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Report: Bruins wouldn’t give Tomas Kaberle more than two years 07.13.11 at 2:48 pm ET
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According to NHL.com’s E.J. Hradek, the Bruins would not go past two years when negotiating with free agent defenseman Tomas Kaberle. The unwillingness to give him a longer deal makes given that Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said that the term of the contract was the biggest stumbling block between the two parties the day Kaberle took a three-year, $12.75 million deal with the Hurricanes last week.

Writes Hradek: “One team source in Boston says the B’s would have done a one-year deal and possibly two years with Kaberle, depending on the price. They weren’t, according to the source, going to any further than two years.”

Another interesting note in the report is that the Hurricanes requested Kaberle keep up with the team’s conditioning program. Kaberle appeared to be out of shape in his time with the Bruins, and Hradek writes that the Hurricanes plan on giving the 34-year-old more than 20 minutes a night.

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Bobby Orr on M&M: Tomas Kaberle let criticism get to him in Boston 07.06.11 at 12:07 pm ET
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Bruins legend Bobby Orr joined Mut & Merloni live from the Pinehills Golf Club for a charity golf event benefiting Mark Herzlich‘s foundation. Orr discussed the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run and offered updates on a couple of players his agency represents. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

“The Bruins have given us a lot to cheer about and talk about,” Orr said. “The heart that that team showed this year was incredible. Again, [Tim] Thomas shows that you cannot win without goaltending. This guy was incredible. If you look at that team everyone did something, someone came up one night and the next night it was someone else.”

Orr was asked about the Stanley Cup and its whereabouts. Orr noted how it is much different from when it was back when he won titles with the Bruins in 1970 and ’72.

“We didn’t get it like they do today,” he said. “We had it for the parade and that was it. I think it is wonderful. The Stanley Cup will be all over the world. I think it’s the only trophy in sports that it’s ‘The’ trophy, the others every year there is a new one. This is it. To have it all over the world, and let the kids touch it and see it. It is wonderful.”

Orr gave an injury update on forward Nathan Horton: “He’s fine,” Orr said of his client. “We really won’t know until he starts working out that will be the true test. I talked to him a few days ago and he feels great. He loves Boston, he was so excited to be in Boston. … We really won’t know until he starts working out. He has to let things settle down. He also hurt his shoulder in the Montreal series and probably shouldn’t have been playing, so he is trying to heal the shoulder and the concussion.”

On Tuesday the Bruins lost defenseman Tomas Kaberle to the Hurricanes but acquired defenseman Joe Corvo from Carolina in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2012. Orr said that Corvo is a good player who can shoot the puck.

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Meet new Bruins defenseman Joe Corvo 07.05.11 at 10:51 pm ET
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The Bruins didn’t take long in their search to replace Tomas Kaberle, as they traded a fourth-round pick to Carolina for Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo. The former Kings, Senators, Hurricanes and Capitals blueliner comes to Boston after his second stint in Carolina.

Joe Corvo is coming off a career-high 40-point season. (AP)

THE SKINNY

Age: 34

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 204 pounds

Draft: Fourth round, 83rd overall in the 1997 draft by the Kings.

Contractual status: Has one year remaining on his current deal, commands a $2.25 million cap hit.

2010-11 stats: 11 goals, 29 assists, 40 points, minus-14.

WHAT HE BRINGS

The Bruins are replacing one mid-thirties puck-moving defenseman with another, just at a lower price. Corvo will likely inherit Kaberle’s power play minutes, but he doesn’t give the puck up as easily as Kaberle did in his time with the Bruins. Fans in Boston likely won’t complain about Corvo’s shooting the way they did with Kaberle. Corvo had 191 shots on goal last season to Kaberle’s 130.

Corvo also provides the Bruins with another righty-shooting defenseman, meaning the B’s blueline will now be evenly split. Adam McQuaid and Johnny Boychuk are also right shots.

WHY THEY MADE THE DEAL

At the end of the day (literally), the final product after a busy hour seems to favor the Bruins. All things considered, losing Kaberle but saving money with a replacement who also happens to be right-handed is arguably a better scenario than re-signing Kaberle in the first place.

Kaberle’s new deal will call for the same annual cap hit ($4.25 million) as his last one. Corvo’s cap hit saves the B’s $2 million, and considering that he will be a free agent at the end of the season, they don’t need to worry about being saddled with the money of a player whose production is declining. With Kaberle, that would have to be an obvious concern over the next three seasons.

This now means three of the Bruins’ defensemen (the three right-handed shots in Corvo, McQuaid and Boychuk) will see their contracts expire at season’s end, and while McQuaid is restricted, the other two will be unrestricted free agents. They could have Dougie Hamilton ready for the start of the 2012-13 season, so it shouldn’t be hard to make room.

