We can agree to disagree on where he should be in terms of lines but I do disagree with not using his body effectively- that's one of the features of his game that has become a weapon. He lead ALL defenseman in hits by a landslide ( 26 more in the regular season that Kronwall)
I'll agree Ericsson has improved, but I don't think he is a top two D man! He still turns the puck over too frequently, generally doesn't think the game all that well, and doesn't use his big body effectively in most situations. And when you think about it, this is his sixth season playing with the big club! I expect more from him for the salary he is paid and for the years of experience he has! He has developed too slowly, and in my opinion, the Wings should look at trading him while they still might get something for him, rather than letting him walk as a free agent!
As for trading him.....we just signed him in the summer so he isn't slated to become a UFA for 3 years. At a 3.25 million cap hit, I would also disagree with your assertion that he is overpaid. Quincey makes more!
Anyway, I am not arguing that he is the next Bobby Orr or that he should win the Norris....I simply wanted to give Kudos where they are due. We dog the guys when they don't show up...I think we should also praise when they excel.