4 again by fans and himself. Whether or not he can play the solid 20+ minutes a top 4 guy plays a night is up to him. Wiercioch is on a cheap deal at only a $2 million AAV over the next two years. With a lot of teams having interest in the services of a 6 foot 5, puck moving defenceman, Wiercioch could see his services shipped out of town if he can’t find away into the lineup night in and night out.

Being linked to trade rumours in the past is Wiercioch and with the Senators still looking for that “harder forward”, Patrick Wiercioch may come as the perfect trading chip if Bryan Murray were to decide if Wiercioch didn’t fit in the system.

Wiercioch has shown what he can do in the past in spurts and is very capable of putting up a solid NHL season. I’d look to Tyson Barrie in Colorado as an example of Wiercioch’s ceiling, but we just don’t know whether or not Wiercioch is capable of owning a roster spot in Paul Maclean’s system all season long.