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, Sportsnet, 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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#51 OilDieHard
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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#52 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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#53 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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#54 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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#55 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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#56 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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#57 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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#58 Racki
August 06 2013, 10:05PM
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Stand down from suicide watch you Paranoilers.

@EdmontonOilers Just getting Nail verified on Twitter! RT @Nail10_1993 @EdmontonOilers can u UNSWER on my message , in Private Messaging?please ! Thanks

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#59 book¡e
August 06 2013, 10:05PM
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madjam wrote:

Unrelated, but what do you think this tweet means?

https://twitter.com/Nail10_1993/status/364923309294501888

Rumour is Yak City went straight to the Oilers twitter account to request a trade and is awaiting a response.

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.

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#60 The Soup Fascist
August 06 2013, 11:17PM
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OilClog wrote:

Might be able to drink some clarity into him :)

You may want to ferry in a few cases of Absinthe .......

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#61 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 07 2013, 08:22AM
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What up with the whole Nail Yakupov twitter thing from last evening. Looks to be a fairly credible account from my vantage point. Anyone know what was mentioned?

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#62 OilClog
August 07 2013, 08:57AM
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book¡e wrote:

The Oilers were working to get Yakupov verified on twitter (the checkmark). The process of doing so involves the sending of some codes and some back and forth between recognized accounts (such as @edmontonoilers) and the account that is being verified. Essentially Twitter verifies people by someone else vouching for them - like them mob.

Yakupov sent some of the things publically as opposed to direct messaging them and they seemed strange (like a string of numbers). He followed them up with a message "Oilers pleas unser my message" or something like that because he was waiting for the Oilers to finish their end of the process.

Now, because fans could not understand this and as Edmontonians and Oiler fans they are prone to being insecure, they read a lot into the messages which were basically meaninglessness.

They were not meaningless!! They were scary :(

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#63 westcoastoil
August 06 2013, 04:02PM
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Potter's on a 1 way and (barring injury) it's most likely that he'll not make the club out of TC. If we can look at the depth chart so can other GM's so unless someone wants/needs him badly thinking he's a better option than one of the unsigned UFA why waste an asset when you can grab him off waivers.

If he clears and starts the year in the AHL he'll be a nice asset there on a young D corp. and give the big club nice D depth.

Does anyone know if Larsen has to clear waivers?

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#64 BC Fan
August 06 2013, 04:24PM
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Wax Man 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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#65 Stats Guy
August 06 2013, 06:47PM
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@Tyler

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

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#66 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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#67 OilClog
August 06 2013, 10:41PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

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

Might be able to drink some clarity into him :)

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#68 @Oilanderp
August 06 2013, 07:23PM
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How about we wait to see what happens in camp. What kind of wand will Mr Potter wave without Whitney? We wait.

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#69 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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#70 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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#71 Spurzey
August 06 2013, 11:03PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

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.

Haha. Still choking from the koolaid spewing out of my nose and onto the keyboard. "Peckhamburger" hilarious

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#72 RomZ
August 07 2013, 07:45AM
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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.

Didn't we take Potter from the rangers farm team because Renney had a relationship with him during his time there?

Not sure why they would want him if he couldn't crack the team in the first place.

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#73 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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#74 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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#75 wheeler
August 07 2013, 09:57AM
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No wonder you have this madjam guy saying he's being watched and has others impersonating him etc, you give him so much attention to feed these multiple personas. Here's a lesson; Quit giving the man the attention, and the antics will surely stop. There's no doubt it's the same person playing a clever but silly game.

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#76 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 07 2013, 10:03AM
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@wheeler

Eh, we're into the dog days now. We need entertainment from somewhere.

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#77 Wax Man Riley
August 07 2013, 10:43AM
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Will wrote:

Hhhmmmm, my memory is not that long, but please correct me. Didn't Potter play under Renny for two years? And wasn't he only good for the first half of one of those years?

Fair enough if you think the system of play was different under Kreuger which led to Potter's play; however, I think the numbers showed he played just fine under Krueger. His powerplay time got taken by J Schultz, and his defensive play was hurt by being constantly paired with Whitney. Why Krueger didn't play Fistric and Potter as the bottom pair more often always confused me.

My biggest complaint is his age. He seems to be trending upwards, but he's also getting into his prime so it's not like he's a young guy with a lot of years ahead of him.

True, but there you go right there... Under Krueger, Potter didn't get powerplay time, and was benched or stranded with Whitney.

He flourished(-ish) under Renney and got a contract, but under a different coach, couldn't perform.

I was more just making a statement against "another player mismanaged by the Oilers." I can't defend the Oilers decisions with most of their players, we all know their history (Souray, Gagner, Cogliano, Deslauriers, Belanger, Glencross...and the list goes on), but I think in this case it wasn't an issue of mismanagement as it is that Potter is just not that good.

