Senators defence succession plan, 2009-2014

In what might be the most ridiculous waste of time I commit this week, I've assembled a succession plan based on the Ottawa Senators' current defensive depth:

Defence_succession_medium

Legend: Green = current contracts; yellow = contract extensions; numbers = position on depth chart

It was actually kind of cool to put together, even though it's the kind of depth chart which would change every week with a player's play and every season with the incoming and outgoing players. There are, obviously, flaws, a few of which I will openly admit:

  • I'm likely overstating the development of prospects Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen; as a fourth-year pro, I have Karlsson leading the Senators' defence corps, and Cowen jumps into the fold next season.
  • After this year, Chris Phillips begins a rapid and steep decent down Ottawa's depth chart. It's unlikely he'll fall to the third pairing that quickly.
  • The only way Brian Lee sticks around Ottawa as an eighth-ranked defenceman is if he signs a two-way contract extension this off-season, and that's not something he'd like to do. If he sticks around, I do think he'll turn into a solid part of the Senators' d-corps.
  • Although Matt Carkner's NHL career is on an upward slope, he falls down Ottawa's depth chart above. If that happens, it would be a reflection of other players improving than him declining. It's to soon to say whether or not Carkner's still improving steadily enough to climb the depth chart.
  • Of the three RFAs this season, Alex Picard is my opinion of the strongest blue-line contributor. He's got a lot to prove to get that highly sought after spot.
  • Filip Kuba walks or is traded after 2011-12. At that point, he'll be 35, and may be re-signed--but injuries already seem to be catching up to him.
  • GM Bryan Murray's going to have to swallow his pride if Chris Campoli walks during or after this season, but he looks like the odd man out at this point.
It was still a fun excercise, though.

What are your thoughts about who will fit where, and when?
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