Up until November 30th, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo was cruising right along. His 25 plus average minutes of ice time per game led the team and was also among the highest in the league. His 12 points at the time led all Carolina blueliners.
But all that came to an abrupt end when he got tangled up with Washington Caps' rookie Karl Alzner during an attempted line change. Somehow, Alzner's skate came up and deeply cut Corvo's right calf. The defenseman had to undergo surgery and ended up missing nine weeks of action.
He quietly returned to the lineup in Calgary on February 3 and played over 23 minutes, third most on the team that night.
Now having played in the last four games, he has yet to tally a point but is (+2) and has been averaging over 23 minutes a night for the Canes. But while he is playing a lot, the defenseman says that he is still not at 100%. I spoke with him about his health status on Tuesday.
"It's probably going to be next year until I feel back to normal. These things take a long time to heal. I'm a bit slow, but it's good enough to get by, I feel I can do my job out there. But it's tough to add the extra things right now."
We talked a bit about the possibility that he might be traded and if he thought the injury might affect that situation one way or the other.
"I really have no idea. It's not my job at all to think about that stuff. That's totally up to management. If I get traded, I'll find out when everyone else finds out. Like back in Ottawa, (even though I had asked to be traded a couple of months before), I didn't know it happened until the general manager called me that same day and told me. But like I said, as a player, my focus is really just to get back on the ice and start playing again. I can't think about that other stuff."
Corvo has never been one to mince words in an interview and he was very candid with his responses once again. But the fact that he might not be 100% until next year could severely lower his trade value, or perhaps even eliminate him from the market completely.
Since his contract expires this summer, under normal circumstances the blueliner with the rocket shot would be one of the top "offensive" defenseman available this trade deadline, but now?
Corvo's injury was a serious one and he's done very well with his rehab effort in order to get back on the ice ahead of schedule. Putting aside all the trade conjecture for a moment, the most important thing is that he is feeling healthy enough to play again and is working himself back into shape.
Hopefully, for his sake, he will be back to normal sooner rather than later.