It seems like we will not know for a while whether or not Tomas Kaberle will remain a Boston Bruin. GM Peter Chiarelli gave up a lot to get him, and they probably do not want him to be solely a rental player. However, Kaberle was viewed as a disappointment by most observers. His defense was often shaky, and the power play actually got worse upon his arrival.
There is a good chance another team will aggressively pursue and overpay Kaberle. And if that is the case, the Bruins are left with a hole at their sixth defenseman spot. They were interested potentially in James Wisniewski and Christian Ehrhoff, but those two were both swiped off the market before the Bruins could blink.
There is another player that could fit right in with the Bruins system, and bring what Kaberle brought and more. Steven Kampfer played in 38 games for the Bruins last season, and he proved to be a solid puck-moving defenseman with some more snarl to his game than Kaberle. Kampfer laid down a big hit in his first ever shift, winning the hearts of Bruins Nation right away. Not only that, but he also scored a game-winning goal in the waning seconds against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Kampfer has the ability to make good cross-ice passes and even score a little bit from the blue line. He could be a perfect power play point man alongside Zdeno Chara. He also has defensive ability, probably good enough to make him a fourth or fifth defenseman on the Bruins right now.
Although Kaberle may not have completely deserved the role of scapegoat, it’s abundantly clear that the Bruins Nation doesn’t have much faith in him. And by many other measures, Kampfer does appear to be a better option than Kaberle. Kampfer is younger, has more long-term upside, and perhaps most importantly of all, would carry a substantially lower cap cost.