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The First Shoe Drops

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cross-posted (mostly) at The Battle of Ontario

Well, glove tap to Mirtle and TSN for informing us that the senators agreed all along with the Leafs fans that the sens are a one-line team with only one good pair of defencemen. They've made a deal with the Hurricanes that will see Corvo and Eaves head to Carolina while Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore jet up to the City that Fun Forgot. I think that this is a good deal and it's nice for Murray that Muckler didn't trade Eaves last year for Gary Roberts since he was so valuable. Alright, what are the lines? Clearly Spezza needs his security Heatley at his side but who's on the other flank and who gets to play their way to a big pay-day with Stillman and Alfie?

Mirtle does a little more analysis:

The Senators, in other words, come away with about $570,000 in cap space, which leaves them with about $3-million room. That prorates to about $7.5-million given there is only 40 per cent of the season left to play, which means GM Bryan Murray can add a few other additions at will.

And suddenly I am not as absolutely sure that the sens will fall on their faces in the playoffs...

Next Season: This is when the move will really start to pay off depending on how much salary is added before the deadline but according to NHL's Cap the sens' figure for next year was $41,902,329. By removing Corvo's salary and avoiding Eaves' RFA status that figure drops to $38,335,209 and that was not even including a raise for Eaves. That leaves Meszaros and Vermette as the team's only RFAs on the regular roster and Wade Redden, Commodore, Kelly, Robitaille, Richardson, and Stillman as the UFAs to be signed (or not) with about $15M in space based on a projected cap of $53M.

How it affects the Leafs

From a Hurricanes point of view they managed to get a young player and a defencemen that is signed to a decent contract for a couple of UFAs. From that end the trade is pretty similar to what the Leafs will be looking to get if they move some of their players. Hopefully, what it does is stir up the pot and make teams in the East more likely to try to improve their team. In an ideal world, this kicks of a hockey arms race with the Leafs racking in the prospects, picks, and young players.