Senators News: July 8th

-The strange off-season continues for the Sens as they signed former Sen Joe Corvo (40-6-11-17) to a one-year, 900k contract.  Murray said the following about the deal:

Joe brings us a veteran defenceman that has a history of scoring points in the National Hockey League. He is now one of seven defenceman that we have in the organization and we need depth — or we needed depth — and we certainly have that provided now in Joe. He has been here, he has an understanding of what it takes to play in this market now and, again, the most important thing with Joe is he’s a veteran guy that can play on the power play, he can shoot the puck well, address some of the needs that are needed in the league today where you need to get points from your back end and he’s one of those people that can provide it.

Corvo does fill a need for Ottawa (a right-handed, offensively minded blueliner), but that’s not what comes to mind for Ottawa fans.  Let’s recall that Corvo forced his way out of Ottawa in 2008 and (admittedly like many of us) didn’t think much of the (largely unchanged) media here:

The media (in Ottawa) at times can be completely ridiculous, the way they can take some of the stories that are nothing and make something out of them.

Murray wasn’t very charitable about him when he traded Corvo:

I don’t know whether it was the pressure or never having a life away from the building, but he felt that Joe would enjoy going to an American team. He wanted to play where there was less scrutiny. He just couldn’t handle the pressure here.

Corvo also mentioned that his family didn’t like it in Ottawa (same link).  And lest we forget, Joe has other things in his past that won’t endear him to fans:

In a November 2003 story published in the New Hampshire Union Leader, it was reported that Corvo was a member of the Monarchs when the assault incident on a woman happened during an informal team night out in Boston in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2002. While at the Trio Restaurant that day, prosecutors said Corvo grabbed a 34-year-old woman’s buttocks. Staff members at the restaurant told Corvo to leave and he did. But Corvo returned, allegedly punched the woman and then kicked her when she fell to the ground. The woman was later treated at Massachusetts General Hospital for bruises and swelling on her face. Nearly a year later in 2003 as a rookie defenseman with the Los Angeles Kings, Corvo pleaded guilty to a felony count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon — his foot — and one misdemeanor count of simple assault and battery. Corvo was given a suspended sentence by a Boston Municipal Court Judge. He was placed on probation for three years and ordered to complete a batterer’s program and to perform community service in Boston.

That’s a long time ago, but it does speak to character.  It’s hard to view the new partnership as anything other than a train wreck, but as the team’s fifth defenseman perhaps he’ll stay under the radar enough that all will be forgotten.

Travis Yost tries to figure out how Erik Karlsson and Bobby Ryan will connect through an examination of Ryan‘s possession numbers via the defensemen he’s played with in Anaheim.  It’s safe to assume one will help the other, but I’ll focus on this:

although I’m sure that it also has a bit to do with playing alongside Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne

You can’t divorce his linemates from the players on the blueline when it comes to performance.  Virtually everything I’ve seen discussing Ryan includes how well he’ll do alongside Jason Spezza, but I really wonder if Spezza will remain healthy.  He has back problems that will never go away so his career is about managing them.  Regardless, Ryan will do well if his superstar partners are healthy.

Harrison Mooney thinks the Sens are better off with the way Daniel Alfredsson handled his departure:

he took all the blame, and now you don’t have to feel bad about your organization going in a different direction.

I agree he did the organisation a favour by putting all the blame on himself and allowing them to move forward.  It would have been very easy for Alfredsson to start blaming the organisation for various things, but ultimately he made everything about him.

Elliotte Friedman believes Alfredsson left because he felt insulted with the negotiations for his contract–saying that after all the home town discounts the Sens should have simply let him pick his price.  It’s an interesting theory and I think it played a role in his decision, but ultimately I think Friedman’s focus is too narrow–it’s simply one factor among others.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)