Bruins claim Potter on waivers for defensive depth

Bruins claim Potter on waivers for defensive depth
March 5, 2014, 1:45 pm
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WILMINGTON -- The Bruins continue to work toward making deals on NHL trade deadline day after missing out on a couple of targets on a Tuesday.

Andrew MacDonald was the best available rental among left-shot defenseman, but he went to the Philadelphia Flyers for a 2014 second round pick, a 2015 third round pick and a mid-level prospect.

The Bruins were interested in Stephane Robidas as right side depth, but the tenacious Stars veteran was shipped to the Anaheim Ducks for a conditional fourth round pick.

The prices weren’t sky high, but Chiarelli was left empty-handed in both cases leading into the final hours before 3 p.m. On Wednesday Chris Phillips signed a two-year, $5 million deal to finish out his career with the Ottawa Senators, but the Bruins had anticipated that would be the case days ago.

So the Bruins shored up their right-handed depth among their defensemen by claiming Edmonton Oilers defenseman Corey Potter on waivers. The 6-foot-3, 206-pounder has five assists and an even plus/minus rating in 16 games for the Oilers this season, and two years ago put up four goals and 21 points in 62 games for Edmonton.

The Bruins were forced to find some right-handed depth on the blue line once Adam McQuaid suffered a setback in the rehab of his groin/hip issues, and there's uncertainty about exactly what he'll be able to give Boston in the playoffs.

Potter does have some Bruins connections: Torey Krug is a fellow Michigan State alum that’s worked out with him in the summertime, and backup goalie Chad Johnson played with Potter for the AHL’s Hartford Whale.

“He’s a real team guy, so he’ll fit in well here,” said Johnson. “He was that real steady presence on the back end, and made calm, smart plays. He isn’t a guy that will make bad decisions, so he’ll fit in well with our guys here. He also got some power play time in Edmonton, so he’s got some skill as well.”

The Bruins continue to chase after some left shot depth among their top four, and have Andrej Meszaros, Nick Schultz, Chris Butler on their short list along with 27-year-old Columbus defenseman Nikita Nikitin. Buffalo defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson also remain in the picture for the Bruins should they decide to shell out bigger, better assets for blueliners with term still left on their contracts.