Training Camp - Defense
This will be a bit more detailed than the goalies section and I will have three different views for your review. My discussion begins that this appears to be the greatest strength of the Panthers franchise, yet it has some scary things going on depth wise too.
from the first .jpg is the Info screen that shows the "value" the scouts assigned the rearguards.
Brian Campbell (8.0a/8.0a) is a good offensive defenseman who is way overpaid IMHO. His skills are maxed out and will only decline in the short term as he is 34 y/o. Campbell can play both D sides which is a bonus.
Eric Gudbranson (7.0a/7.5a) is a 21 y/o good two way defenseman who has grit and isn't afraid to mix it up. My concerns for him is his conditioning is average at best (12) and his skating is barely good enough for my system. However he is young and can play both D sides. I NEED to resign him this season.
Mike Weaver (7.0a/7.0a) Another greybeard blueliner with good defensive skills and awareness. He is 35 y/o and on his last year of his contract. sort of a bubble player for me. Good enough for 2nd or 3rd pairing and can fill in on offense/ PP if needed, but skill decine will take it's toll shortly. Trade bait is my first impression.
Tom Gilbert (6.5a/6.5a) A 30 y/o better than average across the board defenseman. Sort of surprised his skills are capped at 6.5, also in his last year I anticipate signing him for another 3-5 years as a reliable 2nd pairing rearguard.
Dimitri Kulikov (6.5a/7.5a) A youngster at 21 y/o and good upside, he too is on the last year of his $3M deal. WoW!!! As much as I like his skills and upside, he will undoubtedly be difficult to re-sign and will probably want top $$$. Two words Trade Bait!
Matt Gilroy (6.0a/6.0a) A 29 y/o who is good defensively, a decent shot and good puckhandler, but has no skating skills to make him attractive to my system. His biggest upside is he is cheap at $700K and on the last year of his deal.
Ryan Whitney (6.0a/6.0a) An offensive defenseman with good playmaking, puckhandling and shooting skills. Ryan is a decent skater and defensively weak. He is here on a one year deal after playing for the Edmonton Oilers the past four years - impressing no one but my predecessor apparently!
Mike Caruso (6.0a/6.5a) This 25 y/o is an enigma player, projects to be a decent player while his defensive skills are very good, he just cannot skate, shoot, pass or puckhandle any better than average yet the Panthers kept him at the NHL level for the past four years!!! He played in two games last year and of course did nothing! Maybe we can get him straightened out but looks gloomy at first glance.
Colby Robak (6.0a/6.5a) a 23 y/o defensive defenseman without much upside, but some grit and skill. Colby puckhandles well (15) and his playmaking and hockey sense are slightly above average. Colby will drop his gloves at the first invitation, but he seriously needs to boost his strength and conditioning if he wants the enforcer title. This former second round pick has two years left on his split contract at $650K/$100K then an affordable one way $700K second year.
Mike Mottau (6.0a/6.0a)This 35 y/o player seemingly has been around forever and it shows. Puckhandling and good defensive skills are all that keep him in camp right now. a $700K/$300K. Skating is atrocious and so is his conditioning.
Racine, Petrovic and McFadden are AHL with only Petrovic having a cup of coffee shot at playing, unless they really up thier game.