The battle is on between Derek Meech and Brent Sopel for the final defenseman roster spot. The team is looking to have seven defensemen on the roster and they already have six defensemen leaving one open roster spot that should go to either Meech or Sopel. If Meech does not earn the position, he will have to be sent down to the AHL and pass through waivers. He would most likely get picked off of waivers and the Wings would receive nothing in return.
So do the Wings want to select the player who just came off a career year in the AHL (Meech) or a player who is 7 years older and couldn't find a team to sign him (Sopel)?
If I had to make a prediction about which player the team will go with, I'd have to say Sopel. It sounds like he's had a good training camp so far and the team could see him as a top four defenseman. But the Wings don't lose anything if they don't Sopel, while that's not the case with Meech so who can say what head coach Mike Babcock's decision will be.
"I think he has the chance to be a real good fit for us," said Babcock. "He can shoot the puck. He can skate with the puck. He's had some of the erratic play. ... We think he has the potential to be a top-four defenseman. Now just because we think it doesn't mean it's going to happen."
Sopel has been paired up with Nicklas Lidstrom and Meech has been partnered with veteran Chris Chelios.