The ball's in Kaberle's court

Until defenceman squashes speculation, it will rage on

By MIKE ZEISBERGER, Toronto Sun

When Brian Burke was asked about the status of defenceman Tomas Kaberle earlier this month, he was quite abrupt with his response.

“This is the last time I will answer this – I am not going to ask Tomas Kaberle to waive his no-trade clause,” Burke said at the time.

That hasn’t stopped the internet from being flooded with reports that Kaberle, in fact, might be willing to waive it in order to go to a number of pre-determined eastern conference teams.

Until Kaberle himself squashes the speculation, the talk will continue up to Wednesday’s trade deadline. Of course, these rumours have been going on for more than two years – and he’s still a Leaf.

Should the Leafs miss the playoffs. Kaberle’s no-trade clause is moot from the June draft through Aug. 15.

Loose Leafs

With the squad split into two teams Fridays, players had a friendly financial wager on the outcome of their 3-on-3 game. Sure enough, those fortunate members of Team Exelby received a modest monetary windfall and were presented a makeshift trophy for winning the event.

“They could have given us a block of wood for a trophy and we wouldn’t have cared,” Exelby said … The Leafs will resume regular practice Saturday, with Team Sweden goalie Jonas Gustavsson expected to rejoin the team from the Olympics. Sunday’s practice will be held in front of an expected sold-out crowd at Oshawa’s GM Centre.

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2010/02/26/13048441.html


19 Responses to The ball's in Kaberle's court

  1. dumbassdoorman says:

    People can say he is overrated and valued by the fans all they want, but don't kid yourself there is more than one Gm who will be waiting to see if he waives before they make a move. He will have an impact on the deadline more than some will want to admit.

  2. Kramer says:

    One day I wanna see a GM trade an entire team for another team. Think of it. Your team is struggling and so is the other team. Just swap teams.

    If people fire GMs and coaches, why can't you just trade the whole team and keep the coach?

  3. leafmeister says:

    Some trade scenarios.

    Trade: Ponikarovsky for Tangradi, 2nd. As rumored, it would be a hefty price, but it is possible.

    Trade: Garnett Exelby, Lee Stempniak for Michal Rosival, Ryan Callahan. The Leafs would of course bury Rosival, and NYR would be able to take a shot at Kovalchuk.

    At the draft:

    Trade Kaberle to Columbus for Nikita Filatov, Samuel Pahlsson. Filatov maybe on the outs in Columbus, and they have long been after Kaberle. Pahlsson would be a nice addition the the 3rd line.

    Resign Nikolai Kulemin, Jonas Gustovsson, Ryan Callahan, Wayne Primeau

    Sign Jordan Leopold

    Next year:

    Filatov-Bozak-Kessel
    Stalberg-Kadri-Callahan
    Kulemin-Pahlsson-Sjostrom
    Orr-Primeau-Rosehill

    Phaneuf-Schenn
    Komisarek-Beauchemin
    Leopold-Gunnarsson

    Giggy
    Gustovsson

    Very sold, young roster, plays a top 6 bottom 6 game as Burke always preaches, good PK, good PP, solid goaltending.

    Thoughts?

  4. reinjosh says:

    Not nearly enough for Kaberle. Filatov isn't that valuable.

  5. reinjosh says:

    and Callahan still has one more season on his contract

  6. cam7777 says:

    Supposedly the entire Leaf brass took in last night's Marlies/Bears game to scout the Washington Capitals prospects.  I think that Stempniak is the one on the move to Washington, as I think he would give them a little grit, and also help their PK out a tad.  That sounds strange, that we have anyone who could help a PK, but Stempniak is rarely on the ice when we are scored on short-handed.  Now that he and Sjostrom are there, we've improved a great deal.  He could help them.

    I feel Stempniak is the guy, because everyone seems to be looking at Kaberle.  Of course Kaberle would be an insane acquisition for the Caps, that would give them the most lethal offense in the league.  However, they have nothing to offer us but borderline roster players (ie. Fehr) and prospects.  This is fine, but I just don't see it being the direction Burke is going in.  He said his top priority is finding a puck-distributing center, and has continually said he doesn't care about replenishing those lost picks, so long as he gets some picks to keep his scouting staff busy (late rounders for salary dumps is what he's talking about). 

    So, unless Washington has a stellar package of youth to offer us, which we could then partially flip in the summer for a stud center, then I'm not sure they are the right trading partner.  I would look at this trade though:

    To WSH: Tomas Kaberle, Lee Stempniak
    To TOR: Eric Fehr, John Carlson, Cody Eakins, 1st round pick 2010

    Fehr is someone they can afford to throw away, and has long been rumored in their trade packages.  Carlson and Eakin are guys that are at the peak of their value as prospects.  They are either going to turn the corner and stumble at the next level, or become solid NHL'ers.  Now is the time to move them if you're Washington, and you have limited space for them.  And of course, that 1st round pick is not all that important to the Capitals, since it will likely be 28th or 30th overall.

  7. number15 says:

    even if Kaberle agrees to waive it and gives a list of team I wouldnt trade him now…… wait till the offseaon when you can trade him to anyone you want

    why force a trade with a bunch of teams he wants to go to….. wait till offseason and u can get the best possible deal.way more options

  8. dumbassdoorman says:

    To a point you are correct, except if some of the teams in the bidding were to go another direction because he wasn't avail. They will only make a deal if it make sense to them. I am sure the have a list of players/pospects/picks that they would consider from each partner.

