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Canes, Corvo 'A Good Fit'

Wednesday, 07.7.2010 / 4:27 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canes, Corvo \'A Good Fit\'
The Hurricanes didn’t have to look far to find the defenseman they were looking for.

Paul Branecky
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The team brought Joe Corvo back into the fold with a two-year deal on Wednesday, just four months after the deadline trade that sent him to Washington.  Speaking from his home in Raleigh, Corvo expressed relief to be back where he feels he belongs.

”My family is really comfortable here, and I’m really comfortable with the coaching staff and what goes on here,” said Corvo, who hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent following his brief stint with the Capitals.  “I know Jim (Rutherford) feels that I fit in with the organization.”

Similar to other players who pass through Carolina, Corvo, 33, said that he planned to make his home in Raleigh permanent and that he preferred not to move his family to another NHL city.

”When I first got here we bought a house with that the thought that it was going to be temporary, but we had the talk that we were going to stay here until after I retired,” said Corvo, who has two young sons.  “You can’t go wrong with the weather, the schools and the golf.”

Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford was appreciative of Corvo’s commitment to re-join the team, an event which he admitted seemed unlikely in recent days due to the player’s initial demands and the team’s projected payroll.

”We continued to talk and try to make this work,” said Rutherford.  “He’s one of the players that say that they want to live here and play here, and he compromised.  He had the opportunity to make a few choices.”

The signing greatly increases the Canes’ depth on defense, as they again have three players in Corvo, Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkanen that can log huge minutes from the back end.  According to Rutherford, that was a key reason for making the deal.

“It takes pressure off our entire defense, because now guys are put in proper spots where they feel comfortable,” he said.  “It also helps our overall team, because we have guys that can move the puck and put up points, which will take some pressure off our forwards.”

Rutherford said he now feels he has four defenseman who are capable of scoring at least 30 points next year in Corvo, Pitkanen, Anton Babchuk and Jamie McBain.  He called a pairing of Corvo and Gleason “almost automatic” for next year based on its past success, but said other pairings and personnel would not be sorted out until training camp.

As the latest in a long line of former Canes turned Canes again, Corvo equated his own situation to that of good friend Erik Cole’s.  Similar to how the team targeted Cole at the 2009 trade deadline as someone who could contribute immediately without having to find his niche, Corvo feels that he’ll benefit from coming into a situation he knows well rather than facing the uncertainty that comes with new surroundings.

“You know where you stand when you’ve played with a certain team and a certain coach,” he said.  “I can kind of get right back in the swing of things like I never left.”

”I’m a lot more comfortable when you know somebody,” said Rutherford.  “We know how he plays and how he fits into our team.”

Rutherford said that the signing of Corvo does not mean that he’ll stop talking to defensemen Brett Carson and Alexandre Picard about a return to the team, but that negotiations with those two will be the extent of his free-agent hunting for the time being due to his preference to let young forwards battle for spots in training camp.

”We really feel that Carson’s development has come along,” said the GM.  “If we can figure out a way to keep him and/or Picard, we’ll try and do that.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81