Source: Tomas Kaberle still in talks with Bruins, not close to a decision
|07.04.11 at 10:31 am ET|
According to a source familiar with the situation, free agent defenseman Tomas Kaberle remains in contact with the Bruins and is also talking to multiple other teams, but it isn’t likely that he’ll be signing with anyone in the immediate future.
The source told WEEI.com on Monday that Kaberle is “not likely to make a decision until sometime next week.”
Kaberle finished last season with the Bruins, winning his first Stanley Cup after being acquired from the Maple Leafs in exchange for center Joe Colborne, the Bruins’ 2011 first-round pick, and their 2012 second-rounder. The 33-year-old finished last season with four goals and 43 assists for 47 points.
The puck-moving defenseman is one of two members of the Stanley Cup-winning lineup to hit unrestricted free agency. Forward Michael Ryder took a two-year, $7 million deal with the Stars on Friday, while Kaberle is currently the top unsigned defenseman. The Bruins certainly have the salary cap space to get a deal done, but he did not perform up to expectations after coming to the B’s on Feb. 18, so the team, as well as others, could be hesitant to give him an annual number close to the $4.25 cap hit he carried over the course of his last contract.
In the playoffs, Kaberle tied Dennis Seidenberg for the team lead amongst defenseman in points. Prior to coming to the Bruins, he played his entire career for the Maple Leafs, a tenure in which he was named an All-Star four times.
While Kaberle remains unsigned, multiple other defensemen received long-term deals last week, including Kevin Bieksa (five years, $23 million with the Canucks), Christian Ehrhoff (10 years, $40 million with the Sabres), James Wisniewski (six years, $33 million with the Blue Jackets) and Ed Jovanovski (four years, $16.5 million with the Panthers).
If the Bruins do not bring Kaberle back, 22-year-old Steven Kampfer, who played 38 games for the B’s in the 2010-11 season, would likely step in as the sixth defenseman for Boston.