Previewing the defencemen for the upcoming season of Senators hockey
With multiple additions to the defensive core this offseason, the Senators will an intriguing unit led by some fresh faces, but does this necessarily mean it’s a better group than last season? My first indications are yes. While Mark Borowiecki and Ron Hainsey both left in the summer, neither turn the needle in terms of on-ice play, so their impact shouldn’t be felt too much in terms of quality of play.
The Senators brought in Josh Brown, Erik Gudbranson and Artem Zub to add veteran bodies and size to their right-side and they succeeded in that. The biggest addition for this season wasn’t someone acquired by the team via trade or free agency but is actually Christian Wolanin’s return after he missed the majority of last season with a shoulder injury. I think if the team wants to get the most out of their d-core, placing Wolanin on the 2nd pairing with a player like Josh Brown would serve the team well.
The first pairing seems all but solidified with Thomas Chabot and Erik Gudbranson supplanted at the top, while it appears the rest will be jostling for position prior to opening night on Friday. Players such as Erik Brannstrom, Mike Reilly and Zub shouldn’t be lost in the fray either as they will likely be seeing their fair share of ice-time this season.