Chicago Blackhawks Sign Ryan Potulny and Create More Roster Questions

Michael Wagner@MichaelDWagnerSenior Analyst ISeptember 10, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  Ryan Potulny #16 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on February 10, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

As reported by many media outlets and now confirmed, the Chicago Blackhawks have signed 26-year-old forward Ryan Potulny to a one-year, two-way deal worth $500,000.

Potulny spent last season with the Edmonton Oilers and in his first full NHL season was able to post 15 goals and 17 assists as well as being one of the Oilers' top penalty killers.

Although the deal for Potulny is a two-way deal it is believed that he will be given every chance to make the NHL roster out of camp because of his NHL experience, penalty kill experience and being another depth center for the roster.

With the addition of Potulny the 'Hawks have added some needed depth at the center position and have added a dependable penalty killer that they did desperately need, see his minutes spent on the penalty kill last season. 

Potulny spent most of last season at center with the Oilers and with the 'Hawks first three center spots filled, he will need to compete with Jake Dowell for the final center spot or possibly move over to the wing.

However, by adding Potulny the 'Hawks are also now limiting the roster spots available for young players like Kyle Beach, Igor Makarov, and Jeremy Morin.

Although spots are now limited for youngsters to step up into the lineup it allows them more time to develop in the AHL and not rush them into the NHL lineup.

I really like the signing of Potulny as he adds another body to the mix that has some NHL experience and could possibly thrive offensively on a better team like the 'Hawks.

With Potulny potting 32 points last season I would imagine that coach Joel Quenneville will attempt to give him every opportunity to get into the Blackhawks lineup and hopefully replicate or improve on his 2009-2010 success.