Thursday Evening Kaberle Update

Bruins ‘close’ to getting Kaberle, sending Stuart to Chicago

Deadline hangs over Bruins’ heads

Bruins ‘close’ to getting Kaberle, sending Stuart to Chicago

There’s no denying the Bruins are moving closer to a deal for Toronto Maple Leafs premium defenseman Tomas Kaberle, and Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli is working to fit the puzzle pieces in place for another move to free up some salary cap space.

According to several hockey sources, and as reported earlier on Thursday morning by TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Bruins are getting “close” to a trade agreement on a deal with the Leafs for the four-time All-Star defenseman. The package is believed to be Blake Wheeler and a draft pick headed to the Leafs, and that package of players/prospects would net the B’s the puck-moving defenseman/power play quarterback that Boston desperately needs.

“Right now if we can improve then I’ll take whatever [Chiarelli] can give us, right?” said coach Claude Julien. “But I think it’s pretty obvious and pretty clear that we want to upgrade our puck-moving part of our game from the back end. [Steve] Kampfer has done that as a young player, and now we’re looking for a guy with a little more experience. That’s what we’re looking right now.”

Hockey sources have indicated to there’s a second, salary-cap clearing deal being moved into place to give Boston some cap flexibility. The B’s are discussing sending rugged defenseman Mark Stuart to the Chicago Blackhawks, who are looking for a little more toughness around their net.

The Stuart deal would net the Bruins a draft pick, and would be strictly for salary cap relief rather than instant roster improvement.

The B’s have roughly $2.5 million salary cap space, and shedding the cap hits of Wheeler ($2.2 million) and Stuart ($1.675 million) would give Boston room to add Kaberle to their pop-gun power play – and have some room in case any other roster tweaking is needed prior to the Feb. 28 NHL trade deadline.

Stuart is aware of the trade chatter surrounding his name and clearly wants to remain with the Bruins, who drafted and developed him. But he’s done a good job of blocking everything out as he’s resumed his hard-hitting role in the Boston lineup.

Deadline hangs over Bruins’ heads

With Kelly, the B’s have room for a cap hit of slightly more than $2.5 million. When you consider that’s much less than the salaries of most of the suspected targets — Tomas Kaberle and Eric Brewer are each at $4.25M, Ron Hainsey at $4.5M and Zach Bogosian at $3.375M) — it stands to reason that someone on the roster has played his final game at TD Garden in a Bruins’ uniform.

The names that have bandied about the most are defenseman Mark Stuart and forward Blake Wheeler. Though Stuart has played the last couple of games like a guy who should not be discarded lightly, he was a healthy scratch for eight games and is a pending unrestricted free agent with a $1.675M salary cap hit.

Wheeler, meanwhile, has a $2.2M cap and will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.

Both players took the hear-no-evil, see-no-evil approach to the uncertainty leading up to the NHL’s Feb. 28 trade deadline.

“You don’t believe anything until it happens,” Wheeler said. “That’s kind of what I’ve learned at least. The rumors you hear never happen and the ones you don’t hear about are the ones that happen. From our standpoint, our focus is that we have games to play and points to earn. We can’t worry about what’s being written in the papers and online and blogs and stuff because when you start worrying about things you can’t control then the things you can control are going to start to slip.

109 Responses to Thursday Evening Kaberle Update

  1. TheOnlyIslesFan says:

    The difference between all these guys and Seguin is simple – top line minutes, minus of course Brayden Schenn who the Kings had the right thought process of sending him back because he wasn't playing in the right situation.

    Cam are you one of the guys who thought that Tavares was going to be a marginal NHL player as well?
  2. TheOnlyIslesFan says:

    100 percent agree with you.

  3. TheOnlyIslesFan says:

    No what I was calling him out over was saying that he along with your pick that was traded to Boston is what Burke should get from the Bruins for Kaberle – granted that the Leafs are now sitting six points out of the playoff picture this morning but if history has taught us all something this it the time when they get hot go on a nice little run and then usually disappoint.

    Realistically – a top ten pick and your best prospect to a team for a rental player is a stupid move – that's what I'm saying – and in the case of some people (Cliff Fletcher) career ending – you don't think he'd take a renig on that Clark trade with the Islanders?
  4. nordiques100 says:

    BB and Wilson have zero intentions of keeping the player.

