The usually well-plugged-in Pierre Lebrun, as part of the ESPN Daily Debate today, reported that the Canadiens are among those inquiring about defensemen Tomas Kaberle or Chris Phillips, both of whom are pending unrestricted free-agents.
According to Lebrun,
I was told over the weekend that both teams (the Canadiens and Bruins) have made similar overtures for the likes of Toronto’s Tomas Kaberle and Ottawa’s Chris Phillips, among other blueliners. I would guess nearly every team currently sitting in a playoff spot is looking to add a defenseman of some kind, so it hardly makes Montreal and Boston unique.
Pretty vague upon second examination. Still, it’s interesting. If Lebrun’s sources are good, the Canadiens are targeting the defence and not forward positions.
Kaberle, who’s 32 and 6′ 1″, has had an ordinary year on an awful team. How much effect one has had on the other is an open question. I’ve always thought he made better the people with whom he played. His game has deteriorated with the constant trade rumours over the twelve months. Still hard to ignore 36 points in 54 games and, on a dreadful team, he is only minus-1. The Leafs are in a trading mood. Earlier today they sent defenseman Francois Beauchemin to Anaheim in exchange for right wing Joffrey Lupol and defenseman Jake Gardiner and a conditional pick in 2013.
As for Phillips, who’s also 32, you could bring up the awful team/awful year thing as well. The ability has been there in the past. But just four assists in 54 games makes him part of the Ottawa problem; not part of their solution. He’s minus-26. Maybe Pierre Gauthier sees something nobody in Ottawa is seeing right now.
Personally, I would like to find a top six forward out there somewhere, but that’s about as easy and expensive as finding a top four defenseman.
As usual, we wait.
And the rumour mill grinds.