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Tomas Kaberle signs three-year contract with Carolina

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  July 5, 2011 04:31 PM

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Tomas Kaberle has signed a three-year, $12.75 million contract with Carolina. TSN first reported the signing.

Kaberle will be reunited with Paul Maurice, his coach in Toronto for two seasons. The Hurricanes play more of an aggressive, up-tempo game than the Bruins. Kaberle should be a better fit in Raleigh than he was in Boston.

The Bruins had remained in negotiations with Kaberle after he reached unrestricted free agency July 1. But they were clearly not ready to commit neither in term nor money ($4.25 million annually, same as his previous contract) to a player who projected to be a third-pairing defenseman and power-play quarterback.

The Bruins acquired Kaberle from Toronto for Joe Colborne, a 2011 first-round pick, and a 2012 second-rounder. The 33-year-old scored a goal and eight assists in 24 regular-season games following the trade. In 25 postseason games, Kaberle went 0-11--11 while settling into a No. 5 role alongside Adam McQuaid.

Kaberle helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup. But management didn't project how poorly Kaberle's puck-moving skills would translate to Claude Julien's system. They are now relying on Steven Kampfer and Matt Bartkowski to contend for a big-league job in camp. They could also be in the hunt for a veteran defenseman on the UFA market.

Kaberle becomes the second member of the Cup-winning team to walk within the week. Michael Ryder signed a two-year, $7 million contract with Dallas last Friday.

@GlobeFluto

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