In a surprise move, showing some desperation, the Montreal Canadiens shipped injured defenseman Jaroslav Spacek to the Carolina Hurricanes in return for Tomas Kaberle. Spacek who has been out of the lineup since November 14 due to an upper body injury had started skating with the team but had not been cleared for contact as of yet. Drafted 117th overall in the 1998 draft (5th round) by the Florida Panthers, he has played 846 games in the NHL and has recorded 343 points so far in his career. The Hurricanes will be the 8th team that Spacek will be joining in his long NHL career. He will be joining his former assistant coach Kirk Muller who now heads the Carolina Hurricanes.
The 6'1", 214 lbs Tomas Kaberle was drafted 204th overall in the 1996 NHL Entry draft (8th round) by the Toronto Maple Leafs and played 12 seasons with them before being traded at the end of previous season to the Boston Bruins. He was part of the Stanley cup winning Bruins but was not signed by them after his contract expired. The Hurricanes signed Kaberle before the start of the season to a 3 year, $4.25 Million contract which he will now bring to the Montreal Canadiens. In his 931 NHL career games, Kaberle has scored 84 times and has recorded 538 total points. Since being traded by the Leafs in 2010-2011, he has played 53 games and recorded only 18 points. He is known to be a good puck mover and extremely useful on the powerplay, but critics may say that he has been on the decline and the fear is that Habs may end up being the loser in this trade by trading for a contract that may become a burden, similar to Scott Gomez.
The move also puts the Habs over the Salary cap. Spacek's cap hit was $3.83 Million for this season while Kaberle contributes a hefty $4.25 Mil to the cap hit. Before the trade, the remaining salary space for the Habs was a mere $177,229 while the trade puts the Habs above the salary cap by approximately $240,000.