Good discussion going on over in the comments of the Chief's latest, on the Wings' D, specifically in regard to the unlikelihood of Danny Markov's return and the value of Brett Lebda. I argue over there that Lebda is a solid 3rd-pair guy but not to get hopes up much higher than that. If the Wings give him a lot of PP time I think he could get 2nd-pair offensive numbers, but with the Wings being as stacked as they are I don't see it really happening. Also at some point the Wings are going to have to choose between Lebda and Meech - they are the same player, and the Wings can't afford to have both these guys on an already very small backcourt.
So with Holland basically saying Meech has the 7th D spot wrapped up, here's my guess for the Wings' D pairings:
Lids - Kronner
Rafalski - Lilja
Lebs - Cheli
To me Kronner with Nick makes sense because a) Nik Jr. needs to show he's a top d-man, and b) who better to teach him to temper his physical ways. Rafalski/Lilja then is a pretty obvious second pair - one offensive guy, one stay at homer. This makes for a dramatically improved second-unit, defensively speaking, over last year's Schneids/Nik combo. And finally, Lebs goes with the immortal Chris Chelios, and anytime Meech plays, he'd go with the Highlander as well.
Really, Lids, Rafalski, Lebs, and Cheli are all locks to be where they are - Kronner and Lilja are the only question marks. Lils needs to build off of a good postseason, Kronner needs to stay fucking healthy.
In other news I updated my banner. Spiffy, no? Emma Andersson was this close to getting into the banner, right where Dom is currently sprawling. Hey, this gives me a reason to post a picture (specifically, the one I was going to use in the banner:)
Unfortunately her pink bikini and sunny seaside scenery (if I may alliterate) sort of broke up the color scheme with banner so it didn't work out. Damn.