The Pens have signed defenseman Corey Potter to a two-way deal. Potter, 26, has spent most of the last four years with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL, but he also appeared sparingly with the New York Rangers in each of the last two seasons. He should compete for a spot with the Pens, but he also could appear at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.â†µ
UPDATE by Stephen Catanese: Potter, a 4th round pick by the Rangers in 2003, will get a look during training camp, but his most likely destination will be Wilkes Barre-Scranton, where he should get good minutes. The 6'2 Michigan State product weighs in around 200 lbs and is a big body to deal with on the blue line, but projects to be a fifth or sixth defenseman at best, a career minor leaguer at worst.â†µ
For those paying attention, Ray Shero has gone out of his way to restock the Penguins' AHL affiliate with young-ish defensemen, such as Steve Wagner, 26, and resigning Deryk Engelland, 28, and Ben Lovejoy, 26, to give the Penguins some flexibility as the season goes on.
Right now, the Penguins' top five defensemen are set and, with little salary cap flexibility, it's not hard to imagine the organization waiting until closer to training camp to bring in an experienced sixth defenseman at a reasonable cost, a la Jay McKee. Once that happens, this crew should be battling for the "seventh defenseman spot," essentially a defenseman expected to jump in when any of the top six are hurt or fall out of favor.
If the Penguins stand pat and shy away from the market, one of these "yo-yo" players could make a surprise start opening night. But, aside from Lovejoy, it's hard to imagine someone from this group doing so.