MONTREAL, QC. — The trade sending Tomas Kaberle from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Montreal Canadiens, in exchange for Jaroslav Spacek generated quite a few reactions around the league, from both the media and the fans. The trade was surprising in a way, knowing how well liked Spacek was within the room, and this was quite evident by the reactions of his now ex-teammates following the trade.
“This is the tough part of the job, losing a friend and a good teammate to another team. You never want to lose a teammate. You start off with a group and you want to win as a group. … But it’s part of the business. When you don’t win games, things happen, trades happen, people get fired. It’s not fun when you’re not winning. If you’re not paying attention, you should be now. There’s no one like Spatcho, and that’s a good thing.” – Hal Gill
“We not only lose a great player but a good teammate in Spatcho, he was a great person and I enjoyed playing with him. He was a veteran guy who passed on to us young guys his wealth of experience. I wished him the best and let him know I was thankful for the time he played here and for all the advice he gave me as a young guy coming in. You’ll remember that stuff the rest of your life, playing with a guy who’s been around such a long time. Spatchoman will be missed.” – P.K. Subban
“It’s always a sad thing to see [a trade] happen. Spatcho was really liked by everybody in this room. He loved to be around the boys. Everybody’s sad he’s left, but that’s the life of a hockey player.” – Tomas Plekanec
I, for one, don’t quite understand the move, even though I do. I understand the mentality, the mentality that if you can make your team just good enough to make the playoffs, the season starts over on equal fitting for all, and some say you have just as good a chance as anyone to go all the way. I disagree with this mentality and time has proven that if you’re not a top team, squeezing into the playoffs gives you very little chance to go all the way.
Friend of All Habs @kyleroussel wrote an interesting piece about the chances a team has of winning the cup, based on whether they have home-ice advantage or not, I invite you to read it. @Habswatch, who is also a friend of All Habs also wrote an interesting piece on how costly Jacques Martin’s system is to the Habs’ success. If you agree with his assessment, which I do, I fail to see how Kaberle will be effective as a Canadien in the long-run. Time will tell.
I categorize this move as a move that a team would do if they are in a cup contending position, like the Bruins were last season. In the end, the deal didn’t work out too well for them but it didn’t really matter. They had enough depth to overcome the fact that the deal didn’t work out, and also, he was at the end of his contract so the commitment was only minimal.
In Montreal’s case, the commitment is this season and two more. This brings about in me many reactions.
- What does this mean about Andrei Markov’s return?
- What does this mean about Josh Gorges, being in the Habs’ long-term plans?
- What does this mean for the Montreal Canadiens young defensive unit, more precisely the likes of Yannick Weber, Alexei Emelin and Raphael Diaz?
Overall, I feel like the Montreal Canadiens are doing what they’ve always done. Attempting to make this team good, without making it great. Sometimes, you need to fall down before you can get back up again. Montreal is refusing to fall all the way down. Does Kaberle make this team better? Right now I believe he does, but if this means he’s making the team good, at the cost of making it great in the long run, than I have an issue.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not about me having a problem with Kaberle, as I have nothing against him personally or as a hockey player. I just don’t believe his contract situation is appropriate for the position the Montreal Canadiens are in, a position that I feel they should be counting on youth in order to rebuild, rather than costly veterans in an attempt to plug a leaking boat.
And now, the Tomas Kaberle trade, in tweets:
Trade Breaker, and the chaos begins…
Yes he is, Kirk Muller found him, didn’t want him, shipped him to… holy crap, Kirk wth???
Try drinking some Molson 67 for that burning feeling.
Markov, who’s that?
If only you taking it, didn’t mean I had to as well…
Can he kick field goals and if so, are they worth three points?
I share that opinion.
Thinking not included.
That’s not funny.
That’s never a good sign.
And will be stuck with what he used to be for a very long time…
I sure as hell wouldn’t want to know what school Pierre Gauthier went to…
Hey, no worries buddy, you can always count on Montreal to accept an unacceptable contract and help out a fellow opponent.
Well what do you know… let’s talk again in 2014.
Follow me on Twitter: @stevofarnham