Flames Sign Corey Potter

Ryan Pike
September 05 2014 07:03PM

With just two weeks until the opening of main camp, the Calgary Flames made a minor move, signing defenseman Corey Potter to a one-year, two-way deal.

Potter, 30, fits a specific role for the franchise, in that he's 6'3" and 205 pounds. Oh, and he's been yo-yoing between the NHL and AHL since he turned pro in 2006, so it's not like he'll complain about it. At his age, Potter is what he is - a dependable veteran depth guy. He's a bigger Derek Smith with slightly less scoring punch.

Potter's played 123 NHL contests with the Rangers, Penguins, Oilers and Bruins. He's also played 327 AHL games with the Charlotte Checkers, Hartford Wolf Pack, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Oklahoma City Barons. He played four years of college with the Michigan State Spartans.

He's big. He's (probably) cheap. He'll probably clear waivers if he doesn't make the NHL club as a #7 defender. He'll be perfectly content sitting in the press box in Calgary or being a good veteran leader in Adirondack.

This is a very low-risk, pretty smart signing. Financial terms weren't immediately available, but I cannot fathom this move breaking the bank.

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Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames since 2010. He's Senior Contributing Editor at FlamesNation, a Senior Writer covering the Flames and the NHL Draft for The Hockey Writers, and a correspondent for the Fischler Report. You can see his hand or the side of his head on TV sometimes.
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#51 the-wolf
September 06 2014, 12:25PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

No, I don't buy the argument because it makes no sense.

To wit:

" because unlike the Oilers rebuild, he's smart enough to isolate our kids from #LosingCulture.

None of these moves are guys that are here to stay, none of these moves need to be disected in terms of "what value does he bring to the team." They're warm bodies that fill the spaces and don't get you wins."

To recap:

Avoid losing culture by purchasing warm bodies that don't get you wins.

Now, the assumption appears to be that it is all timing. These contracts will expire and then miraculously the entire AHL team (or prime first round picks) will be ready for promotion at exactly the same time (same time as expiring warm body contracts and exactly same time as other prospects).

How ideal.

Exactly, and better said too. The whole premise seems very contradictory. Shelter rookies in a rebuild who aren't even on the team with loser warm bodies on short term deals before getting rid of them all and flooding the team with too many rookies.

The only way it makes sense, and I'm trying to keep a open mind, is if the vets are essentially auditioning for their own jobs. The team keeps the hardest working, team-first type vets and then makes two or three quick trades getting rid of the worst of the bunch in order to bring in rookies who are the best rookies from the AHL. So, the best of Adirondack replace the worst of Calgary after a couple of months of auditioning in their respective leagues. Or, so I hope.

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#52 beloch
September 06 2014, 07:04PM
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RexLibris wrote:

It would be.

But that doesn't seem likely.

Coaches generally like defensemen who make smart, safe plays and move the puck quickly and efficiently.

Potter does that regularly.

Rookies make mistakes and errors in judgement impact the game more noticeably than forwards.

The unfortunate fact is that Potter is likely better than any current Flames defensive prospect and maybe as good as one or two of their incumbent roster players, if not slightly better.

Corey Potter is 30 and played 111 of his 123 career NHL games over the last three seasons in Edmonton. He was third pairing in that hot mess and he didn't make the cut this season. That's a canary dying in a coal-mine if I ever saw one. If he's an improvement on Smid or Russel I'll eat my shorts with a nice chianti and some fava beans.

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#53 Jeff Lebowski
September 06 2014, 08:42PM
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I also think having three right handed shots (potentially) is of value.

It makes intuitive sense to me and I guess when Canada insisted of L/R somebody must have looked at zone entries and strong side vs weak side. It was a big deal to them and how they utilized it pretty consistently.

If you want to play fast (or as fast as you can) it makes sense that it's easier to make a play on your forehand.

Obviously not cut and dry but maybe its like a left handed hitter vs right handed pitcher type deal.

If you go against a certain type of team you go with Potter. If there are known crease infringers you play 29 (or any combinations of the last days FA they picked up).

Like what if Brodie is even better on his strong side and both he and Gio can play apart at times? Brodie has to start plays on his bh and he usually just skates away but what if he could fire more heads up quick stretch passes?

Wouldn't that be good?

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#54 coachedpotatoe
September 07 2014, 07:07AM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

I also think having three right handed shots (potentially) is of value.

It makes intuitive sense to me and I guess when Canada insisted of L/R somebody must have looked at zone entries and strong side vs weak side. It was a big deal to them and how they utilized it pretty consistently.

If you want to play fast (or as fast as you can) it makes sense that it's easier to make a play on your forehand.

Obviously not cut and dry but maybe its like a left handed hitter vs right handed pitcher type deal.

If you go against a certain type of team you go with Potter. If there are known crease infringers you play 29 (or any combinations of the last days FA they picked up).

Like what if Brodie is even better on his strong side and both he and Gio can play apart at times? Brodie has to start plays on his bh and he usually just skates away but what if he could fire more heads up quick stretch passes?

