11 – Shea Weber
One of the best defensemen in the league to not win a Norris Trophy. Has that window closed? It very well may have. But Weber is still a very effective No. 1 blueliner in Montreal. He carried a weak blueline corps in Montreal last season. What his $7.857 million cap hit will look like come 2023 is a conversation for another day.
12 – Ryan McDonagh
Speaking of Montreal’s blue line, the Habs traded away McDonagh for Scott Gomez and Tom Pyatt in 2009. Think they’d take that one back? McDonagh has carried the water for an underwhelming Rangers defense in recent seasons. He’ll get some help this season with Kevin Shattenkirk to his right.
13 – Mark Giordano
He formed one of the league’s best defensive pairings with Dougie Hamilton last season and before that had a good thing going with T.J. Brodie. Sense a trend?
14 – Justin Faulk
Faulk is the senior, veteran presence on the uber-talented Carolina blueline. He’s 25 years old. He’s averaged 23:47 of ice time since 2012-13 while putting up 170 points in 335 games.
15 – Colton Parayko
No idea how he lasted until the third round in the 2012 draft. Either way, the Blues have a perfect compliment to Pietrangelo as a big, skilled defenseman that can move the puck. Parayko’s $5.5 million cap hit through 2021-22 will age nicely.