Analysis: Sens, Canes deal good for both sides

With Monday’s blockbreaker – yes, I’m not prepared to give it the “buster” tag just yet – deal involving the Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes, the first consequential trade of the NHL’s trade deadline period was completed.

And it definitely looks like it falls into the “both teams benefit” category.

In now-former Hurricanes Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore, the Senators boost their secondary scoring and add toughness to what has been a lilting defense corps.

Going south for the rest of the winter are Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves, who will respectively offer a puck-moving presence on the blueline and a young forward whose best days still are ahead of him.

Since both Stillman and Commodore are unrestricted free agents after this season, the risk for the Sens is relatively small, with a potentially large upside.

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The ‘Canes take on a bigger salary in Corvo – who still has two years and $5.25 million remaining on his contract at the end of ’07-08 – but they also get Eaves, a restricted free agent this summer who’ll likely have more productive NHL seasons in the future than any other player in the deal.

I’m calling it a wash. And I’m also noting that Stillman, who won Stanley Cups in Tampa Bay and Carolina, now has the chance to join Joe Nieuwendyk as one of just nine NHLers ever to win three Cups with three different teams.