Ottawa Senators Fortify Defensive Unit With Cody Ceci Deal

The Ottawa Senators just eliminated any anxiety to be had over their top two defensive duos this season with the re-signing of Cody Ceci.

Of course, injuries can never be predicted, but assuming that everybody remains relatively healthy throughout the season, their top 4 defenseman look really solid.

The dominance of Erik Karlsson on the offensive end is always going to be the main allure of this unit.

Since the 2011-2012 season, Karlsson has lead all defenseman in points every season except one, which was the lockout shortened 2012-2013 campaign.

He has a nice slapshot, and his playmaking skills are remarkable. No player had more assists last season than Karlsson, regardless of position.

While he may not be the most gifted blue-liner on defense, his partner Marc Methot is a stable presence who allows Karlsson to attack on offense.

Methot doesn’t produce much on offense, but he’s really the perfect compliment to Karlsson out on the ice with his commitment to playing a steady defensive-oriented game.

That top pair is very impressive, and with Dion Phaneuf partnering with Ceci on that second duo, the Senators should be pleased with how their depth chart stacks up against other teams in the league.

Phaneuf is not only a hard hitter, but has great skills on the offensive end despite the drop in production his statistics have taken in recent years.

For a young player like Ceci, Phaneuf can bring that veteran leadership to help him grow as a defenseman.

Especially from an offensive perspective, the core group looks really formidable. Karlsson is elite, and Phaneuf still consistently puts up numbers that rank him among the top 50 defenseman in points.

If Ceci continues his upward trajectory, he could very well surpass Phaneuf in terms of offensive production by next season.

That trio looks pretty good among point-producing defenseman, although they all have their flaws on the defensive end of the ice.

Karlsson is undersized for the position, Phaneuf isn’t always consistent in that aspect of his game, and Ceci is still developing as an all-around defenseman.

Methot’s really the only defensive-oriented guy in the group, and that could end up posing problems.

However, it seems like the team is being built to win through scoring goals, especially with bringing in Guy Boucher as head coach, presumably to instill an aggressive offensive attack.

They ranked 9th in goals scored per game but 5th in goals allowed per game last season. Those discrepancies might be exacerbated next season.

All in all, though, the Ceci signing creates a lot of excitement for what the defensive unit can bring to the ice next season.