BostonBruins.com - On the NHL's Trade Deadline Day, the Bruins bolstered their defensive depth by claiming Corey Potter off waivers from the Edmonton Oilers.
Potter has skated in 16 games with the Oilers this season, recording five assists with 21 penalty minutes. The blueliner is in his eighth season pro, having suited up in 120 NHL games among the New York Rangers (eight games, 2008-10), Pittsburgh Penguins (one game, 2010-11) and Edmonton Oilers (111 games, 2011-14), along with 327 AHL games.
The 30-year-old, Lansing, MI native was drafted by the New York Rangers in 2003 (fourth round, 122nd overall), and played four seasons of collegiate hockey at Michigan State (2002-06) before beginning his professional career (he and Spartan Torey Krug were four years apart).
"We're looking for one, maybe two depth defensemen," Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli told BostonBruins.com on Wednesday morning, as the NHL's Trade Deadline Day began.
"When I mean depth, it doesn't mean they can't play up the lineup, it just bolsters our depth and they're serviceable guys, so it's a good day, it's an exciting day, it's a culmination of a lot of days."
Assistant General Manager Jim Benning knows Potter well, and said the Bruins' staff have been following the 6-foot-3, 206-pound defenseman since his Hartford Wolf Pack days in the AHL.
"We watched him when he was with the Rangers, he played in Hartford for a couple of years, so we've gotten lots of viewings," Benning told me. "Our pro scouts have followed him the last couple of years with Edmonton, so he's got good size, he can make a good first pass with the puck, and he's good positionally in his own end. He's got some experience, so we added him as depth to our group."
"It gives us - going into the playoffs, we like to have eight NHL defenseman who are capable of playing in case we have injuries like last year. Wade Redden got to play some games [in the 2013 playoffs), and then Torey [Krug] and Matt Bartkowski got to play a lot in that New York Rangers series, so it's our philosophy that you can never have enough good defensemen as insurance, in case of injuries."
As the Bruins' management group was heading into Trade Deadline Day, they knew their plan and that focused mostly on building out their current group by addition, rather than subtraction.
"Peter and Claude are happy with the group they have, so we're just trying to add some depth," said Benning. "And we're still waiting on a couple of things yet, so we'll see what ends up happening by the time the day ends."
The Bruins did complete another transaction by the deadline, working out a deal to bring in blueliner Andrej Meszaros from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a conditional 2014 third round draft pick. Stay tuned to the Bruins Blog for insight on the trade from GM Peter Chiarelli.