Trade for Corey Potter!

Jonathan Willis
August 06 2013 09:53AM

It’s a rough time to be Corey Potter. The Edmonton Oilers have six other defencemen on one-way contracts, and three other guys on two-way deals who will (Justin Schultz), will likely (Anton Belov) and might (Oscar Klefbom) make the team out of training camp.

But there is good news. While the writing may be on the wall in Edmonton, Potter has virtues that should make him of interest to other NHL teams.

The Situation

As I see it, Potter currently sits ninth on the Oilers’ defensive depth chart, which I have arranged thusly:

  • Jeff Petry
  • Justin Schultz
  • Ladislav Smid
  • Andrew Ference
  • Nick Schultz
  • Denis Grebeshkov
  • Anton Belov
  • Philip Larsen
  • Corey Potter
  • Oscar Klefbom

The cut-off line for NHL employment is likely right after Philip Larsen (though it may fall just south of Anton Belov).

Already I can hear the complaint: if Anton Belov is on a two-way contract, why not ship him to the minors? There probably isn’t going to be a big gap in performance so isn’t that the smart asset management move? I doubt it, and here’s why: Belov is on a 27 year-old Russian who stands 6’4”/216 pounds and has puck-moving ability. He’s on a one-year deal and doubtless has plenty of options back home. There could well be an impact player there, and it makes no sense to stick him in the minors and possibly finish him with the team in order not to expose a decent six/seven defenceman like Potter to the waiver wire. It’s penny-wise, pound-foolish.

I have similar thoughts on Larsen, too. Potter is 29 years old, and it’s a good bet he’ll never be more than he is right now – a solid depth defenceman. Larsen is 23 and his performance at other levels indicates there might be an offensive contributor there. Unless Potter is clearly better in camp, does it really make sense to dump the guy who might make a real difference in favour of a reserve player?

Virtuous Potter

Working in Potter’s favour are a few things:

  • He’s cheap. Potter has one year left on a deal that pays him $800,000 in real dollars and has a $775,000 cap hit. That’s chump change for an NHL team.
  • He can play in all situations. Potter may have a low ceiling, but he’s versatile. He played regular third-pairing minutes at even-strength, logged almost 2:00 per game on the penalty kill and served as a point man on the Oilers’ second power play unit.
  • He is a right-handed shot. Right-shooting defencemen are generally rarer than their left-shooting equivalents.
  • He doesn’t come with Ryan Whitney. Last season, particularly without Ryan Whitney, Potter actually had pretty decent on-ice scoring chance numbers. This is actually a two-year trend – when playing with Whitney, Potter’s pairing was lit up the last two seasons; when apart from Whitney, the (terrible) Oilers came pretty close to breaking even with Potter on the ice. Separated from Whitney, Potter has looked like a competent depth defender on a bad team.

Add it all together and Potter almost certainly isn’t worth very much – he’s a cheap third-pairing/seventh defender who can hold his own and play anywhere he’s put. A team tight to the salary cap still in need of a player to round out their depth chart could probably use him, and maybe the Oilers could get a late draft pick out of that team for their troubles.

Then again, with most teams seemingly done for the summer, maybe there isn’t a trade market. In that case, the Oilers can stick Potter on waivers – if he clears, the team has a useful depth guy in the minors, and in the (likely) event that he doesn’t he’ll have a chance at a second opinion from another NHL team.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 The Soup Fascist
August 06 2013, 11:21AM
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One of the most frustrating things for me last year was this guy continually playing ahead of Fistric. I have no idea what Fumbellini was thinking giving up a 3rd for Fistric and then two days later showing up on Gregor's show and announcing to the world that Corey Potter was in "his" top six and Fistric was not.

a) Isn't naming the lineup supposed to be the coaches job?

b) The Oilers continued to get their heads kicked in while Fistric and Peckhamburger sat in the press box - watching Potter play with all the edge of a wet Kleenex.

NOTHING made me more mental than watching that night in and night out ...... Except Horcoff and Smyth out together to start O.T., the Oilers D-zone coverage and Eric Belanger.

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#2 j
August 06 2013, 01:14PM
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jamet wrote:

"educated fan" gimme a break how pretentious are you?

Why the venom? Aren't we all educated fans? Isn't that precisely the reason we are reading this/commenting? Stick to commenting on the comments please.

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#3 Cutterov
August 06 2013, 10:29AM
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It's quite simple if Corey Potter is on your 2nd unit power play you are not A playoff team... He and Nick Schultz are weak links on the back end... Not offensive, not physical and both need to go... If we can get a 5th, 6th, or 7th I'm all for it

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#4 godot10
August 06 2013, 11:22AM
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Potter is a cheap depth defensemen that can be stashed in OKC without cap impact. LA signed Ellerby and Jeff Schultz to be 8 and 9 on their depth chart.

Defensemen get hurt.

