Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Hurricanes Run Up The White Flag

The Hurricanes and Senators pulled off a pretty big trade this week as Carolina sent Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore to Ottawa for Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves. The trade can be viewed as a good one for both sides in some regards, but I think it sends a signal that the Hurricanes have given up on this season and have started planning for the future.

Let's look at the trade from the Senators' point of view first. This is a really good trade for the Sens. They brought in a veteran scorer in Stillman who has plenty of playoff experience (Cups in Tampa and Carolina), and a physical defenseman in Commodore who was also on Carolina's Cup winning team. Both Stillman and Commodore are also UFA's this summer so the Sens could conceivably let them both walk to free up some cap space in a desperate attempt to re-sign Wade Redden. That is assuming they don't trade him before the deadline. The bottom line for Ottawa is that they got deeper and tougher and have reestablished themselves as the favorite in the Eastern Conference.

And then there's the Hurricanes... I have been hearing for months that the 'Canes were shopping for a quarterback for their power play. That's what they got in Corvo, but I don't think that was what they really needed. Carolina is atrocious defensively and they just traded away arguably their best defensive defenseman. Patrick Eaves could prove to be a solid acquisition, but players like him are a dime a dozen. Carolina basically traded away to pending UFA's for a couple guys who are still under contract for a couple years, and as a result demolished their dwindling hopes of making a successful playoff run.

That's not to say this move was necessarily a bad one for Carolina. It could work out for them in the long run. Especially if Corvo can be the presence on the power play that Carolina apparently thinks he can be. I also wouldn't be shocked if Commodore returned to the Hurricanes in the off season via free agency. That would also tip the deal in favor of Carolina over the long term.

Ultimately this trade will be judged in completely opposite ways for each team. If Ottawa can win the Cup this year then the trade will be viewed as a success. If they don't it still won't be that bad of a deal because they really didn't give up all that much. This trade can't really be evaluated from a Carolina perspective until a year or two from now. If Corvo and Eaves pan out then it was a good deal for them. If not, and they fail to make the playoffs this season, it could end up being a real stinker.

So what is my personal take on this deal? I hate it! First off it helps the Senators, which is never a good thing as far as I am concerned. Second, it pretty much shows that Carolina has given up on this season, which doesn't make me happy. For one thing, I had picked them before the season to make it to the Finals from the Eastern Conference. There's pretty much no way that happens now. If they didn't play in such a weak division they probably wouldn't even challenge for a playoff spot. Also, I think if they had made a move to bring in some better defensive players that they still could have been a force in the East this season. They could still win the Southeast Division and go into the playoffs as a #3 seed. If they could find a way to get back to playing the way they were at the start of the season they could have definitely made it out of the East. As things stand now, they may be on the outside looking in come playoff time. I hope getting Joe Corvo was worth it Hurricanes fans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, after a bit of time has gone by, it looks like the Canes didn't make such a bad deal after all. Instead of giving up for the season, they have played hard thru adversity and additional injuries and are still at the top of the division. Both Corvo and Eaves are contributing a lot to the team. Just look at Sunday's game against the Senators - Eaves with the tieing goal and Corvo with his first hat trick! Pretty good hockey if you ask me.