On Friday morning, GM Pierre Gauthier made a panic move and shipped away wounded d-man Jaroslav Spacek for a declining Tomas Kaberle. The deal already looks somewhat lopsided as Spacek not only has an expiring contract but he registered two assists with the Canes in their 4-2 loss last night. GM Jim Rutherford has no reason to look back after swinging this deal.
In the not-so-distant past Kaberle has been a fantasy hockey force. Just last season he produced 47 points which is certainly good enough to be a fourth defender on my squad. Even though his goal totals could be anywhere between 4 and 11 goals, those assists are enough to keep him relevant in standard leagues.
So now the Montreal Canadiens have the opportunity to wake up a player who did not necessarily work out for the Carolina Hurricanes or the Boston Bruins. Can they turn his season around? Considering they desperately needed a left-handed offensive defenseman — Andrei Markov could miss anywhere between three weeks and forever — it could make sense that he turns around their man advantage. Last season the team clicked at a solid 19.7 percent but they’ve certainly struggled at a 11.4 percent success rate this year.
Regardless, there remains a silver lining. For one, Kaberle leaves Carolina which is good for any player as they continue to nosedive in the standings. Only Jeff Skinner looks like a solid option on that team and even he was hurt last night (further explaining the loss). Second, of his critiqued nine points, four came on the power play — a power play that is mere percentage points higher than the Habs. So in theory, he can still produce with inconsistent teammates and should have the opportunity to improve on his meager totals with more talented linemates.
Kaberle is owned in 40 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 31.6 percent of ESPN leagues. You know there are very few players on the waiver wire with the potential to score 40 points. So with those facts, do you take a gamble on Kaberle on your fantasy hockey squad? Is it too much of a gamble? Take a vote and sound off about the maligned defender in the comments.