Tomas Kaberle struggled mightily at times with the Bruins, as he simply did not live up to expectations that accompanied him when he was traded to Boston last season. Those deficiencies, however, were overlooked largely in part to the Bruins’ run to a Stanley Cup Final.
Kaberle cashed in on that run, as well as his potential to once again be a playmaking defenseman this offseason when he signed a three-year deal for $12.75 million with the Carolina Hurricanes this offseason.
Once again, Kaberle is failing to live up to expectations, and unlike in Boston, the Hurricanes’ early-season struggles are only making matters worse for the defenseman. Things have gotten so bad, in fact, that Kaberle has been called by his boss.
Canes general manager Jim Rutherford talked about Kaberle’s disappointing play recently on XM Radio’s NHL Home Ice (stick tap to Pro Hockey Talk for finding it).
Rutherford certainly didn’t didn’t hold back.
“He hasn’t played up to what we hoped he would have played,” Rutherford said. “He came into camp and didn’t prepare himself properly. He came in like the Boston Bruins did after winning the Stanley Cup and enjoyed his summer, and he hasn’t caught up.
Rutherford went on to say that Kaberle’s play, along with the strong play from young blueliners Justin Faulk and Derek Joslin, may mean that Kaberle may soon find himself out of the rotation.
“He may very well get lost in the shuffle in here. I don’t know where it goes from there. I know there are some teams that are interested in him, and they aren’t quite sure that they want to take on all the money and that becomes somewhat complicated.
“He got off to a slow start by his own doing and now he has to figure out a way to get out of it or he won’t be playing with the Hurricanes long.”
You have to wonder how much trade interest there really is for a puck-moving defenseman who has seemingly lost his touch over the last season or two. Kaberle has been dreadful this season registering only five assists to go along with an unsightly minus-12 rating. Things have only gotten worse lately, too, as he’s a minus-6 in his last three games.
Carolina is just 8-14-4 this season, and they tried to shake things up recently when they fired head coach Paul Maurice.