I will begin this fanpost with this simple point, I like Borocop and his work ethic is what I hope every prospect aspires to have in this organization.....he is however simply not good enough for this team long term.
There are several reasons I suspect his current contract with Ottawa will be his last and above all it is because he is being crunched in his position from the left, the top, the bottom and from the right.
Reason Number 1: The organization has already made moves with his peers suggesting his short future on the defence.
Erik Karlsson, Patrick Wiercioch and Mark Borowiecki were drafted in the same year, though Mark was a year older than the other two. Their respective development has been widely different but the higher picks have clearly been given priority over Mark in the organizations view, and it was even more clear this summer. Ottawa gave out 3 contracts this summer to defenceman with 1 signed in training camp. Patrick Wiercioch was given 3 years at 2 million, Cowen 4 years at 3.1 million and Corvo was signed for depth. What did Mark receive? 2 years with only 1 year guaranteed in the NHL at 600, 000, not even a third of Patrick Wiercioch. The team has already made it clear financially how much it values him by comparison, though they have given him a full season at the NHL to prove himself.
Reason Number 2: Maclean is a hardliner over defenceman being the proper hand.
For next year Borowiecki has this to look forward to in training camp. Cowen, Methot, PW (and possibly Phillips though I increasingly doubt it). Before camp starts he will already be hard pressed to jump any of them. Karlsson/Ceci have two slots locked up on the right side which would leave one possible spot for him to fill on the blueline. If Gryba is re-signed, or an FA right shot brought in, he will not be playing regularly.
Reason Number 3A: His peers have now jumped him in development on multiple occasions.
Close to 3 years ago Patrick Wiercioch was hit with the puck in the throat ending what had been a disappointing season and at the time possibly jeopardizing his career. At that point Mark Borowiecki had no one in the organization challenging him as the top defensive prospect in the AHL for Ottawa. What happened?.....other players stepped up.
Patrick Wiercioch made a statement after a summer of training/recuperating and cemented himself on the top pairing in Binghamton. More points, average 25 minutes a night and greatly improving his defensive play. Mark had very quickly been relegated to the 2nd line.
Eric Gryba similarly made a statement and when given the chance in the NHL took it.
Cody Ceci after a horrendous final year in junior (in large part because of the terrible 67's team) had a great start to the year in Binghamton and played his way onto the NHL roster.
And Mark....played well last year and had a few game in the NHL, but could not cement himself. His current problem is his immediate replacement is quite frankly kicking his ass.
Reason Number 3B: His closest competition is vastly outplaying him (And Swedish)
To start the season in Binghamton, Mark Borowiecki was assumed to be on the first pair with Fredrik Claesson on the 2nd. Claesson quickly earned more minutes and when Boro was called up took hold of the first pairing and has not let it go. The problem for Borowiecki is that after being sent down, Claesson seemed to get even better where as he has largely been uninspiring and its reflected in the numbers . (Note the AHL does not keep track of TOI and a few other stats making metrics very difficult so I will use the numbers I have available)
Mark Borowiecki: 1G 1A......-2 in 27 games with 74 penalty minutes
Fredrick Claesson: 2G 19A....... +27 in 40 games with 19 penalty minutes.
Their respective play has not even been close, Claesson is outscoring, outplaying and considerably more effective defensively. (Penalty Minutes are largely the result of Mark fighting, it really skews the numbers, though Claesson is still the more disciplined player). And Claesson also happens to be 3 years younger than Mark...which brings me to the final point.
Reason Number 4: The future is not getting any brighter
Mark Borowiecki has to make an impact with his current contract because Binghamton will be infused with multiple defensively prospects (Boyle, Wikstrand, Harpur) within the next year and a half, well simultaneously being pushed out by Claesson and to a lesser extent Wideman. At that point 5 drafts will have been made and infused into Binghamton since he was picked and the org will have turned their attention completely to other prospects.
But hey, he won the Calder Cup...and did this
Mark Borowiecki scores first NHL goal (via NHL)