With the Leafs training camp about open soon they have 10 defensemen challenging for spots this coming fall. With Kaberle, McCabe and Kubina all being locks with their big contracts that leave’s three spots open for seven defensemen. Hall Gill would have been a lock but with loads of young D they could fly right by him in the depth chart. Ian White would seem to be the sixth d man given he’d probably play with Gill. Now with Carlo playing with McCabe and Kaberle with Kubina. That would mean Wozniewski, Harrison, Kronwall and Stralmon are all on the outside looking in. I didn’t count Belak because it seems pretty clear that unless there are serious injuries he won’t be playing D at all this season.
Now lets look realistically the leafs have great deal of offense on the blue line but is still missing a hard nose stay at home defensemen. Would Wozniewski or Harrison be a solution to that? Let’s see how about no as Harrison has complete lost his confidence when Paul Maurice took over last year and showed nothing when he was called up with Pat Quinn. Wozniewski is a much different story as he showed he could play as a sixth defenseman but then a shoulder injury sidelined him for up to four months after that he was average that rest of the way. That leaves Kronwall and Stralmon left and since Stralmon hasn’t even played on the North American ice he’s probably for now an outside shot of making the team. Doesn’t mean that couldn’t but we have yet to see what he can do. Now with Kronwall he’s probably got a good chance at making the seventh defenseman because of his size and positioning along the blue line and don’t forget he’s mobility is pretty good to. He also suffered an injury but to his ankle that kept him really from making the team last season. When its all said and done this is how the D pairings look like
Kaberle – Kubina
Colaiacovo - McCabe
Gill - White