Kaberle trade talk heats up

Leafs say, ‘Let the bidding begin’

Think of it in terms of real estate. Your house is your most valuable asset, one that is appreciating nicely as the market heats up.

You are days away from accepting offers and the bidders are motivated.

You never were going to give the property away, but suddenly you may have found yourself in a sellers’ market and maybe — just maybe — value is on your side.

Leafs GM Brian Burke is a vendor at heart, a man who has shown throughout his career in NHL management that he lives for the big deal. And even with a modest portfolio to work with, he’s ready to make his latest splash.

His no-movement clause doesn’t vanish until Friday evening, but the Tomas Kaberle open-house is well underway.

By the time the entry draft begins in Los Angeles and Burke can officially move the veteran puck-moving defenceman, the potential suitors may reach double digits. And unless those buyers are low-ballers, the Leafs may finally be able to put the “sold” sign up on a guy who, let’s face it, has been on the market for quite some time.

All along, Burke has maintained that there is no urgency to move Kaberle , that his offensive flair is just too difficult to replace.

That stance makes sense as a bargaining chip, a point of emphasis that the Leafs aren’t going to give him away. But with so many NHL general managers willing to talk, the smart money is that this time Kaberle is as good as gone.

Burke’s protestations aside, there is a sense of urgency now.

If the team is going to at least start to make meaningful progress toward being a playoff contender, it needs help up front. No surprise then, that Burke has been consistent in his message that Kaberle needs to at least bring a forward who can score and some “secondary toughness.”

No surprise either, that Burke doesn’t seem overly concerned about getting a draft pick to give him and his management staff something to do while the first 61 players are selected on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Of course the perfect offer sheet, one that he would sign back in a heartbeat, would include both a skilled forward and a significant pick to hand over to head scout Dave Morrison.

One of those potential forwards, Nathan Horton , was removed from the trade market Tuesday when Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon shipped him to Boston.

The Bruins, by the way, were able to give up their own first-round pick (13th overall) to help acquire Horton, largely because they own the Leafs’ second overall selection.

Burke can continue to wait for the perfect deal even if it goes beyond the draft. But the danger in playing that version of poker is that other teams who have been kicking tires regarding Kaberle may look elsewhere by then.

By all accounts, GMs around the league are in a much more trade-happy mindset these days than in past summers.

The other incentive of getting something right away for Kaberle , Toronto’s only all-star candidate in recent seasons, is that July 1st isn’t exactly shaping up as a key date in the great Maple Leafs rebuild.


17 Responses to Kaberle trade talk heats up

  1. mojo19 says:

    Did anyone else hear on AM640 that the Islanders are seriously interested in Kaberle? I wonder what they would possibly offer up to interest Brian Burke?

    Kaberle would be great on the PP with Mark Streit.

  2. mojo19 says:

    I just made this up, but would you do Brendan Witt, 5th overall pick, and Matt Moulson (26, RFA) for Kaberle?

  3. Kessel_Leafs48 says:

    Islanders need major rebuilding in my opinion there not going to trade the 5th pick and a prospect for kaberle who might not be with them after next year, high risk low reward

  4. number15 says:

    – Tomas Kaberle


    – Kyle Okposo
    – 5th overall

  5. Kev_Leafs says:

    I can't see them giving up the 5th pick; mainly because I can't see why the Islanders would want Kaberle. 

    But a goal scorer with question marks (in this case Moulson) and a pick is generally what I see Burke realistically landing if he doesn't hit a home-run for someone like Carter.  And with the Leafs taking the bad contract in Witt perhaps that would free up the 5th pick (I think this would be the owner's decision and not Snow's). 

    I guess, if the Islanders have an internal cap, then giving up Witt for next year and getting Kaberle would only really cost the team 1.25 million to get a guy on their NHL roster as opposed to one playing in the minors next year – perhaps that would be the allure of trading for Kaberle from on Islanders' point of view?

  6. TmLeafan says:

    not happening okposo is their best player

  7. mojo19 says:

    Also Moulson is an RFA coming off a 30 goal season. So maybe the Islanders would not be interested in paying up for a guy who might not deserve what he's gonna get.

