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Bruins seeking assets for Kaberle's negotiating rights

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  June 29, 2011 09:05 AM

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There remains a possibility that Tomas Kaberle could re-sign with the Bruins after July 1. But with the Bruins putting Kaberle's negotiating rights up for grabs, it's clear the two sides do not agree on a term and number for a Black-and-Gold extension.

If they succeed in trading Kaberle's negotiating rights, the Bruins could land a low-level pick. Yesterday, Vancouver acquired the Islanders' 2012 fourth-rounder for Christian Ehrhoff's rights.

Kaberle put up a 4-43--47 line during the regular season. In the playoffs, Kaberle submitted a 0-11--11 performance in 25 games.

However, the puck-moving defenseman ultimately settled into a third-pairing role with the Bruins. In Game 7, Kaberle logged just 9:14 of ice time. It is hardly the workload that merits an annual payday north of $3.5 million, the number Kaberle might receive on the open market from a team like Detroit.

The Bruins have enough cap space to give Kaberle the sum he desires. But it would be financially irresponsible to dedicate big bucks to a third-pairing defenseman, even if it's offset by the bargain that is Adam McQuaid ($575,000 cap hit).

Instead, the Bruins will allow Steven Kampfer and Matt Bartkowski to fight for a big-league job in training camp. They could also look for a cheaper depth defenseman on the market.

The Bruins traded Joe Colborne, their 2011 first-round pick, and their 2012 second-rounder for Kaberle. Ultimately, Kaberle helped them win a Cup, justifying the trade. However, management projected Kaberle to have a far bigger impact than he did.


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