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Philadelphia Flyers: Is Tomas Kaberle Plan B?

TORONTO - DECEMBER 30:  Tomas Kaberle #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs shoots the puck during the game against the Atlanta Thrashers at Air Canada Centre on December 30, 2008 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Bleacher ReportAnalyst IJune 25, 2009

TSN.ca is reporting that the Toronto Maple Leafs have received a significant offer for defenseman Tomas Kaberle, and it's believed that they are also one of the teams in the hunt for Florida's Jay Bouwmeester.

Darren Dreger was the one to break this news, and he said that there weren't many details made available, so it's unknown which team made the offer for Kaberle. Dreger also said that there are at least three other teams interested in Kaberle.

One could wonder though, if it's the Philadelphia Flyers.

It's been well documented that the Flyers have been interested in the 31-year-old Czech in the past. They've came close to acquiring him a couple of times, but the Leafs' asking price was Jeff Carter.

It's also not a secret that the Flyers were one of those team in the hunt for Bouwmeester, and Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said today that it's unlikely that they acquire J-Bouw's negotiating rights.

There were a lot of roadblocks in the way of the Flyers getting Bouwmeester's rights: Whether or not he wants to play here, his salary demands, etc. It was reported last week that the Flyers were on a wish list of six NHL teams he wanted to play for.

But rumours are saying he would prefer to play on the West Coast, and Vancouver seems like the likely destination for Bouwmeester.

Don't rule out Philadelphia, though. The Flyers are in no way out of the Bouwmeester sweepstakes. It's thought that Bouwmeester isn't willing to talk to anyone until July 1, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

But TSN reported that a team made a significant proposal to the Leafs, and it makes sense that the Flyers are the mystery team.

It also makes sense for the Flyers in terms of the salary cap. Kaberle's cap hit for the next two seasons is $4.25 million, which is the same as Joffrey Lupul.

One has to wonder if the Flyers have offered Lupul and a draft pick for Kaberle. Brian Burke, Toronto's general manager, traded away Lupul in the Chris Pronger trade that netted the Anaheim Ducks the punishing defenseman.

Burke wants to make the Leafs "tougher," but by acquiring Lupul doesn't do that. At the same time, it gives Toronto a scorer, something they need.

Is Kaberle Plan B for the Flyers if they fail to get Bouwmeester?

Who knows, but I think he should be.

Kaberle is an extremely smart hockey player, as he had only eight penalty minutes last season. That's something that the Flyers could use big time.

But he played in only 57 games for the Leafs because of injuries. I wouldn't be afraid of his injuries, because he has been a pretty durable guy in his career. He had missed just 44 games since the 2002-03 season until this past year.

The swift-skating Kaberle is a good offensive defenseman, putting up four goals and 27 assists in just 57 games last year. But the prior three seasons, he put up more than 50 points.

He is an excellent passer, and loves to join the attack, but he has some knocks on him.

He doesn't shoot enough on the power play, he could add some strength to take on some of the bigger forwards in the league, and more importantly, he's 31-years-old.

It makes much more sense for the Flyers to wait it out and see what happens in the Bouwmeester situation once July 1 rolls around. J-Bouw is plan A for sure, but who is Plan B?

Francois Beauchemin?

Mike Komisarek?

Mattias Ohlund?

Or is it Kaberle?

Who should it be? I'm posing that question to you!

Where can I comment?

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