Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Retrospective: The Commodore/Stillman deal

It's been about a month and a week since the Sens traded Patrick Eaves and Joe Corvo to Carolina for Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore. Both teams were looking for different things in the trade, and all players involved serve different roles. I'll hold off on judging the winner of the trade until after the playoffs, and maybe even after another season, but it seems for now that all players are settling in well. Here are statistics since the trade:
  • Corvo: 15GP, 6G, 9A, 15Pts +6, 4PIM
  • Eaves: 9GP, 1G, 3A, 4Pts, -1, 2PIM
  • Stillman: 17GP, 2G, 12A, 14Pts, -5, 8PIM
  • Commodore: 17GP, 0G, 0A, 0Pts, -8, 20PIM
Right now, it looks like the 'Canes have won the trade. Especially after that embarassing 5-1 loss were Corvo scored thrice plus an assist and Eaves added a goal. Even before that, though; they have gone 10-3-1 since the deal, for a .670 winning percentage, and Corvo has made a huge impact on the powerplay. And, while Eaves missed some time due to injury, he appears to be assuming a role on the third or fourth line.

This trade wasn't made for "right now", though. We won't really know the true value of Stillman and Commodore until the playoffs. Stillman, while playing alongside Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher, helps form what many say is the best second line the Sens have ever had. When (or if) the going gets tought for the top line in the playoffs, he will be a valuable asset. As a point-man on the powerplay, he brings some offensive perspective and allows Alfredsson to play down low in the zone. His experience and presence in the dressing room are also intangibles people are giving a lot of value to, so I won't discount them.

Commodore, it is obvious, has struggled the most since the trade. When play tightens in the playoffs, though, his size will become that much more important, and his sluggishness will become less noticeable (or at least that's the hope). Most of all, his ability to throw a big check at some forwards gives Ottawa a nice complement to Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips.

Although time will tell, I'm hoping that the trade works out more for Ottawa than for Carolina. I wish Corvo and Eaves all the luck in the world, except when they're playing against the Sens.
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