Weekly Question: What Kind of Pairing is Best for Erik Karlsson

Derek Leung

Today's Weekly Question looks at which type of player is the best fit with Erik Karlsson

Ottawa's blueline difficulties have been well documented this season. With the possibility to strengthen the defense as part of the return package in a potential deal involving Jason Spezza, many have suggested finding a partner for Erik Karlsson should be Bryan Murray's primary goal. Inspired by rimcc's recent fan post, today's Weekly Question asks: which type of defensemen is the best option for Erik Karlsson?

Defensive Defenseman

Karlsson is known for his explosive offensive but some think his defensive play lacks attention to detail. A defensive defenseman, especially one with decent passing skills, like Marc Methot, would be a good fit with Karlsson because he would give the Norris Trophy winner the space to operate while keeping things locked down in Ottawa's end.

Offensive Defenseman

Pairing Karlsson with an offensive defenseman is not always a popular suggestion, but would prove fruitful if given a try. While Karlsson has paired with blueliners with some offensive upside (most notably Filip Kuba) he has never been paired with an offensively-gifted defenseman, who thinks offense first and drives possession. Both Karlsson and teammate Patrick Wiercioch have positive possession numbers and while they've hardly played together, could prove a productive pairing.

Balanced Defenseman

Pairing Karlsson with another defenseman who possesses a well-rounded game is the final option. This type of player can complement Karlsson's offensive ability while providing stability in Ottawa's end. The Senators don't really have a blueliner who fits this description right now, but maybe a player like Cody Ceci can develop into this type of partner.

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