NHL teams showing plenty of interest in Kaberle

Ever since Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke sent a note to the National Hockey League’s 29 other teams explaining how Tomas Kaberle’s no-trade clause works, interest has reportedly grown for the puck-moving defenceman.

But while the Leafs are free to move Kaberle at the upcoming NHL entry draft, the 32-year-old’s agent suggested that teams might want to first find out whether his client wants to play for them.

Kaberle, who has repeatedly expressed his desire to remain in Toronto, has one year remaining on his current contract. That means that if he goes to a team that he does not approve of, he might end up being nothing more than a rental player.

“As of the draft, we don’t have a no-trade (clause),” agent Rick Curran said. “But it’s almost effectively a no-trade, because unless Tomas wants to go there most general managers that I’m familiar with are not giving up asset value for a one-year player who may not even want to come to my team. Especially with what Brian wants in return.’’

According to various reports, at least four teams — Buffalo, Columbus, Anaheim and New Jersey — have shown serious interest in the veteran.

Burke said he is not pressured to move Kaberle. But, at the same time, he is listening to offers. The Leafs are hoping to add a top-six forward and some secondary toughness this summer. And Kaberle , who once rejected a trade to Philadelphia for Jeff Carter and a first-round draft pick, is the team’s biggest asset.

The challenge, for Burke, is playing matchmaker. He not only has to find a team that is interested in Kaberle , he also has to find a team that Kaberle is interested in. And they hope the two sides can settle on a new contract.

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