In July of 2011 the Boston Bruins traded a 2012 fourth round draft pick for defenseman Joe Corvo of the Carolina Hurricanes. For those of you that don’t know, Corvo began his career in New England, starting with the Springfield Falcons(1998) and then the Manchester Monarchs(2001) of the American Hockey League (AHL). It was at this time that Corvo began to run into trouble. At a mere 25 years old, it would appear Corvo’s dream of making it into the NHL was dissolving right in front of his eyes so he turned to drinking his sorrows away in bar after bar, city after city. A habit that would lead to something devastating eventually, a DUI or drunken bar fight, eventually.
On November 13, 2002 it all came around full swing. Corvo was in the Trio Café, a bar on Lincoln Street in Boston that has since closed. It was on this night that Corvo would grab the rear end of a woman and was thrown out of the bar. That should be it, close the book end of story, right? Unfortuntely, that’s not the end of this chapter for Corvo, as he re-entered the bar later on, punched her in the face and after she had fallen on the floor, he kicked her repeatedly before fleeing.
At first Corvo denied the charges filed against him as he was charged with assault an battery with a deadly weapon (his foot), but would later plead guilty receiving a three-game suspension from the Monarchs and two-year suspension from the judge. He was put on probation for three years, and was required to attend anger management sessions.
In 2006, the woman Corvo assaulted, brought a civil suit against the hockey player, resulting in $100,000, her lawyer claiming they were, “not convinced that he was truly sorry for what he had done or that he was really taking responsibility for his actions.”
So why would the Bruins, knowing his rap sheet, along with everyone else in the NHL, pick him up? With the loss of Kaberle in the off-season, the Bruins needed an addition to a power-play unit that currently was nothing short of atrocious. It didn’t produce nearly enough, and GM Peter Chiarelli found someone who could help change that. Corvo.
As of late there as been a lot of speculation regarding the defenseman, most recently regarding his inability to fight Senators’ Kyle Turris. But Corvo is not a fighter. It took him until THIS SEASON to pick up his first NHL fight, 592 games of his career, registered with no fighting majors.
“The only time I think I’ve ever put my hands on anybody was probably in junior high school,’’ said Corvo. “It was really out of character for me. You kind of realize that it’s not you. It’s something else that’s controlling you.It was really an eye-opening thing, a pretty scary thing to discover about yourself.”(via Boston Globe)
Corvo has since changed his ways, although he hasn’t gone to rehab for alcoholism, he has cut down significantly. The assault charge changed him. The anger management sessions changed him. Parenthood changed him. Corvo and his wife have two sons, ages 7 and 5.
“Am I happy that that happened?’’ Corvo said. “No, not in the least bit. But sometimes people do things and they get second chances. I’d like to think that I’ve done the best I could with the second chance that I’ve been blessed with.’’(via Boston Globe)
He was brought to Boston to be an offensive minded defenseman that would help boost the power play. This season he has registered 3 goals and 20 assists in 64 games played. He is one of only four men on the team to play in all 64 of the games with the Bruins. While he may not have the best statistics on the team, there is no way his past and his present performance on the ice are in any way related. Fans of Boston need to realize that what happened to Corvo prior to his Boston days is his past, he has taken the steps to better himself and they in no way reflect the player he is on the ice. As true Bruins fans, we need to look past the demons he has in his wide open closet and focus on what he brings to our team. Things like dedication, heart, passion. Qualities that, as Boston fans, we should admire and love just as we would in any other player on the team. Look past it all and give him a chance.