    Anyway's it was just a thought since I heard the Islanders were interested and I don't think they have much else of value to the Leafs.

  8. mojo19 says:

    That would be dirty.

  9. broc says:

    Not enough for Kaberle..

    – Kaberle
    – Kulemin


    – Okposo
    – Tavares
    – 2nd + 3rd

    Makes as much sense as yours does.

  10. glotz_99 says:

    I still see Burke working out a deal with Chicago, even though they just dealt Byfugelin they are still going to be right up against the cap after they sign their RFA's.

    I would love to see the Leafs get Patrick Sharp, but if they wanted to hold on to him how about:

    Thomas Kaberle for Kris Versteeg, Andrew Ladd, 24th or 30th Overall Pick

    Toronto would probably have to throw in a minor league player too but Chicago would get some cap relief, as Versteeg is making just over 3 million and Ladd is going to be asking for between 2-3 million and the Leafs get two top 6 forwards as well as a late 1st rd pick.

  11. mitchamac says:

    I would rather bolland and beech for kaberle let them keep sharp

    to chicago – kaberle finger n kadri
    to toronto – bolland beech cambell

  12. toronto-cruz says:

    why would Burke give up Kadri, a projected top line player, for 3rd liners (at best) and a highly overpaid D man?

    why dont we just give them all our good players, take all their bad contacts and thank them.

    i dont think we will see kaberle in Chi.  we'd have to take on campbell, and too much else to make sense.

  13. NonLeafFansAreGay says:

    mitchmac….ARE YOU REATRDED WTF

  14. intelligentscorpio says:

    So you want two top six forwards, plus the 24th and 30th pick overall for Kaberle. On top of that, Versteeg and Ladd cost would be 5 mil going out and Kaberle would be 4.5 mil coming back.

    So, for .5 mil, you would like Chicago to part with 2 top 6 forwards.

    That is an amazing example of someone living in a DREAM WORLD. Wake up Leafs fans, do you even realise how stupid you sound.

  15. glotz_99 says:

    Hey how about you go ***** yourself, Versteeg's contract is 3,083,333 for 2 more seasons, Ladd is a RFA making 1.65 million, and is just under the production of Versteeg so he is going to be asking for around 3 million per season, Kaberle's contract is 4.25 for next season.

    Do the math *****sucker, it's more like 1.75 this year, and just under 3.1 million next.

  16. DannyLeafs says:

    The problem isn't that the Hawks would be giving up too much. Ladd is solid top 9 forward, but he is no top six forward. Versteeg is a good second line player, but doesn't really projecto to be a top liner. The 24th or 30th overall pick has value, but just because it's a first rounder doesn't mean it's worth that much. Two late second round picks are more likely to yield a star player than one late first, so it's not as valuable as people like to pretend.

    That doesn't mean that I think a dealing Kaberle to the Hawks makes sense though. The Hawks are going to want to spread their salary around, so any deal they make will have the highest paid player in the deal leaving their team, not coming to it. If the Leafs want to deal with Chicago the are more than likely going to have to give up players like Gunnarsson, Mitchell, Stahlberg, Caputi or Kulemin. Basically giving up prospects and players that are NHL ready but are on small contracts and still have some upside.

    The biggest problem with dealing with Chicago now is that all the players they would have likely had to let go for a small return are now considered more valuable because of their cup win, but make no mistake, Chicago still isn't going to get the type of return the players would be worth if they weren't so cash strapped. If you want proof just look at the Byfuglien trade. Marty Reasoner is a solid checking center, but he isn't that special. The top two picks from New Jersey are nice, but definitely not normally enough to land a player with Byfugliens abilities. Morin is probably the most intriguing part of the deal, and would make it a fair deal if Chicago had just given up Byfuglien for this package, but they did give up one of their top prospects, a solid enforcer, and a decent defensemen. I am not saying the deal didn't make sense for both sides, but considering the playoff run Byfuglien had, that isn't that much a huge return.

    Either way, I do agree that the deal doesn't make sense, but it isn't because Kaberle's trade value is less than Versteeg and Ladd's, its just because chicago is not likely to add any players with larger salaries than the ones they shed.

  17. mojo19 says:

    In what universe is Andrew Ladd a top 6 forward?

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