Within an hour of seeing Tomas Kaberle sign with the Carolina Hurricanes for three years and $12.75 million (vastly overpaid but who isn’t these days), Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli struck a deal with the Canes, acquiring defenseman Joe Corvo in exchange for 4th round pick in 2012.
Corvo is what most would term an “offensive” defenseman who is capable of running the power play. He has outstanding offensive instincts and a hard shot from the point. He netted 11 goals (including 5 on the power play) and 29 assists in 82 games with the Hurricanes in 2010-11, and has 79 career goals in 568 NHL games over eight seasons. He will likely be a slight upgrade over Kaberle, at least on the power play.
Unfortunately (and amazingly), Corvo may actually be a downgrade from Kaberle defensively. The biggest knock on Corvo throughout his career (Los Angeles, Ottawa, Carolina, Washington, and Carolina again) has been the fact he takes too many chances which lead to bad turnovers, which in turn lead to goals. Maybe playing in the defensive system of Claude Julien will help cure Corvo of his turnover bug, but only time will tell.
Corvo signed a two-year deal with the Hurricanes on July 7, 2010 and will make $2.25 million in Boston this year. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2011-12 season.
He has played 70 or more games in all but one of his eight NHL seasons. He missed 28 games with a right leg injury suffered in December of 2009 and five games in 2006 with a fractured right foot. Other than a few battles with food poisoning and the flu, Corvo has been a reliable player in the lineup. He has appeared in 45 career playoff games with 5 goals and 13 assists. He had 2 goals and 7 assists and was a plus-6 in Ottawa’s run to the Stanley Cup finals in 2007.
Chiarelli promised the Bruins would not be big players in the free agent market this season, and thus far, he has stayed true to his word. I agree with not overpaying for Michael Ryder (2 years, $7 million with Dallas) or Kaberle. Benoit Pouliot does not inspire confidence, so the signing was a Theo Epstein-esque low-risk/high-reward type. I l like the acquisition of Corvo to help the power play, but his ice time other than on the pp needs to be limited until he proves he can handle the defensive responsibilities.
In the end, the Bruins still need to sign Brad Marchand as well as a winger who can play on the top three lines (hello Steven Stamkos). Everyone else in the East has improved their team, now it is time for the Bruins to do the same.