Friday, December 09, 2011

Kaberle for Spacek

2011/2012 StatsContract Details
To MontrealPositionAgeGPGAPYears
Cap Hit
Tomas KaberleDefense33290993$4.25 million
To CarolinaPositionAgeGPGAPYears
Cap Hit
Jaroslav SpacekDefense37140331$3.83 million

Friday morning was met pleasantly with a trade in the NHL, as the Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens swapped veteran defensemen in a straight-up deal, which will hopefully give each team a little bit of a spark, since both teams are currently out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Heading North to Montreal is underachieving defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who signed a 3-year deal with the Hurricanes in the off-season, but has failed to provide the kind of impact that Carolina was looking for.  Kaberle was just coming off a Stanley Cup winning season between the Maple Leafs and Bruins, signed for a hefty price in the off-season and has done nothing, but disappoint.  In Montreal, the Canadiens are looking for a little extra spark and heading back to the Northeast Division may be able to give Kaberle that extra kick in the pants.

Going in the opposite direction, the Hurricanes will acquire Jaroslav Spacek, who has been out of the Canadiens line-up since the middle of November with an upper-body injury.  Spacek, a more stable, stay-at-home defenseman might be able to provide a little more confidence in the blueline for the team's goaltending, without giving up a great deal of the offense that they got out of Kaberle.  Spacek has been cleared for contact in practice and is close to returning to action, which is likely what allowed this trade to happen in the end.

Salary CapThe cap difference on an annual basis is only about a quarter of a million, so the offset is quite minimal in this deal, but the attractive piece to this is that the Hurricanes are quietly working in the fashion of rebuilding and since Kaberle is not going to be a part of it, they will get free agency from Spacek this coming Summer, which opens up more space for the rebuild when free agency opens in July.  This is very attractive to the Hurricanes and should be measured as such.

The Canadiens will hope for the best out of Kaberle and if he can provide $4.25 million worth of good play (or the equivalent for the remainder of the season), they will certainly feel a bit more comfortable with Andrei Markov taking more time out of the line-up.

ImplicationsIn the draft, this could be an important move for John P.'s season, as he was expecting bigger things out of Kaberle, as the Hurricanes were.  John could use a big boost from Kaberle and his numbers with this deal, even if it is for his much-hated rivals of his favourite team.  John currently sits in 17th spot in the standings and is a ways away from the money spot, so a defenseman move will only likely see him move up a couple spots, nothing too extravagant.

Spacek, on the other hand, is an unpopular defenseman in the sheet pool, who has no real bearing on the pool.

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