Pat Hickey: Spacek-Kaberle trade boggles the mind

I don’t get it.

The Canadiens swapped defenceman Jaroslav Spacek Friday for Carolina’s Tomas Kaberle in a deal that doesn’t make sense on any level.

The most important consideration should be what Kaberle brings to the rink, and the Canadiens are hoping the defenceman injects some life into one of the worst power plays in the National Hockey League.

Coach Jacques Martin noted Friday that the Canadiens need someone to distribute the puck, and Friday’s trade was an admission the club can no longer wait for Andrei Markov to be healthy.

But there are two problems with this thinking.

The first is that the lack of a quarterback may not be the biggest problem facing the power play. The Canadiens do not need someone who can carry the puck into the offensive zone so they don’t have to dump and chase, but Markov has been out of the lineup for most of the past two seasons and the power play had been among the best in the NHL without him.

That’s because Montreal has had shooters who can get the puck to the net. Over the years, the Canadiens could count on Sheldon Souray, Mark Streit, Marc-AndrĂ© Bergeron and James Wisniewski. Last season, the Canadiens’ power play was in the bottom third of the league, but it climbed to No. 3 after Wisniewski was acquired over the Christmas holidays.

The other problem is that even if the Canadiens need a distributor, you have to question whether Kaberle is the guy. He was once an all-star on the strength of his contribution to the power play in Toronto, but there are signs his skills have diminished. The Carolina power play is only slightly better than Montreal’s, and only four of Kaberle’s nine assists this season have come on the power play. He has one goal and 29 assists in his last 78 games with Toronto, Boston and Carolina.

Kaberle has been a disappointment in his last two stops in the NHL.

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26 Responses to Pat Hickey: Spacek-Kaberle trade boggles the mind

  1. JoelLeafs says:

    The term on this contract is going to really mess up Montreal.

    Had this not happened, and Kaberle kept up his pace, by this time next year he could very easily carry the tag 'unmovable contract'. This could still happen, but instead he'll be in Montreal.

    I'm tempted to say that some good may come of this in the form of a Kaberle resurgence. Only issues is, again, the contract. For Thomas to earn his pay he'd have to become a top 25 defender in the league. Unless he turns the Montreal PP around (I think the Habs had a certain D-man do that for them last year, but didn't want to dish out the cash to keep him… hmmm) he'll be making too much.

    I can't imagine the flack he's going to get in the Montreal media if he is anything shy of water-walking. It could happen, though. Kaberle could make a comeback; although anything short of becoming the top d-man in the Habs organization will be seen as falling short.

    One thing is for sure, it's going to be weird seeing him in red and blue…

    PS: I think Finger still has a year left at 3.5. If we were to extend him for a few more season, think the habs would be willing to take him off our hands?

  2. JoelLeafs says:

    Kaberle with 2 assists (1 coming on the PP) in his first game with Montreal. I guess he is the saviour… lol

    Anyone watch the game? Was he any good?

  3. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Okay, I never make trade proposals…But would you guys consider doing something like this?

    To NJD:

    Clarke MacArthur
    Cody Franson
    Conditional 1st (if Parise re-signs
    Jonas Gustavsson

    To Tor:

    Zach Parise


    To Car:

    Matthew Lombardi
    Conditional second (if he re-signs, if not a  third)

    To Tor:

    Tuomo Ruutu

    New lineup?




    This team should contend. A great mix of grit and skill…Reimer, though he has not won since he returned, has actually looked great. The thing with Reimer is…He does not let in bad goals and he always seems to keep Toronto in he game (like he did in NJD and Washington). That is the sign of a true #1.

  4. TheLeafNation91 says:

    My keyboard sucks…I seem to always miss letters.

  5. TheOnlyIslesFan says:

    Ladies and gentlemen we've just seen a new record set today for the fastest Leafs trade proposal that'll never happen.

  6. mapleleafsfan says:

    I'd love those trades but I can't see either team taking them.. Ruutu will fetch a good amount at the trade deadline, they are better to hang onto him til then. A 50+ point grinder is a big pick up for a playoff team and they would want more than a salary dump and a 2nd/3rd… I think replace lombardi with a prospect like d'amigo and guarantee the 2nd? Maybe a better prospect I dunno.

