Fantasy Impact: The Carolina Hurricanes have signed defenseman Tomas Kaberle to a three-year deal worth $12.75 million. They then traded Joe Corvo to the Bruins for a fourth-round pick.
The Hurricanes get: a smart puck-moving defenseman whose effectiveness has declined dramatically over the last two seasons, to the point where many hockey pundits question if he was ever a star at all. For the record - he was. We just don't know what happened.
The Bruins get: a streaky, but steady veteran who would make a fine addition to their second PP unit.
Fantasy Players Impacted: It was hard to imagine why the 'Canes felt the need to add Kaberle, as they have Joni Pitkanen, Jamie McBain, Joe Corvo to run the power play, and Derek Joslin and Justin Faulk in the pipeline and very close to earning a spot. But then they dealt Corvo, which made more sense - Kaberle obviously upgrades Corvo.
Any slim hope for Bobby Sanguinetti making the team or even getting a reasonably long cup of coffee this season will remain. The 19-year-old Faulk will still get a long look in training camp. And an impressive PP on the blue line involving Pitkanen and McBain has now moved sideways to a possible Pitkanen/Kaberle combination. But with both players shooting left, and McBain shooting right, it is entirely possible that Joni and Tomas cannibalize each other's ice time while the youngster leads the way. Is he ready? It could be worth rolling the dice. But my money is on a slight decrease in projection (though that is still a slight increase over last year - say 40 points)
With Kaberle and Pitkanen each signed for three years, it looks as though McBain's progress towards a 50-point player will be a lengthier one than at first thought. Fortunately for McBain owners, you can count on Pitkanen to miss 10 or 15 games every season, so at least during that window the youngster will flourish. And him being the only right shooter among the three is important.
As for Kaberle - he would probably get similar points no matter which team he signed with.
With Corvo in Boston, he'll slide onto their second PP unit, which will help Johnny Boychuk. Then again, does Zdeno Chara ever sit?
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Boychuk, assuming Chara does double duty on the PP.
2. McBain (very slightly - and he'll still improve versus last year). Bottom line - it will no longer be Pitkanen/McBain on the PP 100% of the time.