Today, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon “took what he could get” from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for veteran left wing Cory Stillman. The ransom comes in the form of now well-traveled and injured centerman Ryan Carter and a 5th round pick in 2011.
In his third season as a Panther, Stillman has seen his point totals decrease every season. All three seasons have been marred by injuries as the 37-year-old has played in only 63 and 58 games over the past two year before missing 16 games this year. In addition it has been three years since Stillman hit the 20 goal marker after eclipsing the plateau in eight of his 15 years in the NHL.
Clearly Stillman finds himself on the downside of his career but now reunited in similar surroundings. In his last stint on the Canes, he usually flanked Eric Staal, Erik Cole and Rod Brind’Amour amongst others. He gets a chance at rekindling that chemistry as two of the three are still a part of the organization (at least as players).
GM Jim Rutherford likes to reacquire players with former success and this Cup winner brings just that. He feels Stillman will come back as a similar player, just like the guy who tallied 76 points in 72 games back in 2005-2006, according to the team’s official site:
“This was a good opportunity for us to add some experience,” said Rutherford. “Cory adds more depth to our forward lines and we are familiar with what he is capable of doing offensively.”
Expect Stillman to help on the powerplay as he brings a playmaking ability the team currently lacks. He could play anywhere between the first to third line, helping the young core of promising players like Brandon Sutter, Jeff Skinner and Jamie McBain further develop.
In summary… (line changes)
Hurricanes: One of the three left wings– Jussi Jokinen, Chad LaRose or Jiri Tlusty– will move down a line. Jokinen could even move back to center, further mixing everything up.
Panthers: The team immediately re-called Bill Thomas and Michal Repik from the minors; one of the two will take Stillman’s place.
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