Ottawa loads up

While Bob Gainey was en route to trying to extinguish a brush fire in Tampa, Bryan Murray was improving his team – by a lot.

The Senators traded Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves to Carolina for Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore.

What a steal for Ottawa.

They sacrificed very little to land a goal-scorer and a hard-hitting defenceman.

Stillman, who waived his no-trade clause to  join  the Senators, is 34. He’s scored 21 goals this season and is making $1.75 million.

Commodore is 28, leads Carolina with 74 PiM and makes $1.3 million.

Corvo, 30, was making $2.75 million in Ottawa.

Eaves, 23, makes $942,000 and missed 24 games with a shoulder injury. 


  1. blnieder says:

    I agree with Boone, but lets make it more interesting.

    Jokinnen and Vokun from Florida to Montreal for:

    Ryder, Higgins, O’Byrne and 1st rounder 2008

    Huet, Dandanault and 1st rounder 2009, 2nd rounder 2008 to Tampa Bay for:

    Brad Richards and 2nd rounder 2009 to Montreal.


    A.K. , Pleks , Kovi
    Saku , Joki , D’Agostini
    Latendresse , Brad Richards , S.K.
    Begin , Chipper , Lapierre

    Markov , Komi
    Streit , Hammer
    Georges , Cube


    I’s love to see whether we could complete with Ottawa, however, I’m still a little worried about the Defense a bit. We could use Campbell from Buffalo. Then our transition game would be formidable.
    Then WOW.

  2. arcosenate says:

    wish i was there to throw purses on the ice after o’byrne’s hat trick tonight!

    anyway, that’s a great move by Ottawa. they have really bolstered their lineup, finally gotten some toughness on defense.

    it’s going to be extremely difficult to gain something without giving up too much in this years market. so many teams are so close to making the playoffs and it seems the asking price is gettng higher and higher every day.

    we have no second line scoring. that’s our problem and something has to give. if ottawa is talking about not being able to rely totally on their first line (and look who’s on their first line!) i can only imagine we will be making a rather big move before the deadline if we’re serious about keeping up with the sens!!

  3. nick says:

    Not only that… but with 3 players commanding 25 million, it’s only a matter how much longer he can keep the team he has together… Look at it this way…

    3 players – 25 million
    19 players – 25 million (roughly)

  4. 24 Cups says:

    I agree Chorske. Ottawa needs to win the Cup this year or they will be deemed total failures. There is a lot of heat on Murray. Short term, he wins the deal and has a better shot if goes to the finals again with Stillman and Commodore.

    Rutherford probably tried to resign his UFAs and couldn’t so he got a decent defenseman who is signed for two more years and a RFA who won’t break the bank next year. He’s still in the hunt for the 3rd seed and all he has to do is beat out Washington and Atlanta. Who knows, once he gets his injured players back he might even be able to win a series.

    The Original 24 Cups

  5. Chorske says:

    I don’t think this screams ‘fire sale’ in Carolina. It’s more likely that they’re trying to create some cap room for some other big deal they’re cooking up. They are three points out of a playoff spot (although their immediate competition have 1-3 games in hand), so they are not down and out yet.

  6. nightmare_49 says:

    Sumo – I read you , but we are not looking for depth on the blue line but a 5th or 6th “D’ man that’s big stay at home veteran type that can play the second unit on PK cuz Bouillon can’t cut it and it would be too much to ask of O’Bryne (remember Komi’s early days) as of now. This veteran would rotate playing time with Gorges , O’Bey and the Cube so they all stay sharp. As far as Valentenko goes he’s improving but far from ready and will be kept in Hamilton to develope. I don’t think Jokinen will be traded till the summer cuz the owner has personally phoned him to smooth things out. I’m not worried about Higgy’s up side now it’s his down side i’m worried about lately , mind you , he started to show signs of playing better against the Sens and stopped playing like an individual and moved the puck around a bit. Bring on Tampa.

  7. nightmare_49 says:

    Read other posts cuz Stilman and Commodore have been brought up before the deal.

