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Bartlett: Canadiens acquire quarterback for the power play

John Bartlett
12/15/2011 4:52:02 PM
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MONTREAL - Last week in Montreal, all the talk about the quarterback was related to the return of Anthony Calvillo. This week, it was the Canadiens turn to acquire a QB for their power play.

After seeing his team score just one power play goal in the last nine games, which consisted of a 1-for-36 run, Pierre Gauthier pulled the trigger on a deal to acquire Tomas Kaberle from Carolina in exchange for veteran Jaroslav Spacek.

The hope for Kaberle is that he can assume that quarterback position on the man-advantage for the Canadiens and try to spark some life into the power play. Along with puck movement in the offensive zone, one of Kaberle's strengths has always been his puck movement out of the defensive zone and starting the rush, especially with the power play.

While Andrei Markov continues to rehab, Kaberle will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact. When Markov returns, the two could make an impressive pairing.

After wining the Stanley Cup last year with Boston, Kaberle got off to a slow start along with his teammates in Carolina this year. However, he posted four points in the last two games.

The merits of dealing Spacek, who was to become a UFA for Kaberle's contract, which has two years remaining after this season, can be debated. But when asked about being up against the cap, Gauthier replied that players can always be moved.

The old saying of "you can never have too many defencemen" may apply to the Habs once Markov and Chris Campoli are back. That also means that more could be in store down the road.

For now, the Canadiens hope that Kaberle provides the boost they need to put themselves over the .500 mark and into the top 8. And while Markov continues to rehab, the Habs have a new quarterback for their power play.

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