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Canes GM on Tomas Kaberle: “He better pick up his game”

Nov 30, 2011, 10:54 PM EDT

Cam Ward, Tim Connolly AP

There are plenty of rock-bottom moments in professional sports, but getting bashed by your own general manger ranks high on the list. Things were bad enough for Tomas Kaberle, but Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford went on XM Radio to blast the damagingly bad free agent pickup.

Rutherford’s message was simple and harsh: “Tomas Kaberle better pick up his game or he won’t be in Carolina long.”

That’s a saucy little quote, but it provokes plenty of thoughts that aren’t very positive for the man pointing the finger.

  • How exactly is this going to improve Kaberle’s plummeting trade value? The Hurricanes aren’t a team with the kind of budget that can Wade Redden a player’s salary in the minors, after all.
  • Building off the last point, who’s going to want him? I doubt many teams are going to want to fork over $4.25 million for three years of Kaberle’s passivity.
  • Here’s a thought: maybe Rutherford should “pick up his game.” After all, he was the guy who a) re-hired Paul Maurice only to fire him and b) gave Kaberle that baffling contract in the first place. This is the hockey equivalent to a soccer mom snapping after she did a poor job of picking up groceries.

Honestly, this almost smells a little bit like the way the Edmonton Oilers mismanaged the Sheldon Souray situation. There’s a difference between “tough love” and “shooting yourself in the foot” and Rutherford is angling toward the latter.

In the grand scheme of things, both Rutherford and Kaberle need a wake-up call.

  1. nhlbruins90 - Nov 30, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    It is truly baffling to anyone who watched the playoffs last year why Kaberle would be offered that contract.

  2. bluesrawesome - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    Sorry to say this Carolina Hurricane fans but you have a terrible GM. He did drat Jeff Skinner on the positive side so I guess you guys draft decent players though.

  3. danphipps01 - Dec 1, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Did… did you just use Wade Redden as a verb?

  4. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Dec 1, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    I am soooooooo happy my Wild didn’t get him this summer. Glad he chose to go elsewhere. WHEW

  5. cshearing - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Not sure how this really compares to the Souray situation. Souray was not sent to the minors for performance; he demanded a trade, the Oilers could not make one they could live with, so he got banished. Not saying it was the best way to handle it, but I see little in the way of similarities.

  6. govtminion - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    Not sure what happened to this guy- he left Toronto and just stopped playing. Rutherford should have seen the obvious- after the Bruins finally got the power-play D-man of their dreams at the deadline, why the hell would they let him walk so easily in free agency if he’d been what they’d hoped for? There’s a reason this guy is on the open market, and Rutherford didn’t pay attention.

  7. icelovinbrotha215 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    People should be trashing Mr. Rutherford for such a bad signing. Just like @nhlbruins90 said, was he watching the playoffs? Kaberle had just as much to do with the Stanley Cup win as did the Bruins-faithful themselves. It’s yet another one of those ‘wishful thinking’ type of free agent pickups.

  8. boston25rocketman - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    He was a bad fit in Boston from the start, never looked comfortable here. I was flabbergasted to see the Hurricanes offer him the deal that they gave him and I can’t help but laugh now. But hey Rutherford, thanks for Joe Corvo!

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