Lee is more the victim of a numbers game than anything here. His two way contract helped the decision as did his style of game. The Sens suddenly have a plethora of puck moving and soft defensemen in Chris Campoli, Filip Kuba, Erik Karlsson and Alex Picard. His offensive upside is far less than Karlsson and his physical game, although it did pick up in the latter stages of last season, is FAR less than Matt Carkner. Carkner's ability to sing up to forward as well was a clinching point for his sticking with the big club for now.
In my opinion, Lee is running out of time with the Sens and HAS to have an impressive stint in Bingo to earn a shot up here. Failing that, the Sens need to move a defenseman which is unlikely at this point. The prime candidate to move is Picard and for better or worse, he plays the same game as Lee. Picard also possesses a wicked point shot which helps his cause. If Picard continues to develop and isn't moved, Lee is stuck in Bingo. The Sens badly need some meanness back there and Carkner addresses than need, however his offensive upside is very limited. Bryan Murray would like a Pronger-lite type who can move the puck, help out on offense as well as punish opposing forecheckers and drop the gloves when called out. If Lee can the latter part to his resume, he'll be fine.
Watch for Chris Neil to have a big season. He finally has some help in the knuckles department as he did when he was his most productive offensively. I've heard him say himself, it's hard to show how good your hands are when they're swollen and bruised all season. I'll try and get in interview with him and talk about this among other topics.