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Bruins looking to trade the rights to Tomas Kaberle before free agency starts

June 29, 2011

Will this be the last time Tomas Kaberle dons the spoked B?

With the dawn of free agency beginning on Friday many teams are looking to deal the rights to players they don’t want to re-sign, the Bruins included. After a few defensemen were signed to dollar amounts above expectations the Bruins are trying to bolt on Tomas Kaberle, shopping his rights a few days before free agency in hopes of getting a late draft pick in return. The news looks like the Bruins are done with Kaberle for good.

Kevin Bieksa recently signed for nearly $5 million a year setting the defensive market higher than expected. That, combined with a significantly raise salary cap has made for a thin market making a big dent in team’s wallets. A lot of Bruins fans are calling for the Bruins (who have cap space for the first time in years) to spend to the cap but I disagree. Why spend to the cap in a down year? It doesn’t make sense, especially in this free agent market.

The Bruins seemingly letting go of Kaberle signifies that they are in good shape, and know they are. A few years ago they might have panicked with the weight of a Cup drought on their shoulders but with the Cup on Causeway street they see things more rationally. Kaberle wasn’t going to be worth whatever he commanded, at least within the confines of the rigid defensive system in Boston. The move saves dollars and gives Steven Kampfer, who played well, a chance to step up and crack the top 6.

The Bruins are also more free to sign Michael Ryder to a cap-friendly deal if so they choose. Anything from $2-2.75 million for two years is decent but going over that for a player who so often takes large chunks of the season off is risky. Time will tell what this decision makes but with free agency rapidly approaching some of the questions will start to get answered.

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