2/29/16. NHL Trade Deadline Day. If you were like me you woke up bright and early, flipped on any channel that was featuring TSN’s TradeCentre coverage, and was eagerly awaiting a day in which the Nashville Predators might make another one of those “go for it” types of trades that impacts the future talent pool currently residing within the ranks of the Milwaukee Admirals depths. I was almost certain that Scott Hartnell might find his way back into Nashville. But, as it turned out, the Predators didn’t do anything for themselves this season. Instead they actually turned to their AHL affiliate and made a trade to make them stronger.
I know for most Predators fans they didn’t think much of anything when Corey Potter was attached to the team’s lone trade made on Trade Deadline Day but it has quickly been proven to be a tremendous move for the Admirals. At the start of this season the Admirals lone right handed shooting defenseman was Taylor Aronson. Around mid-January the Admirals aimed to shake up their defense by balancing out righties and lefties on defense. Conor Allen out, Patrick Mullen in (1/14/16). Victor Bartley out, Stefan Elliott in (1/15/16). With Potter added to the mix the Admirals actually find themselves in an amusingly new territory where there is often a defensive pairing of two righties now as opposed to what had been a pair of lefties.
All things told, this shake up to the Admirals defense has made a big difference on the team. Since Mullen’s debut for the Admirals on 1/15/16 the team has gone 23-8-1-2. Since Potter’s Admirals debut on 3/3/16 the team has gone 12-2-0-2.
For someone in Potter’s position this has to be a wonderful feeling. The Admirals are the top team in the AHL’s Central Division at the moment and currently have the second most points (95) in the entire league behind the Toronto Marlies (105). The team that Potter had been playing for this season prior to the trade, the Springfield Falcons (AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes), is currently dead last in the AHL’s Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings. He went from the bottom of one conference to a team attempting to bust through the Ontario Reign’s clinch to the top spot in the Western Conference.
While Potter is yet to score a goal as a member of the Admirals, only posting three assists to date from sixteen games, you can’t argue with what his two-way ability has done for the team. His pairing with shutdown defenseman Jimmy Oligny is a night after night lock. And, perhaps, what Potter provides even better might not entirely be seen on the ice but off it. Potter is 32-years old on a team full of young up and coming talent. He offers tremendous experience: 129 NHL games, 420 AHL games, and 33 games worth of playoff experience between the AHL and NHL. The Admirals don’t just want a strong regular season. They want a Calder Cup. A player of Potter’s caliber and experience makes waves on and off the ice. He might have been an eyebrow raiser to some at the NHL Trade Deadline being penciled as a trade by Nashville. But his importance to Milwaukee could be potentially massive if the season continues trending as wickedly hot as it has been since his arrival.
A big time thanks to Corey Potter for taking the time for this interview. Fifteen will hopefully continue shortly after the Milwaukee Admirals return home. As for now, the team is off to Charlotte where they will play against the Checkers on Saturday and Sunday. Fun Fact. Potter’s first professional team was the Charlotte Checkers back when they were an ECHL team in 2006-07.
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