HE SAID

“This came as a surprise to me and a very pleasant surprise. I’m very happy to be with a team that’s coming off such an outstanding season and really hasn’t made many changes at all. I just think at this point in my career, this is just an excellent opportunity to win, and to have the chance to win. I couldn’t be any happier.”

CHIARELLI SAID

“He’s a tremendous skater, very quick so he’s good at retrieving pucks and skating them up through the neutral zone and making a good clean pass. He’s got a terrific shot, and I’ve seen him score often on one timers, I’ve seen him score often on receiving a pass and shooting. He’s very dangerous that way, so he gives us another hard shot from the right side. To me, with respect to the power play… obviously I liked his shot, but his skating and passing helps with the entries and he’ll be an asset to our power play.”

FUN FACT

Hailing from Oak Park, Ill., Corvo is now the third American player in the 2011-12 projected lineup. Goaltender Tim Thomas and defenseman Steven Kampfer are both from Michigan. Matt Bartkowksi, who played six games in the NHL last season, is a Pittsburgh native.

VIDEO

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Peter Chiarelli on Tomas Kaberle: ‘We weren’t able to reach common ground’ at 5:43 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli didn’t want to spend much of Joe Corvo‘s introductory conference call discussing the loss of Tomas Kaberle, but did admit that there was a connection between the B’s losing their puck-mover to Carolina and trading for the man he replaced on the Hurricanes.

“They are connected to a certain degree,” Chiarelli said. “We had some talks with Tomas and with his agent. I think one of the stumbling blocks was term, and I can completely respect why Tomas would want some form of term. We weren’t able to reach common ground in that respect, and I’ve been nibbling at this opportunity for a bit to acquire Joe. It came down to maybe Carolina was going to sign Tomas.”

The Hurricanes inked Kaberle to a three-year, $12.75 million deal, meaning he did not take a pay cut from the $4.25 million cap hit over the course of his previous deal. Corvo is in the final year of his current contract, and the 34-year-old will carry a $2.25 million cap hit.

Corvo has played with two members current members of the Bruins in center Chris Kelly (Senators) and fellow blueliner Dennis Seidenberg (Hurricanes). He had 40 points with the Hurricanes last year.

“At this point in my career, this is just an excellent opportunity to win and have a chance to win,” he said. “I couldn’t be more happy.”

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Bruins trade for Joe Corvo to replace Tomas Kaberle at 4:53 pm ET
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Minutes after losing defenseman Tomas Kaberle to the Hurricanes, the Bruins acquired his replacement in Hurricanes puck-mover Joe Corvo. The B’s sent their fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft to Carolina in exchange for the 34-year-old.

Corvo is coming off a career year, as he played in all 82 games for the first time and scored 11 goals and had 29 assists for a career-high 40 points. He has one year remaining on his contract and will command a $2.25 million cap hit, which is $2 million less than what Kaberle will make in each of the next three years.

In adding the Illinois native, the B’s also have add another right shot to their blueline, and assuming he replaces Kaberle in the lineup, the B’s blueline will now feature three left-handed shots (Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference) and three righties (Corvo, Adam McQuaid and Johnny Boychuk).

In his career, Corvo has played for the Kings, Senators, Hurricanes and Capitals. He is coming off his second stint with Carolina, as he returned to the Hurricanes in 2010 after previously being traded to Washington.

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Tomas Kaberle signs with Hurricanes at 4:51 pm ET
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The Carolina Hurricanes have agreed to a three-year, $12.75 million deal with Tomas Kaberle.

“Tomas is one of the top puck-moving defensemen in the NHL and power-play specialist,” Carolina GM Jim Rutherford said on Tuesday. “He has had a good career and is now a Stanley Cup champion. We welcome him to Carolina and look forward to his contributions to the Hurricanes.”

The defenseman was acquired by the Bruins on February 18 from the Maple Leafs in exchange for center Joe Colborne, the Bruins’ 2011 first-round pick, and their 2012 second-rounder. Kaberle struggled during his time in Boston, though he did match Dennis Seidenberg for the team lead amongst defenseman in postseason points. The four-time All-Star is the second member of the Stanley Cup winners to leave via free agency in the past week, as Michael Ryder inked a two-year, $7 million contract with the Dallas Stars last Friday.

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Source: Tomas Kaberle still in talks with Bruins, not close to a decision 07.04.11 at 10:31 am ET
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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.

It could be a while before Tomas Kaberle signs on the dotted line. (AP)

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.

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