Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Stillman Effect

photo: newsobserver.com c/o Getty Images, Brian Bahr Corey Stillman Enjoys a Typical "Night Off"
Sequestered deep in the recesses of of the recent media buzz, accessible only via a very short lived text link was the announcement that the Hurricanes had signed veteran forward Corey Stillman. The 'Ning let the top scoring forward (80 pts) on their top scoring line (216 points) go to division rival Carolina, and that wasn't news?

Contrary to what seems to be emerging legend, Stillman didn't just rack up garbage goals on the coat tails Hart Trophy winner Martin St. Louis. In fact, the top scoring line on that Cup champion Lightning team wasn't the St. Louis, LeCavalier, Stillman line, it was the Richards, Modin, Stillman line. This line also featured the most balanced scoring with only 1 point separating Stillman and Richards. I've also heard the story told that Stillman's numbers were padded with points on from the PP. Yes, he did garner 26 of his 80 points on the PP, but those 26 points were only good enough to rank him 29th in the league in this category, well behind NHL studs like Kimmo Timmonen and Marek Zidlicky.

So why did the 'Ning let Stillman go to a division rival? Was it because Stillman, as TSN says, "(Stillman) Has a tendency to take too many nights off?" More likely it was because the champs knew they were entering a difficult signing period with their three highest profile stars-St. Louis, LeCavalier, and Khabibulin. IN reality, it wasn't so much that they let him go as it is was the perseverence of Jim Rutherford who went after Corey and got there the "firstest with the mostest."

All the accolades went to Philly and Edmonton for their prowess engineering the instant revamp of their teams via post CBA free agency, but few will acknowledge the leap the Carolina Hurricanes may have just made in signing Stillman.

Time will tell whether the CasonBlog "Stillman Effect" prophecy will pan out. Time will tell if he shares the puck and racks up the numbers with new linemates Eric Staal and Justin Williams. Still, I think the MSSM (Mainstream Sports Media) headlines should have read, "League's 30th ranked scoring team sign league's most underrated superstar."

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