Third pairing options
Anyway, if these two scenarios come true, this would push Cody Ceci down to the third pairing – and frankly the bottom pairing is crowded enough as it is. Putting Ceci on the bottom pairing then pushes Vincent Desharnais out of the lineup – something that is very much undeserved at this point in time – not to mention it could potentially create a very expensive bottom pairing, if Brett Kulak is his partner.
Even if neither of these scenarios comes to pass, push is coming to shove sooner rather than later, especially with LD Ben Gleason also challenging for a spot and leading the Oilers in preseason scoring from the defence. That puts three candidates at the left pairing D spot on the third pairing – Kulak, Broberg, and the aforementioned Gleason.
This means at least one player will be the odd man out. Uless Ken Holland wants one of those players to succumb to rust from not playing, or risk losing Kulak on waivers if he’s sent to Bakersfield at least temporarily. (Gleason and Broberg are still under two-way contracts for this upcoming season, so they can be sent right back down to Bakersfield if need be.)
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Of course rumor has it that the Oilers have been unhappy with the slow progress Broberg has been making and might be shopping him as well. It hasn’t helped that Broberg’s training camp has only been so-so, though he does have two assists in four games, so it’s not exactly all bad.
Personally I would not be in favor of a veteran third pairing of Kulak-Ceci, as it would likely have the dubious distinction of being one of – if not the – most expensive third pairing in the NHL. That’s $6 million for the third pairing total for the two of them and this is simply too much for bottom pairing D.