Corvo in for Oil change?

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

DALLAS -- Is a trip back to the Western Conference in Joe Corvo's future?

While sources say it's only a "slim" possibility, there's talk here the Oilers have shown a mild interest in Corvo, who would fill the role of a much-needed, puck-moving defenceman.

Though Senators fans would probably urge GM John Muckler to make the deal, the indications are Edmonton has major concerns about taking on the balance of Corvo's contract.

Corvo, who signed a four-year, $10.5-million US deal in the off-season, has struggled to fit in with the Senators and has slipped to being the club's sixth blueliner.

Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe has been looking for someone to help his power play all season and there's no question that Corvo is capable of quarterbacking a PP, but he's struggled with his confidence in Ottawa after spending the first three years of his NHL career with the Kings.

What would the Oilers offer in return?

The names of Fs Joffrey Lupul and Raffi Torres have been tied to just about trade rumour involving Edmonton this season.

Whether either of those two would fit the Senators' needs is open to debate, but if it means wiping money off the books it might not matter.

A more likely possibility for the Oilers would be grabbing St. Louis D Eric Brewer, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

NEED FOR SPEED? You could argue that Chicago's Martin Havlat, Atlanta's Marian Hossa and San Jose's Jonathan Cheechoo are among the fastest players in the NHL, but yesterday they were travelling at clips never seen on the ice. The trio, along with Buffalo's Brian Campbell and San Jose's Matt Carle, were whisked by helicopter to the Texas Motor Speedway. After landing in the infield, they were fitted with NASCAR suits, had a 30-minute training session, then got behind the wheel. "It was an incredible experience," said Havlat. "I have new respect for the drivers. The focus and concentration you need is incredible. We were going almost 160 mph into the turns and it was something else. It was nice to go that fast and not worry about being pulled over by a cop." The trip was filmed and will be televised.

AROUND THE BOARDS: Ottawa RW Dany Heatley is back to having a toothy grin. Heatley, who was looking good with a full smile, lost his fake tooth after being hit along the boards in the third period of the club's 3-0 win over the Bruins last Saturday. "It just kind of popped out. It was sort of funny," said Heatley. "The good thing is it glues back in and I'll be able to get it fixed when I get back to Ottawa." ... Commissioner Gary Bettman didn't give much of an update on the Penguins, but he did fire a warning shot at the people in Pittsburgh. "If the building -- on the right terms -- didn't materialize so that the fans in Pittsburgh didn't have the opportunity to see Sidney Crosby get older and better and if, in the unfortunate event they have to move, I have no doubt they will be successful wherever they go," said Bettman. "We want the team to stay in Pittsburgh, but it needs the building to do that." Kansas City remains the No. 1 contender to land the Penguins ... Florida coach and GM Jacques Martin said he expects RW Todd Bertuzzi to resume practising with the club in mid-February. "Hopefully, by the end of February he will be back," said Martin ... Rangers W Brendan Shanahan, a member of the NHL's competition committee, said the league doesn't need bigger nets. "I don't think we need to make the nets bigger. I think we've failed a little bit with the goaltenders," said Shanahan. "So much of the focus was on the width of their pads and it's really about their upper body. I just don't understand how a cop can dress in a bullet-proof vest and look normal. Yet our goaltenders have to look like lacrosse goalies and Michelin Men in order to stop a puck. I know they're going to hate me saying that, but I would prefer to streamline their equipment before I say make the nets bigger. They'd hate me more if I said that."


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