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Chiarelli's Caution Rewarded In Corvo

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- July 1 was known as Free Agency Frenzy: the day the free agency period officially began for the NHL, which prompted a flurry of signings, trades and contract negotiations.

Corvo takes a shot
But Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli was calm, and waited, it seemed, for the “frenzy” to die down.

The Stanley Cup Champion GM’s patience paid off yesterday, when Boston acquired defenseman Joe Corvo from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

“You go kind of past the free agency days, the first couple of days, and you look to possible trades, if you’re not satisfied with what you’ve accomplished in the free agency,” Chiarelli said. “We felt very strongly about Joe as a player and we went after and acquired him.

“He’s someone that we’ve talked about over the last little bit as we’ve progressed on some of these free agent signings.”

Corvo impressed Chiarelli with his speed, the GM said, adding that the blueliner’s skill with the puck and his dangerous shot complete the package. Chiarelli anticipates that Corvo will give Boston an edge in the ever-important neutral zone, aiding teammates with his skills in guiding the puck up the ice.

It’s those skills that Chiarelli also thinks will make the defenseman a vital part of the Boston power play. The 6’1”, 210-pound Corvo, who netted five goals and added 18 assists when his team had the man-advantage this season, looks to become a dangerous addition to the Bruins power play.

“He’s very dangerous that way,” Chiarelli said. “His skating and passing helps with the entries and he’ll be an asset to our power play.”

Chiarelli’s also heartened by the experience that Corvo will add to the roster. The defenseman’s skated in 568 career NHL games, posting an all-time line of 79-179-258. He’s also appeared in 45 postseason games, earning an overall playoff line of 5-13-18. It’s the mark of a veteran, Chiarelli says, a mark that points to valuable experience and understanding of his own play.

“You heard him say he’s feeling more comfortable in what he does and what he can do and what he can’t do,” Chiarelli said, “And that’s a tremendous thing to say that, because you’re maturing as a player. And his play reflects that.”

Though Corvo played last season as a right-sided defenseman, tying career highs in points (40) and assists (29) while scoring 11 goals, Chiarelli thinks the defenseman has the appropriate skill set to potentially make a switch to the left side for Boston. The GM also thinks that Corvo, who played in all 82 games of Carolina’s 2010-11 season and averaged the second-most ice time on the Hurricanes, has the “sturdy body” necessary to become an integral part of Boston’s lineup.

“He’s fast enough, he’s got a good enough stick, and he’s smart enough,” Chiarelli said, adding,  “So I’m sure you’re going to see a lot of different combinations.”

---Elizabeth Traynor
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