By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON The Bruins essentially traded Tomas Kaberle for the more affordable version, Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo, on Tuesday, a day that may very well signal the end of Bostons offseason makeover.
The B's acquired Corvo for a 2012 fourth-round draft pick after Kaberle had signed with Carolina.
They lost out on Kaberle after club sources indicated they stuck to a two-year offer for the 33-year-old defenseman. He was able to secure a three-year deal with the Hurricanes for 12.75 million a lateral payoff after he earned 4.25 million a year during his last deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In an inflated free-agent market, Kaberle didnt get the swollen four or five-year deal that was given to many of his fellow defensemen with comparable stats. But he did get more than the Bruins were willing to offer, and GM Peter Chiarelli didnt begrudge Kaberle's moving on to greener pastures.
We had some talks with myself, Tomas and with his agent, Chiarelli said. I think one of the stumbling blocks was terms. I can completely respect why Tomas would want some form of term. We werent able to reach common ground in that respect.
I had been nibbling at this opportunity for a bit to acquire Corvo and it just came. You know it came down to, maybe now Carolina was going to sign Tomas, so heres a chance to be able to acquire Joe. We seized the opportunity. We do wish Tomas well as he provided us something that we greatly needed in the Stanley Cup run. Hes got a good contract with a good team now.
Corvo, 34, is in the final year of a contract paying him 2.25 million per season and gives the Bruins another fast-skating, puck-moving option with a formidable shot on the power play.
Corvo matched his career-high with 40 points for the 'Canes last year and piled up 23 power-play points in 24:47 minutes per game. If he can provide a reasonable facsimile for the Bs, they should be in good shape.
There are actually a lot of similarities between Chiarellis description of Corvo and his frequent defense partner of three years ago, Dennis Seidenberg a duo that could see some time together again this coming season.
Corvo also played on the Ottawa team that made it to the Cup finals in 2006-07, and was a former teammate of both Seidenberg and Chris Kelly.
Joes a player that has a lot of experience in this league, said Chiarelli. Hes a strong player, very good skater and has a very good shot. He can log a lot of minutes, can play the power play, be very strong on the power play, and has extensive postseason experience. Hes someone that weve talked about over the last little bit as weve progressed on some of these free agent signings.
Corvo is hoping for a smooth transition to the Bruins after experiencing ups and downs in stints with the Kings, Senators, Capitals and Hurricanes during a well-traveled career.
When you put that jersey on, its probably going to feel different if you havent done it before, so Im super excited about that, Corvo said. But my impression of playing as a visitor in Boston is, the first thing you notice are the fans. The fans are super passionate about their team. The place is always jammed.
Boston just seems like a great place to play. With the jersey and it being an Original Six team, its just going to make it that more special.
If the Bruins stand pat, they'll have 5-6 million in cap space heading into the regular season after signing restricted free agent Brad Marchand, and should have all kinds of room for a trade if the regular-season roster needs improvement.
Thats the kind of salary cap flexibility that no Stanley Cup champion has enjoyed in recent memory, and should allow Chiarelli to give the team a shot in the arm if the inevitable Cup hangover creeps into the dressing room next season.
Chiarelli announced that both Tuukka Rask (left knee) and Milan Lucic (sinus) had undergone their surgical procedures and were both healing up in anticipation of next season. Rask was spotted at Fenway Park Tuesday night with a wrap around his knee, and Lucic had his procedure done prior to the July 4 holiday. Lucic will be feeling well enough to appear in Lowell on Wednesday morning to promote his second annual Rock and Jock Celebrity Softball game for charity scheduled at LeLacheur Field on Aug. 24.
The surgeries are over now and I dont have the exact dates when they happened . . . but they were both successful, said Chiarelli. The normal rate of recovery will apply for both. With Tuukka, the arthroscopic surgery on the meniscus. With Looch, it was just the cartilage of the nose, just cleaning that up.
Chiarelli was asked if re-signing restricted free agent Brad Marchand was the last big order of business for the organization, and it seems as if that would be the case with few roster spots still open for real competition headed into training camp.
More or less," Chiarelli said. "We always look to improve. Youve heard me say that a number of times. So theres still a lot of players out there and were obviously with getting Joe Corvo in place here we really solidified our back end.
You kind of just got to keep attuned to whats going on and if something comes across your desk that you can look at, well certainly look at it. But were not going out and being real pro-active at this point now.
The Bruins also signed forward Jamie Tardif to a two-year contract and forward Josh Hennessy to a one-year contract.
Tardif, 26, captained the AHLs Grand Rapids Griffins for the last two seasons. In 2010-11, the 6-foot, 200-pound forward posted career highs in goals (27), assists (27) and points (54) in 77 games played, with 81 PIM.
Hennessy, 25, is a native of Brockton who was originally a second-round pick of the Sharks in 2003. He's played 20 games in the NHL with Ottawa. The 6-foot, 197-pounder played for the Swiss club, HC Lugano, last season, where he posted a 9-10-19 line.