Carolina Hurricanes v Philadelphia Flyers

Carolina offered Kaberle to Columbus, Columbus said no thanks


Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports the Blue Jackets declined an offer from Carolina to acquire defenseman Tomas Kaberle and a second-round pick in exchange for disgruntled center Derick Brassard.

Why deny the deal, you ask?

“Kaberle’s play has dropped in recent seasons,” Portzline wrote. “And he’s got two more years at $1 million more than Brassard.

“Simply put: [Jackets GM Scott] Howson thinks he can do better.”

Or, Howson just doesn’t want Kaberle.

It’s too bad the deal didn’t go down, as it’d be a great disaster-for-disaster swap — kinda like trading New Coke for Crystal Pepsi. But knowing Columbus balked gives you an idea of Kaberle’s current market value.

(Translation: It ain’t much.)

Ten months ago, Kaberle’s acquisition price was Joe Colborne, a first-round pick and a second-round pick (because Boston won the Cup.) Five months ago, he signed a three-year, $12.75-million deal with the ‘Canes. Now he’s being turned down for a guy that’s been a healthy scratch seven times (with No. 8 coming tonight) and a second-round pick. At this point it wouldn’t surprise me if Kaberle gets traded for future considerations, or a bag of day-old bagels.

That said, this isn’t all Kaberle’s fault — some of this falls at the feet of ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford. Generally speaking, the best way to shop a guy isn’t to go on XM Radio and publicly blast him.

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

1 Comment

There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.