Greene while he had a outstanding season last year, is still a fairly inexperienced and unproven Dman. I'd love to think he'll be a Paul Martin replacement, but honestly that's really wishful thinking. I think he'll be a good dman, but nothing more than a 2nd pairing guy and he'll get some PP time. I think he's too small of a guy to be on the top pairing. He's just not going to be capable of shutting down big time players because they won't be worried to cut to middle on him because they know they don't have to worry about him putting them on their ass. I've noticed in his play very often that when pressured, especially along the boards, he'll become impatient, make a pass too soon or cough up the puck. He's got a great offensive upside, but he still needs to improve his defensive game to impress me this year.
Trading Clarkson in my opinion is a terrible idea. He really started to show his upside offensively the past two years and he plays a role that no one else does on our roster. He's really rounding out his game and I think trading him would be a big mistake when this year if he continues to improve could be a guy who puts up 35-45 points and sticks up for his teammates when necessary and all for 2.7million. That sounds like a fair price for what he does for this team.
As far as the rookie defenseman, there's no way we have more than 1 in the starting lineup come opening night. Lou has always been slow to give youngsters responsibility with the big club and I don't see him allowing our defense have a couple rookies on it along with an untested guy like Greene on the top pairing. It would be too big a risk to do this.
What I would do is waive Zubrus, sign Mair to a league minimum contract, maybe a little more, but no more than 750k and have him play as the 3rd or 4th line center and have him alternate that position with a youngster like Josefson or what seems more likely is to alternate it with Pelley.
I'd like a lineup to look like this:
Corrente-Fraser- I think this pairing gets little ice time or one of the top pairing guys will play shifts with either of these players to creat a 3rd pairing and will alternate as to not wear anyone out too much during a game. Salmela will be play consistently in the 5-6 spot when he returns from LTIR
Tedenby-Like to see him in the big club, but lacks the size and strength to an NHLer at the moment. Needs time in the AHL to adjust to the smaller ice surface. Hopefully he'll get a couple call ups though.
I think the 3rd and 4th line Centers I listed are all pretty much interchangeable and Josefson's place in all of this is very much dependent on what we see of him when and if he gets playing time. He could end up in Albany along with Tedenby and end up only getting a few call ups this year.