Tomas Kaberle hasn't exactly played great hockey since leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, and just 30 games into his tenure with the Carolina Hurricanes, his team apparently came to the conclusion that he wasn't worth the money any longer.
Canes general manager Jim Rutherford has dealt Kaberle and his $4.25 million cap hit to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Jaroslav Spacek, who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, has a cap hit of $3.833 million.
Kaberle is in the first year of a three-year contract signed in July. He went to Carolina after winning a Cup with the Boston Bruins, but he was in a depth position with the Bruins during the postseason run. Boston had hoped he would be the cog that tied the defense together behind Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, but instead he found himself playing limited, sheltered minutes. That's a trend that's only continued into this season with Carolina.
It's a slight upgrade on defense for the Hurricanes, and it certainly helps a wee bit in the money department for Rutherford's bunch. It's easy to see why Carolina makes this trade, but the same can't be said for the struggling Canadiens. With that contract and with the way his play has declined, acquiring Kaberle is a pretty big risk.
There's potential for reward if Kaberle can return to form, but nothing we've seen lately suggests that will be happening. It almost stinks of desperation from the Habs.