Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ottawa Sun gets it all wrong (again)

Sometimes I wonder if the Ottawa Sun just likes making stuff up. Today, an article about the Senators' trading away Patrick Eaves and Joe Corvo was entitled, "Fans sorry to see Eaves traded, cheer Corvo departure". Did I miss something? When did we start hating Corvo?

The story went on to quote one actual fan, and draw one line of input from Sherry over at Scarlett Ice (which doesn't even bash Corvo), and led with the statement that, "Diehard Ottawa Senator fans say they couldn't be happier that Corvo was traded yesterday in a four-player swap with the Carolina Hurricanes." I don't know what classifies someone as a die-had fan--I like to think devoting a stupid amount of time to a fan blog at the expense of your personal, professional, and educational life may be one indicator--but I'm certainly not cheering Corvo's departure.

That's not to suggest that I don't like the trade that Bryan Murray made. By acquiring Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore for Eaves and Corvo, we've made our defense better defensively and our offence better offensively. Which is good. But it has lost us some production from the defence--and a great shooter, skater, and puck controller--as well as a gritty winger with a lot of upside.

Have we forgotten about Corvo's double-OT game-winning goal in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals? That was freakin' heroic. Then-assistant-coach John Paddock suggested to then-head-coach Murray that he put Corvo on the point off the face-off, and it paid off when Corvo's bouncer hopped over Buffalo tender Ryan Miller's glove. Had the Sabres won that game, the series could have been completely different. For that reason alone, I will look back on Corvo's time in Ottawa with satisfaction. That was by no means his only contribution, though.

When I think of Corvo, I'll remember the defensive gaffs. And then I'll remember that he was never brought in to be a defensive specialist, his role was to be an offensive defenceman who will contribute offensively. Say what you will, that's what he did. He's seventh on team scoring (6G-21A-27P) this season, ahead of players expected to do much more (Randy Robitaille, Shean Donovan, Dean McAmmond, Chris Neil, Chris Kelly, and so on). He was sixth in team scoring in the playoffs last season (2G-7A-9P).

Although I'm excited to think about the changes we've made, they have cost us a couple of players who have been valuable contributors at times. So this isn't good riddance, Joe. It's good luck.
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