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#78 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 07 2013, 08:45PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Yak for Weber? Straight across? I do that deal. Lets leave the Preds waving a sad farewell to Yak as he boards Aeroflot heading for Stalingrad.

Who is a best fit beside Shea on our top D-pairing? Petry?

Could even sweeten that by throwing in a Petry or Nick Schultz. Loads of opportunity there with Weber. A couple periods with Justin Schultz/Oscar Klefbom may get you a lead on a lot of nights. Pair him up with Smid if you're wanting to slow things down or protect a lead in the third.

It would still work team salary structure wise. If the kids turn into superstars they be in that 8'ish per on their next deal as well. Can you imagine him and Nurse working in tandem in a few yrs. Oil Countries answer to the twin towers.

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#79 The Soup Fascist
August 07 2013, 08:36AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

What up with the whole Nail Yakupov twitter thing from last evening. Looks to be a fairly credible account from my vantage point. Anyone know what was mentioned?

I could be wrong as I am a Twidiot but I think Nail needed some confirmation from the Oilers to the fine folks at Twitter in order to have his Twitter account VERIFIED, which is apparently a big deal in Twitterland.

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#80 book¡e
August 07 2013, 08:40AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

What up with the whole Nail Yakupov twitter thing from last evening. Looks to be a fairly credible account from my vantage point. Anyone know what was mentioned?

The Oilers were working to get Yakupov verified on twitter (the checkmark). The process of doing so involves the sending of some codes and some back and forth between recognized accounts (such as @edmontonoilers) and the account that is being verified. Essentially Twitter verifies people by someone else vouching for them - like them mob.

Yakupov sent some of the things publically as opposed to direct messaging them and they seemed strange (like a string of numbers). He followed them up with a message "Oilers pleas unser my message" or something like that because he was waiting for the Oilers to finish their end of the process.

Now, because fans could not understand this and as Edmontonians and Oiler fans they are prone to being insecure, they read a lot into the messages which were basically meaninglessness.

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#81 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 07 2013, 09:10AM
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I know you're probably half trolling but Weber's price tag would cripple the team.

Feeding time is over...

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#82 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 07 2013, 09:12AM
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Also, I don't think any Oilers d-man should wear 44 ever again. Nothing good can come of it.

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#83 Will
August 07 2013, 10:23AM
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Wax Man 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.

Hhhmmmm, my memory is not that long, but please correct me. Didn't Potter play under Renny for two years? And wasn't he only good for the first half of one of those years?

Fair enough if you think the system of play was different under Kreuger which led to Potter's play; however, I think the numbers showed he played just fine under Krueger. His powerplay time got taken by J Schultz, and his defensive play was hurt by being constantly paired with Whitney. Why Krueger didn't play Fistric and Potter as the bottom pair more often always confused me.

My biggest complaint is his age. He seems to be trending upwards, but he's also getting into his prime so it's not like he's a young guy with a lot of years ahead of him.

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#84 Will
August 07 2013, 11:07AM
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@Wax Man Riley

Completely valid point. And I agree that he's really not that good, I'm just not convinced he's all that bad yet.

Regardless, the Oilers have too many D and someone is going to either get traded, get demoted, or get lost to waivers, if that guy was Potter, I wouldn't be sad.

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#85 Spydyr
August 07 2013, 11:20AM
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It is Corey "FREAKING" Potter. I think he is replaceable if he goes on waivers. I know it is August but who cares.

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#86 steelymac
August 07 2013, 08:44PM
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Clog im thinkin we go for a beer with DSF and pick his brain.

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#87 Oilers21
August 08 2013, 01:12PM
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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

I'm in. Where do you suggest? The Wicket? Smith's? Anywhere to drown out obnoxious Canucks fans (redundant term, I know)

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#88 Joy S. Lee
August 08 2013, 04:21PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Could even sweeten that by throwing in a Petry or Nick Schultz. Loads of opportunity there with Weber. A couple periods with Justin Schultz/Oscar Klefbom may get you a lead on a lot of nights. Pair him up with Smid if you're wanting to slow things down or protect a lead in the third.

It would still work team salary structure wise. If the kids turn into superstars they be in that 8'ish per on their next deal as well. Can you imagine him and Nurse working in tandem in a few yrs. Oil Countries answer to the twin towers.

Unfortunately, I believe Mr. Weber is vastly overrated.

He's good...don't get me wrong...but I don't think he's THAT good. He's had incredibly talented partners virtually throughout his entire hockey career, may be one of the most blessed players of all time in that regard.

As I said, he's got talent and intangibles, but I just don't think he's the best defenseman in the NHL like so many of you do. In fact, I think he's a ways from it, and I'd probably take about a dozen other D-men before I'd pick him.

So, the anticipated bloated cost of obtaining Weber, for his adoring fans, seems like nothing short of fair to you; not so much for me. I'd pay a price, but nothing close to what most of you would be willing to do. I don't see the value in swapping out the depth, skill, and future of the team for an overrated D-man who I think is reliant on having a strong partner.

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