Sunday, February 12, 2006

Kaberle Cashes In

Help me out. I'm trying to understand the madness behind some NHL GM's madness. Earlier this week, the San Jose Sharks re-signed Evgeni Nabokov to a long-term contract worth more than the New Jersey Devils did Martin Brodeur. Yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs re-signed defensemen Tomas Kaberle to a new contract worth $21.25 million over five years.

Maybe all the losing this season has made JFJ insane. $4.25 million per year for five years seems like a severe overpayment for Kaberle. Remember that the Leafs, in order to get under the salary cap, had to let go of Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk - two of its heart and soul guys - and prayed to the heavens Owen Nolan's monstrous contract wouldn't count under it. And in case you're wondering, Kaberle's contract includes a no-trade clause, guaranteed for the first three years of the deal. With Bryan McCabe slated to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, where would the Leafs cut in order to re-sign him? How does Ed Belfour, Mats Sundin or Darcy Tucker sound?

Kaberle's offensive numbers are good; unfortunately, the rest of his game aren't. Of his 45 points, 33 came on the powerplay; he also has a plus-minus rating of -2. But probably more indicative of his value is that when Bryan McCabe missed nine games in January, Kaberle recorded a very average six points (1G-5A) and a horrendous -7 rating. The Leafs were 1-7-1 in the same span.

A $2 million per year raise for this? Somewhere out there, while packing his bags for Torino, Bryan McCabe is smiling.

From Damien Cox (Toronto Star):
Kaberle's a nice player, clever offensively with an average shot, and often less than average in his own end. The Leafs have never won anything with him on their blue line, but then again, you could say that about dozens of players.

That the decision to overpay a one-dimensional defenceman more than Dan Boyle, Robyn Regehr or Sergei Zubov was announced on the same evening the Maple Leafs were going down to yet another defeat in a season gone seriously sour, however, was a linkage too symbolic to ignore.

That it is the only significant transaction the team has made all year while gradually tumbling out of a playoff spot by the Olympic break tells you an awful lot about the manner in which the team appears utterly adrift.
Now I'm smiling.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 10:57 AM


At March 05, 2006 11:39 AM, Blogger cjames12 said...

I think to take Bryan McCabe as the superior defenseman of he and Kaberle is too easy. McCabe has a shot and he has a ton of grit but the offensive abilities of Kaberle can't be overlooked. I mean you can't even call McCabe a power play specialist, you can maybe call him a point-shot specialist because it isn't him standing behind the net setting up every single power play, it's Kaberle. To think of McCabe adeptly maneuvering his way through the neutral zone, gaining center ice and dumping the puck in would be a joke.
McCabe's stats are awesome and he brings needed grit to a soft blueline; but both he and Kaberle are one-dimensional offensive defenseman and I dare to argue that Kaberle's offensive attributes outnumber McCabes. Skating, passing and puckhandling to name a few.
The Leafs need McCabe, they struggled badly without him but McCabe struggled even more without Kaberle in the Olympics, where Kaberle flourished.

At March 18, 2007 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are you retards?


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