  8. the_vipah says:

    This is a nothing move. Ottawa needs toughness not another soft forward. Commodore will help, however I don’t see him swinging the balance in a physical battle with the likes of Philly or Anahiem.

    I knew when the Sens made it to the finals last year it would be a cakewalk for the Ducks, I dont see that changing this year, infact the way other teams in the league toughened up, they may be lucky to go 2 rounds.

  9. howtathor says:

    With all the talk about Hossa and Blake I had no idea that Stillman and Commodore were available. Stillman would have been a great rental for the second line. Makes we wonder who else out there is available. Now that Ottawa has pulled the trigger I hope we’ll be seeing some deals in the near future. Seems like Carolina is a seller. Now what would it take to pry Eric Cole out of there. The guy grew up in upstate NY and loves the Habs. Kills the Habs too, can really drive to the net and would fit great with Higgy and Koivu.

  10. SUMO says:

    Apologies, I meant to say in the “minority” on Higgins. I want him to be a Hab for many more seasons.

  11. stephen says:

    Hmm, didn’t realize he was recently signed. I suppose it would take at least one of our higher touted defensive prospects to lure him away.

    I’m trying to think of another d-man of his ilk out there. Wouldn’t it be great to give Hammer someone sturdy to play with? It would definitely take some pressure off the Komisarek-Markov pairing as well.

  12. SUMO says:

    Bro Nightmare_49,

    I think you misunderstood my point. I absolutely agree with you that Mike Commodore is a quality veteran D-man and he comes to play every game. He would also be an upgrade over Breeze-by but the point I was making was that this is not a blockbuster or a “difference-maker” trade of a Sundin or Jokinen.

    I agree the Habs could use both guys (ie 2nd line scoring and quality depth on D) but I kind of like our team the way it is and would rather see one of our young guys be given an opportunity to fill these roles. I’m ok with Ryan O’Byrne or Pavel Valentenko taking up a depth role (we still have Streit and Dandenault as emergency fill ins) and hopefully Ryder or Higgins can step it up in the post season to provide secondary scoring. The Sens got these guys because they didn’t believe in the guys they had could fill these needs.

    Thanks for reading my post and giving your feeback.


    PS I am probably in the majority but I wouldn’t trade Higgins for Jokinen. The reason; with Jokinen, what you see is what you get. Higgins still has more upside to go……

  13. nightmare_49 says:

    RS – Good points , for some reason i think the Sens will be making a couple of more moves before the deadline , other than goalies , for their run at the cup. They won’t admit it but they are building the team that will be a challange against the weatern division which is logical.

  14. nightmare_49 says:

    sumo – Mike Commodore may be an awkward skater and as you say a pylon but he’s big and comes to play and will duke it out and would of looked good in a Habs uniform Saturday. At 28 i thought and suggested he would have been a good pick up for us for a year and a half and maybe more while we wait for the next crew of “D” men to mature. Your right he’s not a top-4 “D” man but could fill in in a pinch.

  15. Chorske says:

    The Habs should be buyers in this market… I’m just not sure there’s anyone beyond Jokinen that I’d like to have. Like a friend of mine said about the men in her small town: the odds are good, but the goods are odd.

  16. ebk says:

    I think you are right 24, Exelby is a pretty good defenseman with a very reasonable contract. He won’t be going anywhere cheaply.

    He would be a very nice addition

  17. SUMO says:

    In Bob we trust.

    Lets not over-react. Corey Stillman is a good pick up for Ottawa. A veteran player with alot of playoff experience. Clutch performer and cup winner. He will fit nicely on a 2nd or 3rd line.

    Mike Commodore, however, is a pylon. Not a top-4 D but more of a depth guy in case of injuries.

  18. 24 Cups says:

    showey – I can’t see the Islanders giving up on Hunter just yet. He’s only 27 and I’m sure Nolan must like his style of play. There’s a lot to like even though he skates like Harry Neale. Maybe we could sign him as a UFA in the summer for $3 mil a year to replace Ryder. It would bring an added dimension to the team and he would be good to go – right in the prime of his career.