Why do people consider defensive depth a problem?

Potter has no cap impact if he is playing in OKC.

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#5 Romulus' Apotheosis
August 06 2013, 02:05PM
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I think the one to go has to be N. Schultz.

MacT has made speed and puck movement a priority. Those aren't his attributes. We are already stocked on the left side (though he plays both sides, he shoots left). He is very well paid for where he sits on the depth chart. Veteran defensemen are always in demand and often get a fair return.

Potter is cheap, moves the puck, can easily be put in the AHL without costing the team anything, plays the right side and his contract matches his place on the depth chart.

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#6 Young Oil
August 06 2013, 11:03AM
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Instead of dealing Potter for a late round pick, why not include him as a part of a bigger deal? He is an inexpensive option that could be of great use to cap strapped teams. We could even deal him at half price. Many teams in a cap crunch would be thrilled to get a 6/7 defender for a cap hit under 400K.

Just a theoretical situation: The Oilers have tons of D depth, and 3 top 6 RWs, but not enough depth in the bottom 6. The Rangers have tons of bottom 6 depth, but need a #2RW, and inexpensive players to put in their lineup to make room to sign Stepan. There's tons of potential for a deal there.

Just for the sake of argument:

Hemsky+Potter, both at half price

for

Boyle+Kreider+Palmieri.

That fits the needs for both teams IMO.

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#7 Spydyr
August 06 2013, 12:25PM
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Trade him and the rights to Omark for Weber. What is Mac-T is waiting for?

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#8 Pouzar99
August 06 2013, 04:21PM
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For those who say Potter will easily clear waivers, remember, in their search for a depth D man the Canucks picked up Barker last year.

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#9 steelymac
August 06 2013, 08:12PM
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DSF wrote:

You deliver to Vancouver Island?

Bring it on!

DSF get off my ISLAND

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#10 madjam
August 06 2013, 10:45AM
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I sure am going to miss the Corey Potter Power Play goals

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#11 Taylor Gang
August 06 2013, 05:39PM
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I still think the trash button is hilarious if DSF comments.

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#12 DSF
August 06 2013, 12:20PM
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Sloppy Joe wrote:

Would Edmonton have enough cap room to carry Boyle+Kreider+Palmieri and 1/2 of Hemsky +Potter? Honest question.I thought Edmonton was actually pretty close to being capped out with the current roster.

The Rangers currently have more cap space than the Oilers.

The Rangers have $2M with a 24 man roster and need to sign Stepan which they should be able to do with a little roster shuffling.

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#13 Darrell
August 06 2013, 07:49PM
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Sloopy Joe wrote:

Thanks for the info.

I'm getting a kick out of the trash/props buttons. I think you're getting killed on reputation alone - your reply above was resoundingly trashed. I don't agree with many of your posts, but I don't see how this one was was particularly objectionalble!

Like the whore of ON - sleep in bed you made DSF .....

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#14 The Soup Fascist
August 07 2013, 08:08AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

You can always tell when it's actually madjam. Real madjam has a special relationship with commas and periods. For some reason , all his punctuation get their own space , like this .

Maybe Madjam , is , in reality , Christopher , Walken.

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#15 Oilers42
August 06 2013, 10:53AM
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Hopefully opening night is Smid-Petry Ference-Schultz Belov-Grebeshkov Larsen

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#16 Sloopy Joe
August 06 2013, 01:24PM
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DSF wrote:

The Rangers currently have more cap space than the Oilers.

The Rangers have $2M with a 24 man roster and need to sign Stepan which they should be able to do with a little roster shuffling.

Thanks for the info.

I'm getting a kick out of the trash/props buttons. I think you're getting killed on reputation alone - your reply above was resoundingly trashed. I don't agree with many of your posts, but I don't see how this one was was particularly objectionalble!

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#17 The_CWD_GarbageMan
August 06 2013, 03:54PM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

Also, I'd like to thank all who took time to trash my comment the other day. I reached 100 dumps in less the 10 hours. Respek.!..

CWD congratulates your efforts ... we commend your weak contribution and insight to everything oilersnation related.

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#18 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
August 07 2013, 07:01AM
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DSF wrote:

Just wait until I post that Hopkins can't score on the road.

just wait until i post the list of all the misses you have had lately.

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#19 Racki
August 06 2013, 08:56PM
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Yes, I'm sure Nail tweeted the Edmonton Oilers account to request a trade.. this sounds very logical. Only in paranoid Edmonton do we consider this as a possibility.

My guess it was something completely irrelevant to us fans.

Edit: Btw, I do realize you're possibly being facetious, but I wouldn't put this past anyone here either to actually believe he's requesting a trade via twitter.

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#20 yawto
August 06 2013, 10:11AM
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Hopefully this is the fist bold move for mact this fall.

