Tracking the Storm

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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72