Caps Add Corvo, Jurcina at Deadline; Trade Reaction

Posted by Dave Nichols | Wednesday, March 03, 2010 | , , | 0 comments »

General Manager George McPhee completed his busy day right at the deadline, pulling off two of the four deals he swung today.

The Caps acquired defenseman Joe Corvo from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for D Brian Pothier, AHL forward Oskar Osala and a 2011 second round pick.

Previous to that move, they sent a 2010 sixth rounder to Columbus to re-acquire D Milan Jurcina, fresh off his successful Olympic experience, but recently diagnosed with a sports hernia.

Corvo, 32, recovered from the skate slash that has kept him to just 34 games played this season, has four goals and eight assists (-6) with 10 penalty minutes.  He is known as having a big shot from the point and an effective quarterback of the power play.

He had 38 points with over 200 shots on goal last season for Carolina. 

Jurcina returns to the Caps after being dealt to Columbus along with Chris clark for winger Jason Chimera.  He brings his big frame and powerful (if inaccurate) shot to the Caps blue line.  It's not known at this time how the sports hernia will effect Jurcina's playing time.

For the day, the Caps brought in four players via trade and sent away just one (Pothier) that was on the big league roster.

It's apparent from the day's dealings that McPhee and Coach Bruce Boudreau like the overall makeup of the team they've assembled, and went about tweaking in certain spots instead of making a big, splashy deal.

Eric Belanger, a second/third line center, is in the top ten in the league in face-off percentage.  He give Boudreau some flexibility in his line combinations and allows Tomas Fleischmann to move back to his more natural wing position.

Corvo, while not being the rugged, stay-at-home defenseman so many fans and bloggers clamored for, is an overall upgrade on the blue line for the Caps.  He's a good puck-moving top four defenseman.

Scott Walker, picked up earlier from Carolina, will provide grit and leadership from the checking line.  He's missed time this season due to a bum shoulder, but has returned to the ice.  He's had a couple 20-goal seasons to his credit as well, so he's capable offensively.

Jurcina brings a big body and big shot.  His addition probably spells the end of Tyler Sloan in a Caps sweater for the foreseeable future.

Further, all the players coming back are expiring contracts, so McPhee did not handicap himself for the future taking on bad money. 

It's interesting to note that Corvo and Belanger had both played for Boudreau before in the AHL.

So while the Caps didn't land a headliner, they filled some cracks and picked up some solid hockey players.  McPhee took the opportunity to gear up for a long playoff run without sacrificing any parts that would affect the long-term viability of the franchise.

The coming weeks will tell if McPhee picked up enough at this deadline to achieve the goal this season.  But as he and owner Ted Leonsis have stated whenever asked, they have built this team to compete for several seasons, not just this year.  And nothing McPhee did today jeopardized that.