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12-14-2011, 12:06 PM
Miller Time
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anyway you cut it, 4.25M$ is expensive for a PP specialist... unless Kaberle can remember how to be an effective dman in his own zone as well, hard to feel good about paying a premium for a one-trick pony.

i can't remember which ex-player/commentator was talking about it, but it's a relatively regular occurrence to see a player no longer be willing to "pay the price"... once that happens, it's pure fantasy to think said player will ever return to his previous form.

contrary to popular belief, not all pro athletes are, or remain, incredibly driven/passionate about getting better. Complacency happens far more often than non-athletes imagine, and in a sport as physically demanding/punishing & financially rewarding as NHL hockey, it's no surprise that you often see players drop off significantly despite being immensely talented.

Kaberle's drop, from a borderline top-10 overall dman in the league just 2-3 years ago, to a guy still young enough to be in his prime settling for a far from elite UFA contract (29th in the league as others point out), speaks volumes.

with no major injury to explain the decline, the "pay-the-price" argument holds a lot of weight imo.

if that is the case, expect things to just get worse from year to year. you can't "fake" wanting it, and you can't hang on as effectively as players think they can once they stop striving to be better.

ironically, Kaberle @ that kind of cap hit makes much more sense for a non-cap spending team like the Canes, and they were all to thrilled to unload him.

other thing people don't seem to consider is the Muller aspect...

here's a coach who knew Kaberle about as well as any coach in the league (except Ron wilson). As Mtl's assistant the past few years, and with how much we played the leafs, then prepping for the Bruins in the playoffs, Muller (who was very active in game preparations under Martin) would have scouted Kaberle extensively.

He arrives in Carolina, plays Kaberle a few games, and then the Canes send him to Muller's former team for another player (Spacek) he would know incredibly well.

Now, if you don't think Rutherford picked Muller's brain extensively on Kaberle (and Spacek) before trading him, then I don't bother commenting... You'd have to think Rutherford was a complete idiot for him NOT to have consulted at length with Muller prior to pulling off that trade.

If Muller thought Kaberle, whom he knows incredibly well, was an important asset for them to get better (and let's not forget that Muller favors a more offensively dynamic approach to playing, something Kaberle ostensibly would be better suited for), don't you think he'd have pushed Rutherford to keep him at least a bit longer, and that Rutherford would have been favorable to listening to his new hire (since it's in his interest that he succeed)?

doesn't take much common sense to figure out that Muller supported, if not encouraged moving Kaberle, or that he played a role in targeting Spacek (whom I bet he figured could be just as effective as Kaberle in the short term).

Anyhow, point is that habs took a huge risk in acquiring Kaberle, and as much as people are excited by his early PP contributions, a 4.25M$ cap hit for a defenseman that the coach doesn't feel comfortable playing late in the game is NOT a good asset to have traded for... lots of PP specialists available every year at a fraction of the price.

are people really more content with short-term gains at the cost of long-term pain?

I hope I'm wrong... I hope Julien, Muller, Rutherford & Chiarelli were all wrong...
I hope Gauthier's a better talent evaluator than those 6 (though the 4 cup rings to Gauthier's 0 doesn't inspire confidence).

I hope that come this time next year all the people happy/excited about this deal right now can rub it in my face b/c of how well Kaberle is still playing for us and how much better the Habs are b/c we have him.

Hope is an important thing to have, especially when the reality in front of your nose is none to bright.

Last edited by Miller Time: 12-14-2011 at 12:13 PM.
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