Monday, July 7, 2008

Don't Know What You've Got 'til It's Gone: The Joe Corvo Story

When the Ottawa Senators traded Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves to the Carolina Hurricanes in February of this year, the deal seemed like a good one. The Sens got rid of an unhappy defenceman and an injury-prone forward while acquiring Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore; both tough players with Stanley Cup experience.

Now, it appears, the once appealing trade has gone sour. Stillman left Ottawa and signed a contract for $3.5 million with the Florida Panthers. Commodore went to the Columbus Blue Jackets. So how does one rate the deal now? Not very well.

The irony metre has been cranked up yet again in Canada's capital as Bryan Murray is now on the market for a "cheap" puck-moving defenceman. Someone who can put some points on the board; someone to anchor the powerplay; someone with a contract in the area of $2.5 million per season. Mr. Murray, you are looking for someone named Joe Corvo.

Corvo signed a four-year contract with Ottawa in 2006 to be an offensive defenceman, and, I suspect, a complement to, or replacement for, Wade Redden. Now, Redden is gone, and so is his backup.

A name being heard around Sens circles is Frantisek Kaberle. Let me fill you in on this guy: the 34 year-old native of Kladno, Czech Republic will earn $2.2 million for the next 2 seasons. He had 22 points last year and 44 in 2005-06 playing 80 and 77 games in those seasons(missing 55 games in 06-07 due to shoulder surgery). Corvo had 48 and 37 in his past two seasons.
In summary, he is older and doesn't score as much as Joey C.

Another possible acquisition is San Jose's Kyle McLaren. He had only 11 points last year and will become a UFA at the end of the upcoming season after a season at $2.5 million.

I guess the Corvo trade couldn't be seen as a salary dump, since the Sens are now want to acquire similar (or worse) players at a similar salary.

My verdict: You screwed the pooch on this one Murray. The Corvo deal depended on you retaining either Stillman or Commodore for the upcoming season (at least). Failure to do so has left the Sens spinning their wheels in this offseason searching for the pucking-moving defender that was on the roster less than 6 months ago.
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