KEVIN LEE | From hockeybuzz.com
In acquiring Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore from the Carolina Hurricanes for Patrick Eaves and Joe Corvo, he addresses a few needs on this team. Stillman is a gritty left winger that brings scoring and leadership to the team, oh and two Stanley Cup rings!
Commodore brings a physical presence that is sorely missing on the Sens blueline and his Stanley Cup ring too! Don’t get me wrong, I really like what Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov bring to the Sens but Phillips doesn’t hit alot and A-train does to an extent but picks and chooses his spots. Commodore should increase the level of punishment opposing teams forwards will receive when they cross the Sens blueline. I would imagine John Paddock will pair Wade Redden with Commodore on the second defense pairing. If Redden can bring the same type of commitment he did this past Saturday night, the Sens will have solved their problem on defense. Murray takes care of the one area that allowed Anaheim to defeat Ottawa in the Cup Final last year, which was no credible second defense pairing. When you can’t shut down the opposing teams 2nd and 3rd lines you are in trouble.
Now with Stillman, you get his 21 goals and 46 points to date this season and a player you can line up next to Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher. What a great 2nd line that would be. Then Murray can find a capable player of playing with Spezza and Heatley. The one area Stillman brings is that experienced player who plays with an edge. Over the years, the Sens have missed out on that type of player at the deadline, which is something I wrote about a few weeks back when Chris Gratton and Mark Recchi were rumoured to Ottawa. Stillman is the type of player that will benefit the Senators immensely.
This trade gives both players 2 months to get comfortable with their new teammates. This will benefit everyone involved.
When looking at who the Sens lost in this trade, as they say you need to give up something to get something. Murray has now shed two huge mistakes made by former GM John Muckler. First Murray got rid of the ridiculous contract this past summer Peter Schaefer signed 2 years ago. Now Murray gets rid of Corvo’s contract which had 2 more years left on the deal. Murray has given himself ALOT of flexibility by getting these two salaries off the books. The Sens save approximately 500,000 this season with the trade today.
Corvo fills a role for Carolina on the blueline while Eaves was set to become an RFA this summer and couldn’t seem to stay healthy. Who knows if Eaves would have played for this team come the playoffs due to health issues? Eaves is going to command at least 1.25 million come this summer and now the Sens can use that money to re-sign Stillman or Commodore as they are both set to become UFA’s this summer.
This is the first trade Ottawa has made before or at the deadline that will finally make an impact on this team. Yes Mike Comrie helped this team alot last year but he played injured for most of the playoffs. This is a trade that brings multiple dividends to this team. I wrote about this last week that the Sens don’t need another pathetic deal at the deadline like Muckler seemed to make just for the sake of making a deal like the Peter Bondra, Tyler Arnason or Oleg Saprykin trades. It is very refreshing to see a Sens GM be active in a positive way!!
Now what is the next move that Murray makes? Does he bring in another forward? Maybe a player that can play with Spezza and Heatley so Paddock can spead around the scoring?
Or does he focus on acquiring a bonafide number one goaltender?
Listening to Murray this afternoon he said he is set with his defense which means Christoph Schubert is going to play forward the rest of the year. He also stated that Stillman will play with Fisher and he wants to find a guy to play with them so he can keep the number one line together. Murray also stated that Corvo’s agent asked him to see if he could trade Joe to an American team where the scruntiny is not as great and that Corvo wanted to get out of being in a Canadian city as well because he had a hard time handling all the pressure. Interesting?
After this trade most Sens fans will be able to say Ottawa is a better team today than they were yesterday.