Haggerty: Kaberle deserves cheers in Garden return

Haggerty: Kaberle deserves cheers in Garden return
October 18, 2011, 6:07 pm
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BOSTON -- If anything should make things all forgiven for the most recent chapters in Bruins history, it should be winning a Stanley Cup in dramatic fashion.

Sports Tonight Question of the Day: Will you cheer or boo Tomas Kaberle tonight? Let us know!

Who cares about the Joe Thornton trade anymore, aside from the fact it paved the way for signing Marc SavardZdeno Chara, and moving on to the next chapter in Bs history?
Do the past Bs ownership transgressions specifically those in not going after enough quality players with big price tags really matter with a league salary cap in effect, and a Stanley Cup in tow?

Who remembers anything from the Mike Sullivan era coaching the Bruins, with only Tim Thomas and Patrice Bergeron to show for that epoch in Black and Gold history?

Whats the point of all these scatter-brained Bruins questions from their long and sometimes distinguished history?

The point is everything thats past in recent Bruins history was prologue to them winning the Cup last season, and there are more than a few things that should be forgiven and forgotten.

The Bruins fan punching bags formerly known as Hal Gill and Dennis Wideman are two pretty good examples, but perhaps the best one is suiting up for the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at TD Garden.

Tomas Kaberle was presented his Stanley Cup championship ring as hand-delivered by Peter Chiarelli on Tuesday morning, but hes also set for what should be an interesting reception from the Bs faithful tonight at puck drop.

Kaberle has his ring, hes got his name etched on the Cup, he had his bizarre medieval Cup celebration in the Czech Republic this summer, and he should be embraced with an appreciative round of applause from Bruins fans during his return to TD Garden as a visiting player.

As was the case with Jeremy Jacobs on banner-raising night against the Flyers, there really is no need for booing in the wake of winning the Cup when it comes to last years team.

While Kaberle wasnt as good as advertised upon arrival and he certainly didnt do a thing for the power play in his Boston stint he was also a contributing member of a Boston club that captured the Cup. An argument could be made that the Bruins dont win without Kaberle if Shane Hnidy was forced into regular action, and thats not even counting what might have happened when both Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid missed games during the run.

It was Kaberles stretch pass in Game 3 to a streaking Michael Ryder at the Bell Centre that helped wake up the Bruins, and proved to be a difference-maker in the series. Not only that, but the Bs power play is 1-for-21 to start this season as well so perhaps it wasnt all Kaberles fault that the Bs man advantage sucked swamp water throughout the postseason.

For better or worse Kaberle was a contributing member to a Bs team that brought the hockey holy grail back to Boston for the first time in 39 years, and that should be worth at least one congratulatory pat on the back in his return to the Hub.

To boil it down to simplest terms on Kaberle: dont hate, but appreciate.

There will be plenty of time for the vitriol to build back up and the hate reservoir to be filled for opponents after all the piping hot Phil Kessel and his Leafs will be here Thursday night but Tuesday night is a chance for Bs fans to rise above and accept another undeniable part of the Bs unfailingly entertaining Cup run.

Nobody is ever asking anyone to claim that Kaberle is the All-Star defenseman that he once was or was the best defensemen on the ice for the Bs during his time here, but a little applause for helping bring the Cup back to Boston isnt too much to ask for.

Its just the right thing to do if only once, and then go back to the regularly scheduled booing thats expected to take place for a hockey crowd thats now had a taste of greatness.