Let's take another look at the defense.
I think we can all agree that the offense is set for the top 6 once steve downie is resigned the bottom two lines will jar around with camp and who knows there might be more signings (probably not).
Now to the defense....
It's probably wrong to expect Pavel Kubina to have a poor season, given that he's a power play specialist and he joins an offense that should tear up the PP this season, his stats should look good as far as points are concerned. But the fact that +/- isn't included with PP and PK points after the season is over, at first glance, he may seem over valued, but I predict that won't be true.
Mattias Ohlund, if he gets healthy again, can't have a worse year offensively than he did last year, but nobody expects him to lead the defensemen in points. So if he stays on the + side (or close to it) 5-on-5, he will remain in the top 2 pairings (which he should)....
Victor Hedman - If he has a breakout year, expect the lightning in the playoffs plain and simple. With a strong defense and offense, and mediocre goaltending, this team will be just fine.
Mike Lundin is underrated defensively. He played great last season at times against the leagues best offensive players. He even put up a few points for the first time in his career.
Brett Clark is one of the leagues best shot blockers and this team desperately needs a shot blocker....last year there were countless amounts of shots on goal that should have been blocked, and for a team that had a hard time getting out of the zone, shot blocking is key.
Matt Smaby needs to be more physical and needs to get nasty. That would be his best attribute because he's not the best passer and I'm not sure if I've ever seen him shoot the puck.
I'm gonna go off the wall and say that big Vladimir Mihalik gets an occasional job as the 7th defense man as a PK specialist, seeing as how he's got one of the longest reaches in the league. I think he could be invaluable to break up other team's power plays with poke checks and blocked shots. If his skating and passing are weaknesses, he wouldn't have to skate or pass much to be on the penalty kill...
Out of the other D in the system, the other spots to go in and out of the line up will most likely come up to camp, but I'll go on record saying that the top 6 will be the first guys i talked about. Mihalik is more of a hope, ha.