Looking back at the Kaberle deal, it’s easy to say we got the short end of the stick. With what we gave up to get him (1st round pick, 2nd round pick, Joe Colborne) it seems in hindsight we may have been better off keeping our capital and going on without Kaberle. Still, the fact remains that the Bruins went on to finish the season 14-6-4 and in case you’ve been living under a rock, they won the Stanley Cup.
So how much does a trade affect the team mentally?
I’ve always contended that when ownership shows a commitment to winning, the team follows suit. If you’re in the locker room, wondering what you have to do to bring home the trophy, doesn’t a deal like the Kaberle one instill confidence that you’ve got what it takes to make a serious run?
Before the trade, our power play was dismal at best… after? It was a disaster. But you saw how guys like Milan Lucic (30 goals in the regular season), rookie Brad Marchand (21 goals and 41 points in 77 games) and leaders like Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara taking over games, responded.
I also contend that giving up draft picks is a much more sound philosophy than trading away prospects, yet is it worth it to watch those picks and prospects develop in another system for a crack at the cup? If we’d finished the season and got beat by Montreal or Philly, I may have said yes. It was a steep price for a player who gave little contribution to the overall success we had. But the fact remains, we persevered through the inept power play and often shoddy defense from a certain “short term solution” to win it all.
I pose a question. How important are trades like this to the team psyche, and can ownership and front offices affect a team merely by making a big trade, even when on paper, it doesn’t work out?