    That is too bad really, cause i like Kaberle and think he'd still be able to help Toronto.

    But the management and coaching staff are pretty well set in stone to move on and move forward with something and someone different on the backend.

    That is their choice. wrong or right, that is the direction they want to go. I have come to accept that.

    But to get nothing for him is plain stupid. 

    Burke is trying to create a market for him and i think that is admirable. Maybe a team comes in at the 11th hour. Who knows.

    But something tangible is coming back. Kaberle is a good player.

    You have to look at the two scenarios:

    1. Kaberle finishes out the year, leaves July 1st to another team and Toronto gets nothing for him. Much like how the Panthers hung on to Bouwmeester.

    2. Kaberle is moved and the Leafs get assets back. The assets either help them in the long run, or are used for something else at a later time. THe leafs gain some flexibility and something more to work with than an asset who's value will plummet via the trade market after Feb 28th. Much like how Rivet, Campbell, Huet and many others were moved. Less than idea situations, but those teams made the tough call knowing those players were never going to be retained or return.

    If the management group had every intention of keeping Kaberle then yeah, trading him is bad, but they dont. Its pretty clear as day they want ot move forward.

    The player too, maybe he wants to move forward as well.

    After seeing McCabe, Kubina, Tucker and Sundin leave for marginal to no return, it just seems to make all the more sense to at least get something for Kaberle. 

  5. cam7777 says:

    I have no problem with trading him for assets.  I have a problem with trading him to Boston for a pile of shit in return.  They have very little I'd want, but this is the trade I would push for with Boston realistically:

    To Boston:

    Tomas Kaberle

    To Toronto:

    Jordan Caron
    1st in 2011 (BOS)
    2nd in 2012 (BOS)*

    *conditional on Kaberle resigning; drops to a 4th otherwise.

    Really, if they get 5 years of Kaberle at a cap friendly deal without removing a single meaningful piece of their future, we've taken a very minor step forward, only to watch our enemy take an enormous leap.  Even this deal is not very good, but it sounds like even that would be a pipe dream right now.

  6. cam7777 says:

    Brian Elliot to the Avalanche.  Sounds like Anderson to Toronto could be next.

  7. cam7777 says:

    Nevermind.  Anderson for Elliot straight up by the sounds of things.  So Murray either wants something of the Leaf's property for Anderson, or he's just being a douche and pulling a Kadri on Burke.

  8. cam7777 says:

    Where are you getting the term 'marginal' from?  I said he'd be very good.  There is a huge difference between not being a Stamkos, and being a marginal NHL player.  Why is it one extreme or the other?  This is exactly the kind of absurdity that I hate about the draft.  You're assuming that if he isn't a star, he must be marginal.  That's not the case.  He could be very, very good, and still contribute, but not be a top 30 player in the league.

    As for his ice time, that's a laugh because of the way the ice time has been distributed.  Scroll down the page and read my response to, I believe it was the President, who argued the same thing.  Fact is, Hall plays top minutes, but against the opposing team's top shutdown units.  Hard, gruelling, grinding minutes where someone is on him constantly.  Seguin faces sheltered minutes, against the other team's worst and most exhausted lines.  It's not simply a matter of "if he played more, he'd score more".  If he played more, I would argue that he'd score less.

  9. cam7777 says:

    I just found it for you:

    Seguin gets wildlv varied ice time.  Sometimes he's up around 18-20 mins per night, and sometimes he gets 6 minutes per night.  The difference is that Seguin gets what I would call "sheltered" minutes.  Chia matches him against the weak lines the same way Philly does with the Carter line when they need a goal.  A team might have an answer to Richards/JVR/Versteeg, and they might have a line that can go toe-to-toe with Briere/Hartnell/Leino, but there is usually nothing left in the tank but 4th liners and weak defensive players when they throw Carter/Giroux/Zherdev over the boards.  Same concept with Seguin.  PP time, but no PK time, good linemates, weak opposition.  Hall faces the top shutdown lines of every team all night long.  The two are not even comparable at this stage of their development.  Seguin should be in junior.

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