  9. blaze says:

    Callahan sucks.  Just thought everyone should know.

  10. cam7777 says:

    A couple reasons for this.  First, and most obviously, the return may be larger now, even if it is not the return we are actually looking for.  Burke might have already inquired about certain players potentially being available in the summer, and noted an approximate asking price.  For example, maybe Holmgren told him he'd be willing to move Carter if the playoffs are another disaster, but it would take a good player, a good prospect and a 1st round pick.  Because someone like Holmgren likely isn't interested in adding another puck-mover, trading Kaberle to someone else at the deadline might make more sense.

    To a point though, I agree with you.  I think the chances of a bidding war greatly improve in the summer.  If Rob Blake retires, and the Sharks go out in the first round, willl they think about a top not defensemen?  I think so, yes.  If Niedermayer retires, and Wisniewski is traded as rumored, will the Ducks go into next season with just Ryan Whitney on defense?  Something could develop there rather easily.  Will St.Louis go another season without a true puck-moving defensemen?  They will throw their hat in the mix.  Will Washington be less interested in Kaberle in June than they are now?  Probably not.  If Lidstrom retires, does Holland start to think about a replacement?  Yep. 

    Now imagine all of that happens, what would the price for Kaberle be then?

  11. leafmeister says:

    If SJ: Ryan Clowe, Joe Pavelski and whatever picks it takes to finish up the deal.
    If Anaheim: Bobby Ryan straight up, or Joffery Lupul, 1st.
    If St. Louis: Berglund, Backes, Runblad for Kaberle, Grabovski
    If Washington: John Carlson or Karl Alzner, Marcus Johanson, 1st.
    If Detroit: Filppula, Ferarro, 1st or your suggested Datsyuk deal.

  12. cam7777 says:

    I think it takes more than that in some of those cases, and not everyone is interested in Grabovski (though Anaheim and Detroit might be).  My latest Kaberle suggestion involves trading for a tradeable asset, if that makes any sense.  At the deadline:

    To WSH: Stempniak, Exelby, 5th in 2010
    To TOR: Fehr, 2nd in 2010

    Now we have Fehr to throw into deals with teams who are wishy-washy about Grabovski.  So:

    To SJS: Kaberle, Fehr, 3rd
    To TOR: Pavelski, Clowe, 1st

    To ANA: Kaberle, Fehr
    To TOR: B.Ryan, 2nd

    To STL: Kaberle
    To PHI: Berglund, Fehr, 1st in 2010 (STL)
    To TOR: Carter, 2nd in 2011 (STL)
    (this one is my favorite I think, and it also makes the most sense)

    To DET: Kaberle, Grabovski
    To TOR: Filppula, Ferraro, 1st
    (but man, Burke would be The King if he could nab Datsyuk)

  13. leafmeister says:

    Carter would be great, but not my first choice at all. He is a goal scorer, we should focus on a play maker. Unless they could nab a playmaking left winger than I would focus on getting a play making center.

    Unless they could find a way to nab a guy like Filatov or Wolski, than I think Carter and Kessel would not be a good fit together.

  14. cam7777 says:

    How about just signing Kariya.  Two years, 5 million (2.5 cap hit) would probably do it at this point.  Combine that with these trades:

    To NYR: Grabovski, Stefanovich
    To TOR: Callahan, Rozsival, 2nd in 2010

    To CHI: Mitchell, Hayes
    To TOR: Byfuglien, Sopel

    -bury Sopel
    -bury Rozsival

    Kariya (A) / Carter / Kessel
    Stalberg / Kadri / Byfuglien
    Kulemin / Bozak / Callahan
    Primeau / Hanson / Sjostrom

    (Orr)

    Pretty solid forward group.  And don't forget, Kessel has proven he can be an elite passer as well.  Carter's not exactly a slouch in that department either, though he does prefer to shoot first.   It just means they have to have good communication, and make sure when one is shooting, the other is driving the net with speed for the rebound.

  15. leafmeister says:

    That would be okay. They could also put Kadri on the top line left wing, if he is ready next year. Even if he isnt, that could be his role in the future.

  16. cam7777 says:

    You could also mix up the line a little bit:

    Kariya (A) / Carter / Byfuglien
    Kulemin / Bozak / Kessel (has worked before)
    Stalberg / Kadri / Callahan
    Primeau / Hanson / Sjostrom

    You've got a good mix of speed, scoring and defensive ability on each line.  I like the idea of putting Byfuglien next to Kadri though.  It would sure give him a lot of confidence to be riding with one of the biggest men in the game.

  17. JoelJoel says:

    Been off in la-la land too long there Cramer? It did almost happen:

    http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2009/10/12/11375641-sun.html

    http://en.video.canoe.tv/video/featured/featured-videos/1906868830/oilers-leafs-city-swap/44487915001

    Oh, yeah, and some big trade, mafia, psychics, yadda yadda yadda…

  18. Kramer says:

    How come I didn't hear about this? This is big big news.

  19. mojo19 says:

    Ha. he's a good, well rounded player, but he's a 2nd liner not a top line guy, if that's what you meant.

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