Kaberle, 'Canes sign three-year deal

Tomas Kaberle of the Boston Bruins  during 2nd period action in game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at...

Tomas Kaberle of the Boston Bruins during 2nd period action in game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. on Friday June 4th 2011. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:19 PM ET

Tomas Kaberle won't need to be formally introduced to a handful of his new teammates.

Not with the number of former Maple Leafs sprinkled through the Carolina Hurricanes lineup.

Kaberle signed a three-year, $12.75 million contract with the Hurricanes Tuesday, joining four former blue-and-white teammates -- and one-time coach Paul Maurice -- on Tobacco Road. Tim Brent and Alexei Ponikarovsky signed free-agent deals with the 'Canes over the weekend while Jay Harrison and Jiri Tlusty have called Carolina home for a couple of seasons.

"(Maurice) obviously has a comfort level with Tomas and they really get along well," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said. "Tomas is one of the top puck-moving defencemen in the NHL and power-play specialist. He has had a good career and is now a Stanley Cup champion. We welcome him to Carolina and look forward to his contributions to the Hurricanes."

It took nearly five days of free agency for Kaberle to find a new home after the Boston Bruins showed little interest in re-signing him. Carolina wasn't scared off by Kaberle's mostly lousy post-season showing, signing him to a deal that will pay him the same money he was getting from the Leafs.

Kaberle, a 12-year veteran, was the longest-serving Leaf when he was dealt to Boston at the deadline for prospect Joe Colborne and a pair of picks, including the Bruins first-rounder this year.

He struggled in the offensive zone after the trade -- he had one goal, eight assists in 24 regular-season games -- and was probably worse early in the Bruins run to the Stanley Cup. The Bruins were awful on the power play in the playoffs, clicking at just 11.4%, and Kaberle shouldered much of the blame for the lack of success.

Still, the 33-year-old Czech has been productive his entire career. He has 84 goals and 445 assists in 902 career NHL games.

After Kaberle signed with the Hurricanes, defenceman Joe Corvo was traded to the Bruins for a fourth-round draft pick. Rutherford confirmed that Corvo asked for a trade a few days ago.


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