Kaberle looks like a keeper


Tomas Kaberle is a wanted man. But will it remain that way through the summer?

On Friday, general manager Brian Burke, during a radio interview in Toronto, said he “expected” the veteran defenceman return to the Maple Leafs next season.

On Saturday, coach Ron Wilson echoed the sentiments of his GM.

“Hopefully, he will be back,” Wilson said. “He has a role carrying the puck and on the power play. We have (other guys) who concentrate on the defensive aspect of the game on our blue line.”

Kaberle has one more season remaining on his contract, which pays him a cap-friendly annual salary of $4.25 million US. He does have a no-trade clause, of course, one that becomes moot from the June draft through Aug. 15.

During the 2009 draft in Montreal, Burke thought he had all but traded Kaberle to the Boston Bruins for Phil Kessel, only to see the deal fall apart.

Then, at the deadline earlier this month, Kaberle’s handlers informed Burke of three teams their client would be willing to move to. In exploring potential deals, Burke did not end up finding a suitable fit, leaving Kaberle to finish the season as a Leaf.

Maybe Kaberle is a desired fit in Burke’s 2010-11 blueprint. But, in the event Burke is blown away by an offer for the veteran this summer, it will be interesting to see if he pulls the trigger.

Kaberle entered Saturday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers having not registered a point in seven games, including all six post-Olympic outings. He finally snapped that drought in the second period, chalking up an assist.


66 Responses to Kaberle looks like a keeper

  1. hockey_lover says:

    What? Wilson had a not-so-good relationship with Marleau? Wow, I had no idea.  Seriously. I hadnt heard that.

    Hmm .. that would certainly put a wrench in the plans to get him.

  2. leafmeister says:

    Kessel is an elite talent. Bozak and Kulemin are nice complimentary players but yeah I get your point. Still they are very effective together.

    Your a Penguins fan right? Cause I was thinking that the Pens could be interested in acquiring Kulemin, not that he is available, but just out of curiosity what type of offer would you make?

  3. reinjosh says:

    Well surprisingly enough, this line (the Bozak, Kessel, Kulemin line) has more points in its last thirteen games than does the San Jose line.

    Now I agree they are not on par with some lines in this league. But they are proving themselves to be a pretty dangerous first line and if they were relegated to second line duty, the lack of quality defenders would likely make them a more dangerous line.

  4. hockey_lover says:

    I disagree. I dont think Kessel is elite. I think he is in the notch below elite. He, even over a full season, would be on pace for 35g/67pts. Looking at other players in that range: Kopitar, Burrows, Parise – all around 35 goals and Plekanec, Getzlaf, Stasny for points … I dont consider them elite either. They are just that one little notch below the best of the best.

    The elite are: Crosby, Malkin (not so much this season), Ovechkin, Thorton (despite his playoff ineptitude), Iginla (ok, again, not so much this season). Those are the elite. The guys who hit either 50g or 100pts fairly regularly.

    I iz a Pens fan. I think Kulemin is a good talent. I have heard that he played really well with Malkin in Russia. This I cant say is true or not. If its true, based on his numbers and performance, I dont feel that a 2nd rounder would be too much to pay. Again, provided the information on he and Geno playing well together are true. otherwise, Im not sure its worth anything.

  5. reinjosh says:

    Yeah Kulemin is playing his way to the untradeable. He is playing really well and developing into a nice quasi power forward.

    2nd rounder wouldn't be worth it at all.

  6. hockey_lover says:

    Well he isnt worth a 1st rounder so where's the middle ground?

    A 2nd and a prospect? Even at that, it wouldnt be a "cant miss" prospect. It would be a "half and half" prospect.

    I dont watch the Leafs a ton but since I live in Ontario, the waves are inundated with Leafs and Sens so I get to see them somewhat often.

    He is playing quite well but Im not sure that he is untradeable in any way.

    Last season, I brought up a Jordan Staal proposal (I think it was near the deadline). I basically intimated that I think the Pens could have gotten a 1st rounder and a player/prospect and I was ripped apart. I also made a thread comparing Staal and Franzen and again, was ripped apart (by about half the people who responded).

    So if Staal is worse than Franzen (according to 50% of the people on here) and isnt worth a 1st and a prospect, then Kulemin certainly isnt.

  7. reinjosh says:

    Staal isn't comparable to Kulemin obviously. And I should clarify that he is more of an untradeable player than untouchable.

    But to where out team is, Kulemin isn't worth a 2nd rounder to us. The way Kulemin is developing, he will be a second liner for us. That second rounder is useless to our team.

    Its more that it makes sense for us to keep him rather than trade him, if you get what I am saying. I'm not deluded enough to say that he is untouchable. Just not worth it to trade him. I don't know why someone would suggest that.

  8. reinjosh says:

    basically what he would bring back to the team wouldn't be enough to justify trading him.

  9. dumbassdoorman says:

    On a fantastic note I got my new Phaneuf jersey in the mail today to wear watching the game tomorrow!!!

    And here is to an exciting and eventful off season!!! It is going to be fun.

  10. bbruins37 says:

    The draft should be fun for you guys.

  11. dumbassdoorman says:

    LMAO…YA BUT I AM OKAY WITH THAT REALLY, IT IS LIKE WE ALREADY HAD OUR FIRST TWO PICKS WITH (soory bout caps) with kessel and Paradis, so all is good. plus the draft will allow for Burke to hopefully pull off a trade or two.

  12. dumbassdoorman says:

    Actually I think it is going to be an exciting off season for a lot of teams…which will be good for here and chatter….lol

  13. TimTheBone says:

    Well quite honestly your reaching for the stars if you "wouldnt accept anything less"…. its quite a ridiculous proposal that would never happen….. but that being said that's the reason why Kaberle will most likely end up staying in T.O ….

  14. hockey_lover says:

    Ah ok. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. He looks to develop into exactly what you are saying .. a solid 2nd liner. He may also bust so who knows. But he looks good for sure.

  15. hockey_lover says:

    Its been dead balls quiet on here the last few days.

  16. dumbassdoorman says:

    Ya that is why i made the comment about my jersey i figured it might help with some talk…..lol….but not really

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