Monday, February 11, 2008

Welcome to Ottawa, Cory Stillman

Photo obtained through Creative Commons

This was originally going to be about Amy Winehouse's totally blank look when they announced her award at the Grammys last night, giving many the belief that she was bombed out of her mind. This would shock nobody. But because the Ottawa Senators are my team, they take priority when they make headlines. The same applies to the Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Cardinals and Indiana Pacers.

It's quite a headline today for the Senators, as Ottawa acquired left wing Cory Stillman (pictured, with A) and defenseman Mike Commodore from the Carolina Hurricanes, sending defenseman Joe Corvo and right wing Patrick Eaves. For Ottawa, there's little not to love about this move. Stillman has Stanley Cup experience with both Tampa Bay and Carolina, the two squads that won the Eastern Conference prior to Ottawa's victory and the last two Eastern Conference squads to win the Cup. He's a scorer, and outside of the top line of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley (the CASH line, CAptain, Spezza, Heatley) and second-liner Mike Fisher, the Senators don't get a lot of offense. Stillman can jump right in, pair with Fisher and go to work. On the blue line, Commodore is a tough, gritty defenseman. Toughness was Ottawa's problem last year against Anaheim. If the Sens get to the finals again, Commodore's grit will be very useful.

On the Hurricanes' side, the move is simply a white flag on this season and a hope to rebuild. At first glance, it would seem premature, given that Carolina trails Southeast leader Washington by just one point for the third seed. But the Hurricanes do not get much scoring, they wouldn't even be in the playoff race if they weren't in the awful Southeast and Stillman and Commodore are free agents at the end of the year. Commodore is cheaper than Corvo, but Corvo is signed for two more years after this season. As for the swap of wingers, Stillman is a 34-year old veteran. During the Stanley Cup playoffs this year, Eaves will turn 24. He's got a chance to be a fine player for many years. But that time to develop hasn't come yet, not while in Ottawa on a team that thinks Stanley Cup every day while it has its three stars.

The goals of the trade are simple: Ottawa makes itself a serious contender for 2008. Carolina hopes they gained pieces to do the same in 2009. But if you're just looking at the short-term, the big winners are the Sens. The big losers today are the Montreal Canadiens, after two players got arrested.

My time is up. You've all been great. Enjoy Marcel.

1 comment:

hoosierdaddy1913 said...

I have little knowledge about the NHL, but this really puts some key midseason moves in perspective.