Writing's on the wall for Kaberle
As much as Burke loves Kaberle, and Kaberle loves the Leafs, all signs point to a trade
For public consumption anyway, it has been well over a year of mutual admiration and asserting that there is no need for the relationship to end.
Maple Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle has professed his love for all things Toronto — save the losing.
Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has professed his love for all things Kaberle — save the fact that trading him might bring some desperate scoring help.
There’s no reason to disbelieve either position. Both men believe what they say and there still remains a chance that Kaberle is wearing No. 15 for the Leafs when the season opens this October thought.
Over the next seven days we will see if true love trumps the trade market, but one of the partners seems resolved to the relationship dissolving.
Kaberle told a newspaper in his native Czech Republic this week that after weeks and months of trade speculation, he feels this time it will happen. In fact for the first time, the veteran defenceman acknowledged that maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing for his career.
“It seems I will probably be dealt this time,” Kaberle told the Czech paper Dnes (Today). “You know, a trade may be good for me and may fill me with new energy and hunger. I do not oppose a trade. Although I love Toronto, a trade is not something I will go crazy about (if it happens.)”
Change of heart
Recognizing that some meaning can get lost in the translation to English, much of Kaberle’s comments with the paper are consistent with what he has said here, as is his interpretation of Burke’s position.
Kaberle’s no-movement clause was officially lifted on Friday at the start of the NHL entry draft and is in place until the middle of August. Even though he can’t pick and choose any new destination, Kaberle is sounding like any other player who has ever found himself on the trading block.
“I would like to go to a club that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup,” Kaberle said. “I do not live in uncertainty. Every player who plays in the NHL must live with the possibility of being traded away.”
Though he is spending the summer in the Czech Republic, Kaberle is well aware of what is taking place on the other side of the ocean. He has been in contact with teammates and friends who no doubt have kept him abreast of the chatter.
“Over the last three weeks I have heard about approximately 15 interested teams,” Kaberle said. “If I had to worry about it, I would go crazy.”