It’s a curious thing when the free agent market explodes, and an even more curious one, when it seems that the well has been tapped. No, I don’t mean there’s no one left to sign, I just mean many of the “sure thing” guys we as fans set our hopes on have been signed. Simon Gagne, the Bruin Killer, has shopped off to Hollywood, signing a 7 million dollar deal over two years. Tim Connolly is a Leaf, Brad Richards is a Ranger. Even Tomas Vokoun has found a home in Washington, where he’ll have a chance to do some damage for the first time in a long time.
Gagne in LA, Connolly a Leaf, Richards a Ranger. Even Tomas Vokoun has found a new home between the pipes in Washington. It seems that the free agent frenzy has reached a fever pitch, one that even Peter Chiarelli has to admit has left few options to replace what this team has lost already.
As you all know from numerous comment debates, I think Kaberle will resign with the Bruins. I think this for a few reasons. First and foremost, all of the other viable options to replace him have been signed. I’ll list the options here that remain.
What do these guys have in common? They’re low to bottom pair D men, with little upside. This is not the case with Tomas Kaberle. Sure, he didn’t play lights out, and at times looked down right Widemanian. That being said, he has a lot of offensive skill, and seemed to find a place on this team late in the playoff push. With a full off season under his belt, and a renewed faith in himself and his team, I predict a return to the numbers that pushed PC to make a move for him in the first place.
With the resources expended to retain his services (1st and 2nd round picks plus Joe Colbourne [former first round pick]) it’s a safe bet PC doesn’t want to let him walk without making an offer. With the cap play we have now that Ryder is out of the equation, it’d be foolish to not take a one or two year flyer on a guy who’s played at an elite offensive level for many years.
Now, I may be wrong, and with the emergence of young guys like Steven Kampfer on the horizon, there are still in-house options. Regardless of what happens, it’s this flexibility that makes me smile when I think of our beloved Bruins future.