The Carolina Hurricanes have signed defenseman Tomas Kaberle to a three-year, $12.75 million free-agent contract, general manager Jim Rutherford announced today.
To make room for Kaberle's contract, the Canes traded defenseman Joe Corvo to the Boston Bruins for a fourth-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft,
"Tomas is one of the best puck-moving defensemen and power-play specialists in the league," Rutherford said. "When he's on his game, he can do a lot of things. He's a very good all-around player, and we'll need to find the right defensive partner for him who can play 22-23 minutes a game."
Kaberle, 33, is the younger brother of former Canes defenseman Frantisek Kaberle. Tomas won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins this season. Frantisek was a member of the 2006 champs with Carolina.
"I told Tomas today, each of you has a Stanley Cup and this gives you the chance to one-up your brother," Rutherford said. "Hopefully he will have that opportunity in the next three years.
"Tomas showed what he can do in the last three or four games of the Stanley Cup finals (against Vancouver) this year. I thought he was one of those who made a difference in those games."
Tomas Kaberle, 33, has 84 goals and 445 assists in 902 NHL career games, all but 24 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In two of his seasons with the Leafs, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008, he played for Paul Maurice, now the Canes' coach.
"He's a high-end, puck-moving defenseman," Maurice said today. "He can play within the system and sees the ice well at all times. He has great vision. He's a cerebral player and a good playmaker with a lot of experience."
"He's a calming influence on defense. In the late stages of games, you want the puck on his stick. His heart rate is not going to change."
Kaberle was drafted by the Leafs in the eighth round in 1996. A four-time All-Star, he has notched 40 or more points eight times in his career, with a high of 67 in 2006.
A longtime alternate captain for the Leafs, Kaberle did not wear the "A" this past season. He was traded to the Bruins on Feb. 18, for Boston's first-round pick in 2011, its second-round pick in 2012 and a prospect.
Maurice said he has not decided on the defensive combinations for next season.
"The same for the forwards," he said. "In training camp, we're going to be scrimmaging a lot, looking at a lot of different combinations, different looks."