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Canadiens vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Canes Make Unexpected Swoop for Kaberle

Tuesday, 07.05.2011 / 5:23 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canes Make Unexpected Swoop for Kaberle

As unexpected as it was to those that follow the team, the Hurricanes didn’t necessarily see it coming either.

Paul Branecky
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Just days after saying he was happy with his defense amid significant turnover among the forward ranks, General Manager Jim Rutherford pulled the simultaneous trigger on the signing of free agent defenseman Tomas Kaberle and the trade of defenseman Joe Corvo to Boston in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick.

After locking up Joni Pitkanen to a new deal prior to the start of the July 1 free agent period, Rutherford didn’t seem to be in the market for a puck moving, power-play specialist along the lines of Kaberle, whose 25 assists on the man advantage ranked fifth among all NHL players last season. However, a weekend trade request by Corvo created a spot.

“Once we talked about moving Joe, it moved us back into the free agent market,” said Rutherford. “We feel (Kaberle) is one of the top puck-moving defenseman in the league.”

The Hurricanes’ GM said that he did not feel as though his hands were tied by Corvo’s request, but rather that he felt it was the best outcome for all parties given the circumstances.

“It wasn’t a demanding request,” said Rutherford. “It was more of a general analysis of where he’s at and where he fit in. I think it was a little bit about where he was in his career and his contract status.”

Corvo, who recently turned 34, has one year left on a deal that will pay him $2.5 million next season. Kaberle’s contract, a three-year pact that will pay him an average of $4.25 million, presents a budgetary increase for the Canes, but one they could afford with the recent departure of Erik Cole to Montreal.

Previoulsy, Rutherford had mentioned potentially using that space to trade for a forward to help replace Cole. That could still happen down the line, but it would appear that the recent signings of Alexei Ponikarovsky and Anthony Stewart, as well as the possible ascension of a handful of the team’s forward prospects, have put such a move on hold for the time being.

“We’ll see when the time comes around,” said Rutherford. “With some of our young guys and the addition of Anthony Stewart, this was not something I was going to rush. We may wait until the season starts and then see if we need to make a move then.”

Kaberle, whose brother Frantisek was a member of the Hurricanes' 2006 Stanley Cup team, is one of several former Toronto Maple Leafs now in the organization, joining Ponikarovsky, Tim Brent, Jay Harrison and Jiri Tlusty. With the exception of Brent, all played for Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice during their time in Toronto.

“(Maurice) obviously has a comfort level with Tomas and they really get along well,” said Rutherford.

The day’s moves leave the Hurricanes with seven defensemen that are expected to be under one-way contracts next season. Rutherford said that the only one of those currently without a deal in hand, restricted free agent Derek Joslin, filed for arbitration on Tuesday but that he did not predict that would be a major stumbling block in getting a deal done.

“He’s our player now,” said Rutherford. “It’s just a matter of if we settle or pay him what the arbitrator says.”


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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 PIT 32 22 6 4 102 72 48
2 NYI 33 23 10 0 104 91 46
3 MTL 34 21 11 2 92 83 44
4 TBL 35 20 11 4 113 93 44
5 DET 34 17 8 9 94 84 43
6 TOR 34 19 12 3 114 102 41
7 NYR 31 17 10 4 93 81 38
8 WSH 32 16 10 6 95 85 38
9 BOS 34 17 14 3 86 88 37
10 FLA 31 14 9 8 69 79 36
11 OTT 33 14 13 6 89 92 34
12 PHI 33 13 14 6 92 99 32
13 CBJ 32 14 15 3 79 102 31
14 NJD 35 12 17 6 77 102 30
15 BUF 34 13 18 3 66 109 29
16 CAR 33 9 20 4 68 92 22

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 33 6 14 -13 20
E. Staal 28 7 11 -10 18
J. Skinner 29 8 8 -4 16
R. Nash 33 4 12 -3 16
E. Lindholm 33 8 7 -8 15
J. Tlusty 28 10 3 -11 13
N. Gerbe 29 3 10 -2 13
A. Sekera 31 1 11 -8 12
C. Terry 24 6 3 -1 9
V. Rask 33 4 5 -8 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 9 12 2 .911 2.44
A. Khudobin 0 8 2 .900 2.91