When a prominent unrestricted free agent is traded to a team that wins the Stanley Cup in his contract year, that usually means a fast track to fat stacks of cash. In many cases, that individual’s payday is grossly inflated from where it was supposed to be.
Yet in the case of Tomas Kaberle, it seemed like his abbreviated struggles with the Boston Bruins only hurt his chances when it came to negotiating his next paycheck. The Czech-born blueliner simply didn’t fit in very well with Bruins coach Claude Julien’s system as he did little to improve the team’s ailing power play.
That being said, sometimes different systems fit different players. If any team could make things work with Tomas Kaberle, it’s the Carolina Hurricanes (otherwise known as the club that yielded about as much as one could expect from his brother Frantisek Kaberle).
Frantisek played four seasons with Carolina, including the 2005-06 Stanley Cup winning campaign. While most people will point to the three-year, $12.75 million contract – the same annual cap hit as his previous contract, by the way – as Tomas Kaberle’s main reason for signing with the Hurricanes, NHL.com reveals that his brother’s feedback also played a big role in that decision.
“He talked about the fans, how you don’t really hear throughout the League how good of fans they are,” Tomas Kaberle said Wednesday, a day after signing a three-year, $12.75 million contract with the Hurricanes. “When he was there for his time, his few years, I thought he was the happiest out of the three teams he played on in the NHL. It made it an easier decision for me.”
“I got an offer from Boston, but it was a little bit different offer than I got from Carolina,” Kaberle said. “I loved to play there (in Boston). The boys were great. Everybody was great to me right from the first day I got in, and obviously in the end it was a special moment that made it even bigger. But sometimes it’s all about business, and Carolina showed really good interest in me.”
It makes sense that the Hurricanes took interest in Tomas Kaberle. After all, they’ve been a very family-oriented (and familiarity-oriented) team during this off-season, so why not get the “better’ Kaberle brother?