Trade for Corey Potter!

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.

Some of my recent stuff

  • 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.

  • OilClog

    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

  • 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

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    REAL MADJAM TALKING : Emailed bingofuel to remove false madjam from site . Don’t do twitter or facebook , only do ON and occasionally Flames or Canucks . Over a year ago I even had one person give out my email address on this site . How he ever got it I do not know or what if anything OH did about it . False madjam a troll , and obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer . By the way , who the heck is snowflake ?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    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 Soup Fascist

      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.

    • book¡e

      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.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Thanks guys. The administrative formality thing makes sense, from the conservative perspective. The trade demand would surely make things interesting here for the next 5 weeks though.

    If only we could choose between the first or second scenario. It would allow the Oil to focus on one fewer basket in which to keep filled with eggs. The paranoid option isn’t all bad. With Seth Jones landing in Nashville, maybe the Yak for Weber thing would get started….man, I can’t believe I just said that.

    • Reg Dunlop

      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?

      • Quicksilver ballet

        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.

        • Joy S. Lee

          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.

  • Wax Man Riley

    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.