I think the "right shooting defenseman" thing has tended to get overblown over the last three years. Nothing about being a right shooter makes a guy better, or more deserving of a roster spot. It's a characteristic that, all things being equal, you'd like to have a balance of.
For instance, Marchenko and Smith were a better pair last year than Smith and Zidlicky. In one instance having a righty worked, and in the other it didn't make much difference. If forced to choose, I would rather have seen Smith with another lefty (Ouellet?), or Zidlicky with another righty (Marchenko?), rather than those two together.
The lefty righty thing is based on all other variables being equal. If you're trying to find a partner for a lefty, and you've got two good guys with similar skillsets, then pick a righty. But if one guy is a mismatch in every other way, but is right handed, don't give him the spot based primarily on that.
Just my 2 cents.
- nyqvististhefuture likes this