Originally written on Shutdown Line  |  Last updated 11/18/14

SUNRISE, FL - JANUARY 23: Tomas Kaberle #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates with the puck against the Florida Panthers on January 23, 2010 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Maple Leafs 2-0. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

The sun is shining bright in Raleigh today as Tomas Kaberle and his three-year $12.75 mil. contract were traded to Montreal for defenseman Jaroslav Spacek. Joy and exuberance seems to be the initial reaction among Canes fans and I can't say that I don't blame them. Kaberle is a player on the decline of his career and has gone from unlucky to bad to dreadful over the course of two months.

Aside from the three year committment, Kaberle was hurting the team by taking most of the offensive zone starts for blue liners and doing next to nothing with them. When you are getting ice-time that easy, you damn well better put up some offense and Kaberle has not. He has nine points in 24 games, was underwater in terms of scoring chances and corsi for most of the season and was generally ineffective and not worth the $4.25 mil price tag. Yes, Kaberle was not getting any bounces going in his favor (team shooting a little above 5% with him on-ice) but he certainly was not playing well at all. With thee other offensive minded defensemen already on the team, giving Kaberle the cushy zone starts to do nothing was bringing down the rest of the team. GM Jim Rutherford was not going to let this continue for the next three years so he made the right move by putting him on the block and trading him. Now that he is gone, this should give the Canes more flexibility with their defense corps and Muller/Lewis can decide which players they want to protect.

The only downside to this deal? We get Jaroslav Spacek, another defenseman on the decline of his career (37 years old) and was playing extremely sheltered minutes in Montreal this year. Once upon a time, Spacek was a good all-around defenseman and even played on Montreal's shutdown pair for a lot of the 2009-10 season, but those days have gone by the wayside. He doesn't appear to be anything more than a second pairing defenseman, and I'm being generous there. That said, his contract expires after this season and the Canes could have some use for him as a third pairing defenseman should an injury occur. I've heard people say that "he can't be worse than Kaberle" and well...I guess that's true when you factor in each player's expectations.

Honestly, I wasn't expecting to get anything in return for Kaberle given he was a healthy scratch only two weeks ago and a possible buyout candidate at the end of the year but Rutherford managed to find a GM who would actually trade for his contract...and give up an NHL-level player in return. You have to give him some marks for that as Rutherford knew the Kaberle signing was a mistake and trading him to free up roster space and cap room for next year was a great trade on his part.

This is more of a bad deal for Montreal than it is a good deal for the Canes, though. Yes, getting rid of Kaberle's contract is huge but the return is minimal. The fact that Montreal traded for Kaberle is mind boggling. I know they have injuries on their defense but when you have a team that's already spending close to the cap, has three key players that need new contracts this summer (Gorges, Subban & Price) and yet, they decide to trade for a struggling defenseman who is due over $12 mil the next three years. They might have been better off giving Bryan McCabe a call and signing him for one year. My suspicion is that Andrei Markov's injury is career-threatening because I can not think of any other explanation for this. It is entirely possible that Kaberle turns it around in Carolina because, as I mentioned earlier, he wasn't getting much puck luck in Carolina but he wasn't playing well at all.

All in all, a good deal for Carolina. I expect more dead weight to be dropped in the coming weeks.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Alex Smith out week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

The year’s 10 most notable sports media stories

'Roberto' Gronkowski wishes Pats fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

WATCH: LeBron gets standing ovation from Heat fans in return

15 defunct bowls that leave the holidays feeling empty

Should the NFL's playoff seeding system change?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.