OK, I emailed the Avs guy right after the signing, thinking this guy would be our 4th center. However, the consensus seems to be that he'll be chilling in the minors next year. But remember how guys like Matt Ellis and Cody McCormick were vets from other NHL teams and started off in the minors for the Sabres, only to then be brought up and become regulars because of injuries. Plus, this guy is a center. A CENTER! We have like 2 and half of those right now.
Oh, why be in denial? It is Friday and I need to put something up on the site. Anyways, I reached out to the boys at Jibble Scribbits to see if he could tell me anything interesting about Kevin Porter. And considering how excited people were (For reasons I don't get) when they signed the great John Scott, I'm not going to waste this post.
1) What are his strengths and weaknesses?
He can fill in pretty much anywhere in a pinch, and he does OK going to the net on the powerplay, usually on the 2nd PP unit if he gets on there. Weaknesses: he's small, and he's not very good at defense. For a being a 4th liner, not being able to PK is a liability.
2) How does he fair in the faceoff department? Also, was he your 3rd center or 4th?
He played more wing than center for the Avs. (Maybe because of the face offs he did take, he was in the 30% range for wins). He primarily played wing. In 2010/11 he spent some time on the top two lines (Don't forget, the Avs were miserable that season), but last season he was 4th line/ healthy scratch material. And that's probably where he belongs. Some Avs fans think he's better than that, and his 10-11 numbers (CorsiRel, OZone%, QoC, G, A, P, etc) were all pretty good. But he really had a bad season last year. He'll be a 3rd-4th line winger.
3) Can you tell me a little bit about his season two years ago, when he had 14 goals?
Mentioned a bit above, but the Avs were paper thin on wing, so they threw him on one of the top two lines. He played a bit with Stastny, where he actually did OK. But there were certainly times you could tell he was out of the element. But if he regains that form, he would be an asset for the third line.
4) The Sabres are big on puck possession and being two-way players, does Porter fit that and why?
Not really. Against lower competition he might be able to hold possession pretty well, but a 2-way game isn't really his forte. Like I said above, he didn't get much PK time, for a 3rd/4th liner that's almost unheard of.
5) What happened to him last year?
Not sure what happened, other than the Avs signed some players and got some back that pushed him down on the depth chart. But his stats were also night and day from the season two years ago. I'm not sure why they changed so much, but Porter didn't play well at all either, so that had a lot to do with it. But as for what happened? I'm not sure anyone really knows.
6) Anything else about Porter?
Despite being benched often, he was incredibly professional about it. He was a hard worker and a good team guy. Always important in 4th liners. (Editor's note: Sounds like Matt Ellis)