At this point, I think they could definitely use a stop-gap before Ouellet, Marchenko, Sproul, etc. come up to the big club. I don't want that stop gap to be Kyle Quincey again. Almquist should battle for a spot on the team in camp, and I think he could be an asset on the PP, even just for the short term. Lashoff has been running around too much lately, and I'm not sure how much management trusts him as an every day defender.
Out of the UFA crop I'd be willing to take a look at Meszaros, Orpik, Mitchell, Greene or Nikitin before I went with Quincey/Lashoff as a regular, even if it's just as a two-year transition period. I know some (maybe most) of those guys will be retained by their current team, but those are pretty much the five I'd take over the current situation. Worst case scenario, so long as Quincey moves on, I'd still be fine with some combination of Kronwall, Ericsson, Smith and DeKeyser as the top 4, with Kindl, Lashoff and Almquist rounding things out.
I just hope Kenny doesn't have some misguided sense of loyalty toward Quincey. He's a product of the team's development and they gave up a 1st for him... but he's still Kyle Quincey. Please, just let him go, Kenny.
“You tell me how often it happens when a guy put up two points, has a good game, and next thing you know he sits for 10 games,” Kindl said. “But that’s in the past and I don’t want have that in my mind. I’m just excited for this new camp."
“I always tried to have confidence when I wasn’t playing. It wasn’t easy for me. You may think you played a good game and you sit down for the next 10 (games) and keep going back and forth, but all that is in the past and I’m just looking forward to a new challenge.”