January 10 2012 05:03PM
I've always cheered for the underdog. Along with making me an ideal Oiler fan circa 1991+, it also means that few things in sport make me smile more than things like Corey Power Potterplay's new contract and Gilbert Brule's new lease on life. It should be this way for all of us.
Corey Potter was not the belle of the ball when it came draft day He was a 4th rounder, 122nd overall to the New York Rangers and was chosen after the Oilers had taken all the good players (Pouliot, McDonald, Jacques, Stortini and the infamous Mikhail Youkov) earlier.
After being drafted, Potter played 115 NCAA games with Michigan State and then turned pro. His professional long and winding road included 43 games in the ECHL, 321 in the American Hockey League and a couple of cups of coffee in NHL cities. They are listed here:
The Edmonton Oilers had some inside info on Potter and apparently had an interest that went back at least a year before he signed with the Oildrop. Coach Tom Renney knew him well and had made a mental note that Potter might be a qualified NHL defender who "never got a break." Damned if he wasn't right on the money.
Corey Potter signed a completely reasonable (for both sides) contract this week and the Edmonton Oilers have another defender. He came to us in via free agency, but not the big money Cam Barker router. No, Potter was a "bet" that paid off and the Oilers have another option in the rotation.
WHERE WILL HE FIT?
Hell if I know, people keep throwing up #1D and top 4D like it has some kind of hard meaning. I do think that Potter shouid be a solid PP option (1 or 2) for the length of the contract and can play even strength minutes outside the "well, they're sending out Gretzky, Kurri and Tikkanen for the faceoff" moments.
I guess that's a 5-6, and for the money Edmonton spent well. Looking forward to next season, their depth chart might line up like this:
And maybe the Oilers sign a free agent or make a big trade in the summer and that forces them to make a decision on Theo Peckham. If the Oilers bring in TWO defenders, then we'll know Ryan Whitney really is staring into the abyss.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
This week, Corey Potter earned some security and is bona fide. Gilbert Brule has a chance to earn that right in Phoenix, and after the tough run he's had in the last year or so I can't imagine anyone is cheering against him. The NHL has 690 jobs at any given time, and tonight both of these young men are on rosters.
Best of luck to both of them.