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Stillman Adds Depth at Forward, Power Play

Thursday, 02.24.2011 / 6:40 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Stillman Adds Depth at Forward, Power Play
When it comes to adding experienced players for the stretch drive, Jim Rutherford prefers to go with what he knows.

Paul Branecky
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On Thursday, the Hurricanes General Manager re-acquired left wing Cory Stillman from the Florida Panthers in exchange for center Ryan Carter and a fifth-round pick in 2011. Stillman, a 37-year-old veteran of 1,004 NHL games, spent parts of three seasons in Carolina and was an alternate captain on the 2006 Stanley Cup championship team.

Much like when he re-acquired Erik Cole from Edmonton at the 2009 trade deadline, Rutherford is getting a player who will require a relatively short adjustment period at this late stage in the season.

“He’s a player that we’re very familiar with,” said Rutherford, who sent Stillman and defenseman Mike Commodore to Ottawa in exchange for Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves three years ago this month. “He’s won a Stanley Cup over his career and he’s a player that can still contribute.”

Rutherford added that Stillman will help balance out the team’s depth at forward. That’s particularly true of the left wing position, which has been in a constant state of flux all season due to injuries and player performance.

Whether that’s in a featured role alongside Eric Staal, a move that would reunite the powerhouse 2005-06 line of Stillman, Staal and Erik Cole, remains to be seen.

“He was the left wing when Eric had his most productive year,” said Rutherford. “A few things have probably changed in Cory’s game over the last five years, but one thing that hasn’t diminished at all is his playmaking.”

At any rate, the Canes figure to put that skill to use on the power play, which enters Friday’s game against Pittsburgh in a 1-30 slump. Stillman, who has 7 goals and 16 assists (23 points) in 44 games this season, is scheduled to arrive in Raleigh on Thursday night and enter the lineup immediately.

Stillman, who waived his no-trade clause to re-join the Hurricanes, is on the last year of a three-year contract, with the Hurricanes on the hook for the remainder of his $3.5 million salary before he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Canes’ trade of Ian White last week allowed them the financial flexibility to make Thursday’s move.

Speaking of that deal, Rutherford said that the second-round pick that was acquired from San Jose along with Derek Joslin in exchange for White could be used to bolster the team’s defense prior to Monday’s trade deadline.

“We’ll still look and listen, but now that we’ve balanced out the forwards, if something comes up to balance out our D, we’ll do that,” he said.

Rutherford reiterated his stance that the team’s prospects in Charlotte were not available for other teams, as he wanted the Checkers to have a strong finish and playoff run in their first year as an American Hockey League franchise.

Although Carter missed Thursday’s practice, it seems that his absence was genuinely related to the nagging upper-body injury that has kept him out of the lineup for the last two weeks. Reports out of Florida suggest that the center, who the Hurricanes acquired in exchange for prospects Stefan Chaput and Matt Kennedy in November, will not make his Panthers debut right away.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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