Wouldn't that be good?

However NHL teams are not blessed with the same options as Team Canada as NHL teams only have a limited number of players available to them.

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#55 RealMcHockeyReturns
September 07 2014, 09:37AM
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It's all a Master Plan of Brian Burke. Pittsburgh will lose in round 1 to 3 in 2015 playoffs, realize they cannot keep Sidney and Malkin and voila, it's Monahan (who scores just 46 points in 78 games), Granlund (20 points in 38 NHL games and 34 in 37 AHL games) and our first rounder in 2016 (not 2015) to Penguins for Malkin...you heard it here first!

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#56 Jeff Lebowski
September 07 2014, 10:07AM
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@the-wolf

The irony in this should be self evident. It is exactly the plan the coilers used.

Instead of having 1-2 young players per year push out vets (who play to win and thereby encourage a win mentality which spurs positive internal competition) you tactically choose losing in order for a favourable poker chip, which you immediately ruin by heaping the glory of an entire franchise and fanbase expectation on them because you expect them to be good in NHL because you think they are destined. So when the kids come up you say: ok be good now. we've been patient now entertain us! Recall the coil kept Horcoff, Hemsky, Smyth et al. Instead of utilizing these guys coil nation only fixated on Eberle toe drags and couldn't wait for playoff glory...... still waiting.

So in a sense you can see how the coilers got it wrong. A team can easily slip into prolonged doldrums when the decision making is this terrible. It's hard not to be romantic about fantasy.

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#57 Derzie
September 07 2014, 10:34AM
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Derzie wrote:

The Parade of Garbage continues.

Curious who is trashing this. Do you really believe Potter is of any real value to this team? You do know tickets cost an arm & a leg right? So no value to the fans. You know he was too terrible for Shelbyville right? So not good at hockey. Take off the rose colored glasses. Garbage signing, garbage management, last place cap spenders. All this is nothing but pure tank mode. Cant be argued against rationally.Teams properly planning a winning future don't consider Potter, Brookbank, Engelland, McGrattan, etc, to be actual hockey players. There is 1 of 2 options in play here: tank mode OR terrible management. The jury is out but I'll hope for tank mode because nothing else makes sense.

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#58 coachedpotatoe
September 07 2014, 12:11PM
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Derzie wrote:

Curious who is trashing this. Do you really believe Potter is of any real value to this team? You do know tickets cost an arm & a leg right? So no value to the fans. You know he was too terrible for Shelbyville right? So not good at hockey. Take off the rose colored glasses. Garbage signing, garbage management, last place cap spenders. All this is nothing but pure tank mode. Cant be argued against rationally.Teams properly planning a winning future don't consider Potter, Brookbank, Engelland, McGrattan, etc, to be actual hockey players. There is 1 of 2 options in play here: tank mode OR terrible management. The jury is out but I'll hope for tank mode because nothing else makes sense.

Derzie: I have come to the conclusion that people get trashed for the following reasons: 1. you mention the trash button, 2. Some people have decided they just don't like your comments and actually trash you as soon as they see your name, 3. You actually have an opinion that they disagree with but can't articulate their reasons and 4 . They trash you and then write their reasons and then you can carry on a valued debate. The only group I care about are those who actually have something to actually say. If you worry about the others then you will stop reading and writing or start drinking to much from the Koolaid.

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#59 MattyFranchise
September 08 2014, 03:48AM
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@Derzie

It must be garbage management. I mean, what's the point of signing Potter to a glorified AHL deal?

Brookbank isn't signed yet, he's on a try out. Plus he has a Stanley Cup ring. Also, heaven forbid the minor league D men like Wotherspoon have some actual competition in the preseason.

McGrattan is near the end of his career and is a) a fan favorite and b) an excellent mentor for Monahan. They were pretty much best friends by the end of the season.

No argument on Engelland, that one doesn't make sense to me.

Besides, what does it really matter? If everything goes absolutely perfectly this season the Flames are at best a 20th place team.

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#60 Derzie
September 08 2014, 10:11AM
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MattyFranchise wrote:

It must be garbage management. I mean, what's the point of signing Potter to a glorified AHL deal?

Brookbank isn't signed yet, he's on a try out. Plus he has a Stanley Cup ring. Also, heaven forbid the minor league D men like Wotherspoon have some actual competition in the preseason.

McGrattan is near the end of his career and is a) a fan favorite and b) an excellent mentor for Monahan. They were pretty much best friends by the end of the season.

No argument on Engelland, that one doesn't make sense to me.

Besides, what does it really matter? If everything goes absolutely perfectly this season the Flames are at best a 20th place team.

What worries me is the logic. I know we are not winning anything for 3-5 years but when moves are on the wtf or bonehead side of the logic ledger I wonder when and if we start making moves on the positive side of the logic ledger. For now I'll just accept that this team has a great work ethic, some nice future pieces and some woeful spare parts.

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