You may remember my nemesis, Jared Crozier, from FanSided’s SenShot blog and I had a bet when the Checkers were playing the BSens in the Calder Cup playoffs. Hopefully you do not remember that wager ended poorly for this Checkers fan. Jared and I have discovered a mutual hockey respect and have remained civil during the off season. We will see how things pan out in October. Stay tuned.
The Tomas Kaberle of two seasons ago would have been a great pickup for the Canes. However, much like we saw with Wade Redden in Ottawa, Kaberle’s decline was quick and steep. He refuses to shoot the puck, and has had that reputation for some time. Teams have picked up on this trait and they can play off him, especially while killing penalties, which limits his effectiveness on the power play. The last part of the season and the playoffs was a time where I thought he was costing himself money each time he stepped on the ice, but obviously Rutherford thinks the change of scenery and re-uniting him with former Leafs coach Paul Maurice can bring back his former glory.
At his best, Kaberle is a talented, puck moving defenseman who is a puck distributor and a good power play quarterback. That Kaberle didn’t show up last season. He has a decent shot (when he decides to use it) and if he could make opponents honor it, his ability to pass the puck would become an even greater weapon.
He will not be a stellar defensive player, won’t be a great penalty killer and will disappoint in the physical game. He is pretty one-dimensional and will put up 40-50 points, but many of them will come when the game is already decided one way or the other. Kaberle is not the guy who will be clutch with the game on the line, in my opinion. He seems to lack the intensity you would expect from a clutch player.
Alrighty, thanks Jared for that very uplifting piece on the Canes newest payroll members. (Gulp)