Despite success, Wolves still seeking the right mix

Despite success, Wolves still seeking the right mix
ROSS DETTMAN / CHICAGO WOLVES | There's been a lot of celebrating of late for the Wolves, especially at home where they've earned a point in a franchise-best 17 consecutive games (15-0-2-0).

The victories keep coming for the Chicago Wolves. And so do the roster moves. On Wednesday, the Wolves acquired defenseman Joe Corvo on loan from the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, a transaction that came only four days after the Wolves received two players for trading Mark Mancari to the Florida Panthers.

“It happens a lot, but you hate to see guys go that you’ve been with most of the year,” center Keith Aucoin said of Mancari’s departure. “We’ve got some guys who have come in that are good players that are going to help our team.”

In return for Mancari, the Wolves received a pair of veterans: defenseman Doug Janik, and left wing Eric Selleck. With the addition of Corvo, the Wolves roster has ballooned to 28 entering tonight’s game at Grand Rapids.

Corvo, an Oak Park native, spent the tail-end of the 2004-05 season with the Wolves, helping the team reach the Calder Cup final before being swept by the Philadelphia Phantoms. Corvo had seven goals and 14 points in 23 regular-season games, before chipping in four goals and nine points in 18 playoff games.

Keeping everybody happy with their ice time may cause some headaches for coach John Anderson, but the players know the moves are being made with an eye toward a long Calder Cup run.

“It’s part of the business, especially if you’re a team that’s looking to make a run,” captain Taylor Chorney said of the moves. “You know you’re looking to add some parts down the stretch, and guys kind of expected maybe there’d be some changes. It’s something we’re prepared for, and that we’ll deal with as it comes along.”

Bringing Janik and Corvo aboard gives the Wolves 10 defensemen, meaning four will sit each game.  It also comes at a time in which the Wolves are rolling. They’ve earned a point in a franchise-best 17 consecutive home games, and are on a four-game overall winning streak to move into fourth place in the Western Conference.

Adding new players could throw off a team’s chemistry, but Anderson doesn’t think that will be the case for the Wolves, who trail the Griffins by three points for the Midwest Division lead heading into tonight’s game.

“That depends on the psychological strength of the core of your team,” Anderson said, regarding the risk to the team’s chemistry. “I think that our guys will embrace anything that makes us better because when a team wins a championship, it’s not about an individual. It’s about everybody. Everybody benefits from it. Guys are understanding that now.”

With the three newcomers, the Wolves also have seven veterans and two vet-exempt players. According to AHL rules, teams can only suit up five veterans, plus one vet-exempt each night, or four veterans and two vet-exempts. The Wolves vet-emempt players are Sergey Andronov and Derek Nesbitt, who are both out with injuries.

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