Thread: Pre-Game Talk: Habs Training Camp
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01-11-2013, 12:33 AM
Miller Time
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Originally Posted by Et le But View Post
Wow, Karberle really does look much different. Who knows if it'll make a difference but he did put up a .5 PPG pace in Montreal even with all the criticism, so a little bit more mobility could make him a genuine offensive weapon.
while it's unlikely that his apparent (as superficial as chin evaluations can be) fitness level coming into this season is better than last year, I'm skeptical that this will play any role in improving his timidness with regards to contact which made him such a liability in the defensive zone...

that said, if the humiliation of being a healthy scratch, then being traded for an expiring contract, then being ragged on all year by the media in a hockey mad market, did in fact get to him and challenge his athlete ego (make no mistake, every elite athlete, no matter how soft or seemingly disinterested, has a pretty big ego at some level, it's a requirement to perform at such a high level), perhaps we will benefit from an athlete pushed to personal heights at the emotional level.

No doubt that Kaberle has immense skill and vision on the ice. If he's motivated and pushed himself through disciplined work this past extended off-season, he might be able to come in and be a very effective contributor.

The key will be who Therrien pairs him with, and how he gets used. Keeping him away from physically imposing forward lines & pairing him with a d-partner with enough skating/skill to complement Kaberle's strength in those departments (wouldn't mind seeing a Kaberle-Diaz 3rd pairing or Kaberle-Weber... both would be physically underwhelming, but if used strategically against softer top-6/9 trio's or against 4th line scrubs, their skating/passing/attacking attributes might very well mitigate the "soft as butter" issue).

either way, since we are likely stuck with him this year, the hope is obviously that he can regain some of the effectivness that at one time had him ranked among the top10-15 offensively minded dmen in the league. If he can approach that kind of effectiveness while not coming across as a very expensive PP specialist, perhaps by the deadline or even next summer we actually have some sort of trade market for him & can translate him into a more useful asset (b/c let's face it, even if he returns to a solid level of play, with Subban/Markov already in place as high-salaried offensively skilled dmen, and Diaz/Weber on the roster as much cheaper depth alternatives in that mould, even a solid version of Kaberle is redundant and wasteful at his cap hit... far better to turn him into other assets (picks/prospects) and target that money elsewhere.

Here's hoping he has a great year!

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