Last time we looked at some remedial options, this post is on bigger moves or radical ideas that might fix it.

Brooks Orpik

The Pittsburgh Penguin defenseman was at the center of one of the years early controversies, concussing Loui Eriksson, and getting mauled by a Bruin after he repeatedly refused to drop the gloves. With 2:48 a night of shorthanded time on the NHL’s top penalty kill, he fits the mold as an able defender. He’s a left handed shot as is Seidenberg, and height and weight are officially very close, as is age. He is in the last year of a contract, but its hard to imagine the Penguins jettisoning him where their current roster should win their division and make it at least two rounds into the playoffs as long as the revival of Fleury continues.

Luke Schenn

The Philadelphia Flyers are in an interesting position, they are getting a much better season than anyone expected two or three weeks into the season. Currently they sit in the middle of the pack both in goals for and against, not surprisingly hey are just slightly above dead center in the eastern conference standings and sit dead center for the entire NHL. Next season the team will have to resign or replace several key players. It is unlikely the team has a serious shot at the Stanley Cup this year, and while Schenn may never be an elite #1 defensemen who garners multiple Norris nominations, he’s got grit, defensive savvy, and a sensible about of snarl.

Kris Russell

This 26 year old Calgary Flames defenseman has a better 4 on 5 sv% than any of the guys who play more time than him, and significantly better than any of the Flames goalies total sv%. He’s also spending a lot of time on the powerplay. He’s on pace for 69 games and 205 blocked shots. While a little undersized, he’s clearly versatile and hard working. With an expiring contract, the pending UFA could bring the Flames an additional draft selection or two if flipped right.

Marc Staal

There are several reasons this trade is not as far fetched as it might once have been. Starting with next years cap being $71million, and over $39 of it being tied up in just 9 players. Next up is the string of atrocious injury woes for the only one of the four Staal brothers not playing for the Hurricanes organization. And he’s likely been passed in eyes of management by Ryan McDonaugh, while the Rangers would undoubtedly like to keep him, the odds of their being able to shoehorn him and all their other components into the cap are pretty low.  With a year left on his contract, and his undeniable talent the return on him could be high enough to transform the franchise.

Matt Greene

Some injuries, and the maturation of players like Jake Muzzin and Slava Voynov have helped make the 30 year old blueliner a tradeable asset. After a year of honeymoon flying, the Kings are back to their low scoring ways and sit 23rd in the NHL in goals for. Not having reached a deal to extend the stay at home defenseman might indicate he is not a priority for the team. Even with the Kings owning the fifth best penalty kill in the league, and Greene averaging the most TOI for that unit, he’s is still moveable given how many games over the last two years he missed or been displaced in an otherwise healthy career. Flipping Greene for an offensively able forward would fill a need, and allow a clean parting of the ways with a player who has been a good soldier.

Andy Greene

Like the LA Kings the New Jersey Devils lack scoring and have a great penalty kill. Andy Greene has one more year left on his contract with the Devils meaning they can hold out for a more substantial return. The undrafted Michigan native is a career Devil, who is third in SHTOI. As the team languishes outside a playoff spot, adding pieces either for this season, or the future would be good for the Devils while Greene is landing in Boston would put him together with Julien who he played under in the 2006-07 season.

Strictly speaking this is a look at players who could fill the defensive void, with an emphasis on the penalty kill first. Some of them are capable of playing well in 20+ minutes a night as part of a first or second pairing, others could be employed in almost a specialty capacity.


About Puck Sage

PuckSage.com is a hockey site focusing on the NHL, the playing style of teams and players with analysis and the occasional predictions. If it doesn't involve what happens on ice, I won't be writing about it. About Me: Writer! Here and at HockeyThisWeek.com I write hockey. I can be found on Twitter @PuckSage on Google+ and my Facebook Page is handily listed on the main page here. Hockey lover, cognac drinker, lover of good steak, good music, and things that make me laugh. I hate cats, cat people, sloppy hockey and vegans.

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