Tomas Kaberle left the NHL with a whimper, but it sounds like the veteran defenseman isn’t ready to hang up his skates just yet. He told the National Post that he hopes to return to the NHL for a year (or maybe more) and that he might even have a tryout offer lined up.
“It’s not in Ontario,” Kaberle said Monday at the BioSteel Pro Hockey Camp at St. Michael’s College. “I’m planning to stay around here if possible, so we’ll see what’s going to happen in the next few weeks.”
At 36, Kaberle is unlikely to approach the impressive 60 or even 50-point seasons he generated during his long run with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he’s not so old that it’s unthinkable to imagine him making an NHL roster. That’s especially true if being a depth blueliner doesn’t bother the four-time All-Star.
He makes it pretty clear that a Maple Leafs reunion is unlikely, but that doesn’t mean the team doesn’t hold a special place in his heart. Kaberle told the National Post that he still watches the team and believes promising young defenseman Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly both have the potential to make an impact like he did during his best days with the Buds.
“They’re going to be the core guys soon,” Kaberle said. “They’re not going to be young kids anymore. When you’ve been playing three, four, five, six [years], everybody depends on you. That’s fun. I enjoyed those years. Hopefully they will do the same thing.”
We’ll find out soon how many – if any – years Kaberle has left.
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)
The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.
The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.
Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.
“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”
The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.
The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.
Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.
The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.
According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.
“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”
In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.