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#21 vetinari
August 06 2013, 10:48AM
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He'll likely get us a mid to late round pick, and frankly, if you can get it-- take it. He's a "tweener"-- not good enough to crack our top 7 (unless injuries start to pile up) and likely too good to be a pure AHLer. I'm guessing he'll get shipped out during pre-season games when teams have a chance to see what they have but before roster limits get enforced.

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#22 TKB2677
August 06 2013, 02:17PM
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Here's the issue.

Corey Potter isn't very good so who wants him. If Corey Potter is in your top 6, you are probably a lousy team.

He's a guy that can spot in for a few games at a time and not kill you but if he is playing more than 30 games a season for your team, your team defence is clearly not good enough.

SO how big of a market is there for a tweener Dman? Not much.

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#23 Will
August 06 2013, 11:44AM
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See if there's low trade value for him, if there isn't then he likely won't get lost to waivers, if there is then generate a bidding war and see how many bags of pucks we can get for him.

It's too bad as I remember when he secured his spot he was running our power play quite well. TO me he seems like another mismanaged player that could be better than he is under a different system.

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#24 BC Fan
August 06 2013, 04:24PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

Flip it around for a sec...

When Potter got his contract, he was a poor defenseman playing well and flourishing under that system.

When the system was changed, so did Potter's play.

You might see someone like Detroit pick him up because of the past relationship with Renney.

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#25 Manfly
August 06 2013, 04:58PM
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Pouzar99 wrote:

For those who say Potter will easily clear waivers, remember, in their search for a depth D man the Canucks picked up Barker last year.

i think we should continue to help the Canucks "O- for" by letting them pick up Potter on waivers as well! :-p

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#26 Taylor Gang
August 06 2013, 05:42PM
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I don't see the appeal of trading low end players off the roster. It seems like a waste of MacT's time to trade Potter for like a 5th if they probably won't get an NHL player with it anyways. We should worry about the important players on the roster before worrying about spare parts.

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#27 TayLordBalls
August 06 2013, 06:27PM
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on principle alone - any player that skates over the face of another should not be on the team.

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#28 madjam
August 06 2013, 02:52PM
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How come I have double the trashes as props.. And I haven't even made a trade proposal involving Snowpants or Weber yet.

No one trashes madjam. No one. I want to see my name on the all time leaderboards for highest props. So you anonymous punks better quit the trashing.

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#29 DSF
August 06 2013, 06:39PM
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Just wait until I post that Hopkins can't score on the road.

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#30 Geoff
August 06 2013, 10:38AM
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If Potter is so good then why don't we keep him? :P

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#31 educated fan
August 06 2013, 11:20AM
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Might not be a bad idea to have Belov start in the Ahl, just to adapt to the smaller ice. Either way, Potter will likely pass waivers and remain in the AHL until the inevitable injury call.

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#32 DSF
August 06 2013, 06:43PM
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Racki wrote:

What's Philly's D situation like now? I haven't been paying attention there. Are they still looking for D? Or are they looking for higher end D?

Was thinking Potter plus more could perhaps lure Talbot away since the Oil had almost (apparently) made a deal for him last year before he broke his leg. I think he'd add a lot to the bottom six.

Thinking that the Oil could help them save some cap perhaps. The Oilers don't have a lot of cap space, themselves, but they also are still likely to ship Nick Schultz somewhere, I believe.

No one needs Potter unless they get him for free.

# 7 D on the worst defensive team in hockey is hardly a badge of merit.

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#33 Sloppy Joe
August 06 2013, 11:53AM
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Young Oil wrote:

Instead of dealing Potter for a late round pick, why not include him as a part of a bigger deal? He is an inexpensive option that could be of great use to cap strapped teams. We could even deal him at half price. Many teams in a cap crunch would be thrilled to get a 6/7 defender for a cap hit under 400K.

Just a theoretical situation: The Oilers have tons of D depth, and 3 top 6 RWs, but not enough depth in the bottom 6. The Rangers have tons of bottom 6 depth, but need a #2RW, and inexpensive players to put in their lineup to make room to sign Stepan. There's tons of potential for a deal there.

Just for the sake of argument:

Hemsky+Potter, both at half price

for

Boyle+Kreider+Palmieri.

That fits the needs for both teams IMO.

Would Edmonton have enough cap room to carry Boyle+Kreider+Palmieri and 1/2 of Hemsky +Potter? Honest question.I thought Edmonton was actually pretty close to being capped out with the current roster.

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#34 Tikkanese
August 06 2013, 01:33PM
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Potter has zero trade value. There are many better UFA options which are probably cheaper both $ wise and by not having to lose any assets to trade for.

Plus if by some miracle that somehow you really liked Potter, you will very likely be able to have him for free on waivers given the Oilers sudden depth of middling defencemen. So why lose an asset?

That all said, barring a run of injuries, I bet he clears waivers and will be in OKC come Oct 1.

