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The Toronto Maple Leafs have improved their form since shipping defenseman Tomas Kaberle to Boston. REUTERS/Mike Cassese


Tomas Kaberle could be looking for his third NHL team this summer.

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was asked about the veteran defenceman's performance so far with his team yesterday and didn't exactly paint a picture of a player with a long career as a Bruin ahead of him.

"Has he been a disappointment? He hasn't played up to the level that we expected," Chiarelli told 98.5 The Sports Hub (via Joe Haggerty at "There have been parts of his game where he hasn't played in the playoffs for a while and some of those [bad]habits have stuck with him. We expected better."

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The biggest concern with Kaberle's game has been the power play. As Haggerty writes, the Bruins are only "7 for 77 on the PP since Kaberle arrived in Boston 27 games ago in a deal that sent Joe Colborne, a first-round pick and a conditional draft pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs."

The condition on that second-round pick is either that Kaberle, a pending unrestricted free agent, re-signs in Boston or the Bruins make the Stanley Cup finals, neither of which look likely at this point given they trail the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in the series heading into a nearly must-win Game 4 tonight in Montreal.

Kaberle has nine points in 27 games with the Bruins, including only one goal, and no points so far in the playoffs. He was also the goat on the first goal of the series, 2:44 into a 2-0 loss in Game 1, and has struggled at times in his own end.

And, as always, he's been reluctant to shoot the puck.

Kaberle played only 16 minutes in a Game 3 win, by far his lowest ice time since the deal, and fifth among defencemen on the team. It'll be worth keeping an eye on his minutes the rest of the series, as there's little chance he'll be re-signed to play on the third pairing.

And who knows what sort of free-agent contract he'll fetch on the open market.

Somewhere, Leafs GM Brian Burke and coach Ron Wilson, neither of whom ever warmed to Kaberle in Toronto, probably have a smile on their face.

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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