Cory Stillman A Safe Pickup For Carolina

The announced acquisition of Cory Stillman this afternoon by the Carolina Hurricanes provoked a strong response by the passionate fanbase of the team.  As with every major decision that is made concerning the franchise, some fans are happy and some fans are upset.

And like any trade made at the deadline, we won't know if it was a good move or not until after the season is over.

The possible positive aspects of the trade?

  1. The Canes did not overpay.  First off, Ryan Carter passed through the waiver wire earlier this season, so his value was relatively low to begin with.  Now that he's injured and there is no way to know when, or even if he will return, his value is even lower.  Perhaps the Panthers didn't even request him, maybe he was thrown in the deal by Carolina to move a body?  Regardless, if the team wants him back he will be a UFA in a couple of months, so they would only be losing his services for a short period of time.  A fifth round pick has debatable value, but in most cases 5th rounders don't make it to the NHL.   
  2. Stillman certainly won't disrupt the chemistry in the room.  Many of the players know him, and he knows them.  He might even teach the younger players a few tricks.  His presence should motivate the team to do better.
  3. The winger is as smart as they come and should help improve the powerplay, if nothing else.

The possible negative aspects of the trade?

  1. It sure looks like the Canes are not going to be sellers at this point, so for those wanting a big sell-off for multiple assets at the deadline, all bets are off.  
  2. Stillman might be too slow and old to keep up or be effective.  
  3. This acquisition will somehow stunt the development of the youngsters in Charlotte.

Of course depending upon what your opinion is, you can turn each positive into a negative, and vice versa. 

Jim Rutherford was on 99.9 The Fan late today and explained that he felt Jerome Samson was the only prospect in Charlotte ready for the NHL at this point in time.  One can understand that if team management feels that Zach Boychuk, Drayson Bowman, Zac Dalpe, and company are not quite ready for the big time, they certainly don't want to throw them into the pressure cooker of an NHL playoff run, where every game is a must win game and every player is under the microscope. 

There have been cases when NHL teams have rushed young players prematurely into the gauntlet and in some cases, those athletes lost their confidence and careers have been ruined.  If nothing else, the organization can be praised for not taking the cheap way out and forcing the youngsters into situations they are not yet ready for.

Stillman is definitely not the cheapest option out there.  He will be paid what's remaining of his $3.5 million contract. 

This move also shows fans that the franchise is serious about making the playoffs and they were able to improve without trading away a valuable asset or prospect.  One more thing, Rutherford said that he might not be done yet.

Fans will get to see the return on their investment soon enough as Stillman will play Friday night against the Penguins at the RBC.

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