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Monday, February 11, 2008

Sens/Canes Trade Analysis

To Carolina:
Patrick Eaves
07-08 Salary: $900,000
RFA next season

Joe Corvo
07-08 Salary: $2.5 mil
08-09 Salary: $2.75 mil
09-10 Salary: $2.75 mil

Carolina finally gets the true powerplay quarterback they have been looking for in Corvo, after employing a forward on the point (sometimes even two forwards) throughout the majority of the season. The initial idea was that Frantisek Kaberle would be the powerplay quarterback, but after struggling out of the gate recovering from off-season surgery, it became apparent that Carolina truly needed a number one defenceman to run the troops with the man advantage. Corvo’s booming shot, accurate outlet pass, and quick feet will surely be a boon to the Canes offense. After a promising rookie campaign, Eaves has had injury troubles the past two seasons. Not known for his aggressive style of play, Eaves is a talented winger with offensive potential who couldn’t really find a comfortable spot in the Sens’ lineup. Projected 2nd line winger.

To Ottawa:
Cory Stillman
07-08 Salary: $1.75 mil
UFA next season

Mike Commodore
07-08 Salary: $1.3 mil
UFA next season

Conversely, the Sens are shedding a good chunk of salary for the next two years, in bidding adieu to Corvo. The Sens will miss his heavy shot from the point, and it surely does shake up their powerplay. The likely result will either be Meszaros or Schubert being paired with Redden on the #1 unit, or Alfredsson filling the void on the point from time to time (a scary thought thinking back to Pominville walking around Alfredsson to score the series clinching goal for the Sabres two years ago). Another possibility may be to put Heatley back on the point, but with his skating being weaker than Alfredsson’s, this doesn’t seem too likely. The thought is that defenceman Brian Lee will be ready for some primetime action next season on the blueline. Acquiring Stillman is a great move, and will give coach Paddock some more options if he wants to break up Alfredsson from Heatley and Spezza come playoff time. According to GM Bryan Murray, Stillman is slated to play with second line centre Mike Fisher. Not known to be too aggressive in the corners to say the least, let’s hope that Stillman’s 34 year-old body holds up. In Commodore, the Sens acquire a physical blueliner with playoff experience winning the Cup with Canes and reaching the finals with Calgary in 2004. Known for having a cult following with his crazy hair and bathrobe, Commodore will fit in nicely as a depth defenceman on the Sens.

The Result:

To quote legendary GM Sam Pollock, the team who gets the best player wins a trade. If that is true, then the Sens are the winners in this deal. Looking more closely, the departure of Corvo will create an offense hole on the Sens’ blueline, but one that can be fixed with a quick shuffle of powerplay duties. What can’t be overlooked is the $2.5 mil vacancy created on the team’s payroll over the next two seasons. Although the Sens likely won’t re-sign Stillman after next season, he will hopefully provide some leadership and Cup experience this year, coupled with a secondary scoring option. Depending on how Eaves progresses over the years, the Sens appear to have won this deal for the short term.

Ballhype: hype it up!


Ezra Ginsburg said...

Good analysis Rocky. This trade reminds a little of the Kris King/ Tie Domi for Mark Osbourne/Paul Fenton trade between the Jets and Maple Leafs back in 1993 (or 1992?) A trade that hurts both teams. In my humble opinion, the Sens won the trae though for sure. Stillman is the better offensive player and both he and Commodore are Stanley Cup champions. Giving up Eaves and Corvo gives the Hurricanes a better deal for the future. A pretty even trade, but with Ottawa getting the small but significant advantage.

Richard Pollock said...

I am pretty sure the trade was Kris King and Tie Domi from NYR to WPG for Mark Osbourne and Ed Olczyk...