A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Canes and Sens swap players

I went out of town Monday for a very short business trip (and a night of ridiculous depravity) , and I missed a very big thing. Carolina sent winger Cory Stillman and defenseman Mike Commodore to the Senators for young winger Patrick Eaves and defenseman Joe Corvo.

There's an unseen ramification of this which I don't like, and I'll get to that later.

A friend who is a Penguins fan, not knowing that I was on the road, called to ask me what I thought of the deal. "What deal?" I feared that he was going to say that Erik Cole was part of some lame package, but this one I kind of like.

Immediately, I thought that Stillman is (a)slumping big-time (2)a UFA-to-be, and (III) getting up there in age. The Canes get a much younger guy with a ton of potential. I've seen him play a few times, and I've seen him pot goals against the Canes. I know what he can do. I'm pretty excited about this addition. For the future, I mean. For now, even a slumping Cory Stillman is better than an injured Patrick Eaves. Still, I'll take the kid.

I'm more excited about Joe Corvo. Carolina gives up a decent stay-at-home kind of defenseman who is given to taking bad penalties late in the game. In return, they get that puck-moving defenseman they've been wanting. They get a guy with a heavy shot that he's not afraid to use, but they also get a guy who makes some outrageously dangerous passes. One of my rubs against Commodore has always been that he's often too busy checking the rear-view mirror instead of going after loose pucks in the corner. He brings a level of intensity and on some level, some brawn, but absolutely no offensive upside. In that respect, Corvo, albeit four years older, brings more. Both players make lots of mistakes, but Carolina gets what they need. Corvo is signed thru 2010, whereas Commodore is a UFA-to-be and is due for a big raise. Corvo was unhappy in Ottawa, largely because of the overly scrupulous media. He'd been asking to be dealt to an American team, and he's gotten his wish.

The Senators are adding some scoring punch to (presumably) their second line, but they're losing some scoring from the back end. They're also getting a couple of guys who have won the Cup. Carolina adds some offensive production and some puck movement from the blue-line, but they give up one of their leading scorers. When the salaries for this season only are figured in, the Senators save about $500k, but they'll have to pay Commdore big bucks next season.

When it's all said and done, both teams benefit, and it's pretty hard to say who benefits more. I'm happy with what the Canes got, and moving forward, they'll probably have the better end if they re-sign Eaves.

Here's the unseen ramification. Mike Commodore wasn't just a fan favorite and a general goofball. He was Chad Sharpie LaRose's best friend. Poor Chad isn't going to have anyone to hang out with anymore. Something tells me that Joe Corvo isn't going to fill that role.

In Tuesday's debut with Carolina, Joe Corvo recorded an assist on the game-winning goal. Patrick Eaves is recovering from a shoulder injury and won't play until next week at the earliest. Cory Stillman had an assist for the Senators in his debut on Tuesday. Mike Commodore was a non-factor.

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