    Parise also will fetch a really nice return. He's not been great this year but he's still a pretty insane talent.. If Kulemin regains form, replace Macarthur with him (I'm sure you're all for this) and make the 1st for sure. Think about what Kovalchuk got and it'll be in that area. Both FA at the end of the year, but still in high demand. 
    The hardest thing with trade proposals is even if it seems fair, you gotta keep in mind there are many other teams who would be willing to pay a premium to get them. I don't think either of those players move til the deadline (maybe not parise at all) and that's when teams will overpay. 
    That team looks great though. 
  7. mojo19 says:

    Spacek and Kaberle both recorded 2 assists in their respective first games with their new teams.

  8. TheLeafNation91 says:

    That's what I tried to do…I tried to mirror Parise with Kovalchuk.

    Atlanta got:
    -1st rounder

    But when it comes to New Jersey:

    -After watching today's game vs Montreal. They really need defencemen…More importantly puck moving defencemen, which is why I threw in Franson, a player, who I think, value has increased with his recent play. He is a very good defencemen, would rather keep him, but he could be packaged for a big return.

    -They also need a goalie since Broduer is near extinction. I would like to believe Gustavsson's value has gone up since he has played well…If not, I'm willing to throw in Scrivens. A prospect many teams want.

    – As well, MacArthur probably has more value as a top-six player due to playing really well. Also, his contract is cheap and two-more years…Probably better than throwing in Kulemin since he might ask more money and term from NJD.

    – The first I would make is unconditional if necessary.

    – I would throw in Kadri…A loss, but a huge return.

    For Carolina:

    -They said they wanted offence. Lombardi can do that and is signed. Ruutu is a UFA and it looks like the Hurricanes cannot give him the money so getting a return is imperative.

    -I guess I would give them the second if they want.


    Just a few suggestions, but the lineup is unreal…And is also a long-term option more than short-term as all the players are still young.

    Even better? Frattin, Colborne, Mueller…Biggs, D'Amigo, Percy, Blacker are not on the roster so the great depth is still there. They will be developing their craft in the AHL further.

    It would be unreal.

  9. mapleleafsfan says:

    The next crosby/ovi rivalry?

  10. TheLeafNation91 says:

    More like the rivalry for the crapiest Czech defencemen.

    I say Carolina wins…They get to say goodbye first.

  11. JoelLeafs says:

    ahhh, I remember when Crosby was traded for Ovechkin. Worked out for everyone!

  12. JoelLeafs says:

    Agreed, after 1 game apiece the winner is clear. Nothing could change that.


  13. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Stop trolling.

  14. JoelLeafs says:

    Stop being retarded.

  15. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Right back to you.

  16. JoelLeafs says:

    Ha, okay, no problem, chief.

    No rubber and glue comment?

  17. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I'm not going to stoop to your level.

  18. JoelLeafs says:


  19. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Fact of the day:

    Did you guys know the founders of the IIHF were France, Belgium, Switzerland, Great Britain and the Czech Republic?


  20. mapleleafsfan says:
    Yea I'd over pay for Parise any day. 

    If Carolina wants offence they aren't targetting lombardi though. He's brutal and overpaid.

  21. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Yeah, I know, but if Burke can trade Blake…He can trade anyone I guess lol

  22. mojo19 says:

    hahaha…. oh man. LeafsNation91, I don't hate you but you have to admit Joel has been zinging the shit out of you lately.

  23. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I am. However, it does not phase me.

    When you're consistently wrong, you need to find new ways to discourage the person you're against. I know, I would do the same thing if I was desperate enough.

    That's fine, I expect nothing less. Same with mojo.

  24. mojo19 says:

    See, I see a deeper issue here. You're looking at grey situations as being "right" and "wrong"

    I think learning to appreciate alternate sides of the equation would go a long way for you. Nothing is black and white, remember that.

    For example, when Joel said sarcastically that clearly the winner of the trade is Carolina and "nothing could change that" he was being facetious. Rather than say "you're wrong" and dealing in absolutes, you could have said (and should have said in my opinion) something along the lines of:

    "Ya, its true that Kaberle could be of some value to Montreal, but I believe in the long run he will not warrant the money they're paying him, therefore I believe this trade will not work out well for the Habs in the long run."

    Something like this is a much more respectful way to make your point and the response you get will reflect that. If you act like a child you will be treated like a child. Once again, don't get defensive or attack me, I'm actually trying to help you. I think you know a bit about hockey and everyone doesn't have to hate you if you can learn to contribute in an appropriate way. Cheers.

  25. reinjosh says:

    Kaberle's last 4 games = 7 points

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