It might sound crazy, but Bruins should keep Kaberle

So now back to Kaberle. While the power play didn’t become a world-beater, it certainly improved over the course of the Cup Final and even in the Tampa Bay series. Front and center was Kaberle, with his fearless passes along the blue line and uncanny ability to keep pucks in regardless of how high off the ice they are or which side of him they were headed toward.

Blaming Kaberle for the power-play woes is like blaming a pitcher with an ERA under 2.00 for going 1-10 with no run support. The Bruins’ would-be finishers – Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, et al. – are just as to blame. And what about would-be playmaker David Krejci? Working the half wall most of the season, the center was just as unproductive on the power play as Kaberle.

At even strength, even when he was struggling, Kaberle was able to keep defenses on their heels with his ability to move the puck far and move it quick. Subtly he provided the Bruins with what they got him for, even if you couldn’t quantify it on the score sheet. He sacrificed his body to block shots when the stakes were raised, even if he hit as rarely as Tyler Seguin.

Imagine Kaberle with a full training camp and exhibition season to get used to Julien’s system and play with a consistent partner (maybe even Zdeno Chara). Imagine him settling into the city instead of learning a new town after his first NHL trade in the midst of a season. Accept the fact that even if he made some gaffes out on the ice, he didn’t commit more than any other blue liner (except maybe Dennis Seidenberg) in a Bruins sweater, and he just took more flak for his errors because of the hype surrounding him when he got here and his salary.

By all accounts, Kaberle was a positive influence in the locker room, and it couldn’t hurt to have him around to help raise future “PMDs” Steven Kampfer and Matt Bartkowski.

Bet you didn’t believe there could be so many reasons to keep Tomas Kaberle. Well, there you have them all. And if Chiarelli is really interested in making Kaberle a long-term Bruin – a fact I’m not completely sold on based on Chiarelli’s vague comments on the matter – he should get the deal done without fear Kaberle would be anything but a solid contributor to future Bruins clubs.

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