    The Original 24 Cups

  19. 24 Cups says:

    stephen – I would doubt that Exelby would be available. Atlanta just signed him to a three year contract and he’s not expensive at a cap hit of $1.4 mil a year. Now I bet they would love to get rid of Zhitnik. What a lousy trade that was.

    The Original 24 Cups

  20. showey47 says:

    hunter is a ufa this year, i think this is the kind of move gainey should make. Gratton would also be a good idea.

  21. stephen says:

    I hadn’t realized Hunter had fallen off as badly as Ryder this season. Funny how all three top contenders for rookie of the year way back when (2003?) have fallen from grace. Raycroft, Ryder, and Hunter.

    In that sense, it would be an interesting “my problem for your problem” swap.
    Any idea what Hunter’s contract status is?

    Also, I am liking the Gratton idea more and more…

  22. sidhu says:

    All considered, I would move Grabovski and Dandy for Gratton and Andre Roy, and Ryder and a 2nd pick for Trent Hunter. Brisebois waived to make room. That would create something like:

    (Begin and Smoke upstairs)


    Yes, I am in LA-LA land, but a man can dream, can’t he?

  23. teamplayer says:

    please send bouillon on his way, i would not mind seeing him go

  24. teamplayer says:

    by the amount of chances theyve given emery, i think youre right. I believe they have no confidence and gerber taking them to the cup.

  25. showey47 says:

    yup, exelby is a tough one for sure and would make a good number 4 dman. We would have to trade a dman for sure, either gorges or bouillon.

  26. showey47 says:

    Short term, meaning this years playoffs ottawa gets the better end, but after that the deal goes to carolina. Corvo is capable of quarterbacking the powerplay and eaves is still raw. Stillman should give them secondary scoring depending who he plays with, commodore will essentially make richardson a healthy scratch being the new #6 dman

  27. stephen says:

    Decent move by Murray and the Sens. Stillman is one of those guys who always seems to show up at the right time.

    I’d love to see the Habs toughen up along the blueline. If, by chance, Gainey IS dealing with Atlanta, I’d welcome the likes of Garnet Exelby, who has impressed me in every game the Habs have played against the Thrashers. He has thrown several jarring checks, and seems steady enough in his own end.

    Having grown accustomed to Gainey’s “conservative” wheeling and dealing, it’s hard to imagine any blockbusters come the deadline, but a minor move like Exelby would, I think, go a long way in shoring up the Canadiens’ back end.

  28. Blitzen says:

    I’ve read comments from Carolina fans on message boards who didn’t think that highly of Commodore and Stillman.

  29. 24 Cups says:

    Timo – Outside of Brodeur, I don’t really see any goaltending in the East that is invincible. Most of the net strength is in the West. I won’t be surprised if one of the Ottawa goalies gets his act together and they ride him through the playoffs. Don’t laugh at me, but it might just be Emery. The real test is going up against Nabokov/Luongo/Giguere/Hasek-Osgood.

    The Original 24 Cups

  30. The Teacher says:

    Ooooh Komi looks pissed and looks like he thinks the thing is all a joke. -RDS

  31. likehoy says:

    and to this day I could never fully confide in Cris Huet.

  32. howtathor says:

    Who can forget the famous Stillman shot deflected off of Rivet’s stick and lights out!

  33. Naila Jinnah says:

    Excellent move!
    Commodore will be their biggest asset, plus, they don’t have to keep these guys next season if they don’t want to! That might mean that they’re looking at their prospects and estimating that they’ll be ready to step up by next year.

  34. RS says:

    Stillman is a good pickup for the playoff run. However, the Sens have now lost Preissing and Corvo from last year’s cup final team. Yes, the Ducks showed that the Sens’ defence needed to be bigger, but guys like Preissing and Corvo helped get them to the final in the first place. Now they are lacking real puckhandling defence. I wouldn’t put Redden or Mezaros in that category. I certainly wouldn’t want Phillips, Volchenkov, Commodore or Richardson to be responsible for carrying the puck out of danger!

    Last Saturday, Corvo was causing fits for the Habs all night long.

    It’s a deal that makes sense for both teams.

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