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#35 The_CWD_GarbageMan
August 06 2013, 03:30PM
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Sloopy Joe wrote:

Thanks for the info.

I'm getting a kick out of the trash/props buttons. I think you're getting killed on reputation alone - your reply above was resoundingly trashed. I don't agree with many of your posts, but I don't see how this one was was particularly objectionalble!

I'll deliver a bin to this guys house right away ... just a garbage comment.

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#36 Tyler
August 06 2013, 04:23PM
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Forget corsi, wowy, sledgehammers, and adjusted zone starts, can we get an advanced trash to props ratio stat?

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#37 DSF
August 06 2013, 08:13PM
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steelymac wrote:

DSF get off my ISLAND

No YOU!

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#38 kgo
August 06 2013, 09:50PM
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I've had family living on Vancouver Island since the 60's....IT's my island!!!!

seriously tho, why have i been watching oiler games alone in victoria with all these hardcore fans in the area.....lets get an unnofficial Oilers bar going next season

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#39 The Soup Fascist
August 06 2013, 10:05PM
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kgo wrote:

I've had family living on Vancouver Island since the 60's....IT's my island!!!!

seriously tho, why have i been watching oiler games alone in victoria with all these hardcore fans in the area.....lets get an unnofficial Oilers bar going next season

Well you are off to a roaring start with staunch Oiler supporter DSF .........

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#40 jamet
August 06 2013, 12:27PM
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educated fan wrote:

Might not be a bad idea to have Belov start in the Ahl, just to adapt to the smaller ice. Either way, Potter will likely pass waivers and remain in the AHL until the inevitable injury call.

"educated fan" gimme a break how pretentious are you?

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#41 Sanaa Montana
August 06 2013, 01:35PM
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I find it hard to believe that Potter(9th on the Oilers list) has any better value or appreciation with other NHL teams.

He'll play the next year in the AHL, then probably retire after that.

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#42 Manfly
August 06 2013, 01:55PM
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i'd love to see Nick Schultz and Corey Potter both gone. it's a gamble going with Grebs again, as well as inexperienced d-men like Larson, Klefbom and Belov, but hey, why not take a gamble?

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#43 Wäx Män Riley
August 06 2013, 03:20PM
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Will wrote:

See if there's low trade value for him, if there isn't then he likely won't get lost to waivers, if there is then generate a bidding war and see how many bags of pucks we can get for him.

It's too bad as I remember when he secured his spot he was running our power play quite well. TO me he seems like another mismanaged player that could be better than he is under a different system.

Flip it around for a sec...

When Potter got his contract, he was a poor defenseman playing well and flourishing under that system.

When the system was changed, so did Potter's play.

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#44 DSF
August 06 2013, 06:50PM
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Stats Guy wrote:

+1, -1, Look like even on the year. Not pushing the river, but not getting killed. 4th LW at best.

Some of us go to the blue paint against tough competiton.

The rest are perimeter players.

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#45 The Soup Fascist
August 06 2013, 10:18PM
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book¡e wrote:

I think this is fake Majam - (Majam needs to register an account) - ironically, the code was about getting Nail the Twitter Checkmark verifying him as the real Nail.

I wonder if Madjam is verified on Twitter yet?

Would be advisable as there appear to be a rash of "Madjam posers" out there.

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#46 Rama Lama
August 06 2013, 10:46AM
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With all the unsigned UFA defensemen still out there, I doubt if he will looked at by any team. Yes he comes cheap, but there seems to be no team out there looking to make a deal for a depth defenseman.......everyone seems to have guys like this on their roster.

I still think that Potter paird with the right guy is a great third pairing .......maybe with Nick Schultz? When we have all six puck mover and no real defenders I'm wondering if Mac T starts looking for these tyoe of guys?

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#47 50 in 39
August 06 2013, 04:21PM
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@madjam

That's because it is the Corey Power Potter Play goals that you will be missing

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#48 Racki
August 06 2013, 05:46PM
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What's Philly's D situation like now? I haven't been paying attention there. Are they still looking for D? Or are they looking for higher end D?

Was thinking Potter plus more could perhaps lure Talbot away since the Oil had almost (apparently) made a deal for him last year before he broke his leg. I think he'd add a lot to the bottom six.

Thinking that the Oil could help them save some cap perhaps. The Oilers don't have a lot of cap space, themselves, but they also are still likely to ship Nick Schultz somewhere, I believe.

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#49 DSF
August 06 2013, 06:40PM
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The_CWD_GarbageMan wrote:

I'll deliver a bin to this guys house right away ... just a garbage comment.

You deliver to Vancouver Island?

Bring it on!

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#50 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 07 2013, 08:01AM
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@madjam

You can always tell when it's actually madjam. Real madjam has a special relationship with commas and periods. For some reason , all his punctuation get their own space , like this .

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