Should the Toronto Maple Leafs trade Tomas Kaberle? This question seems to be asked every year and yet he is still here. So the question becomes will this year be different?
Tomas Kaberle can be dealt because he is a solid defenceman but because of the Leafs depth on defence the Leafs might put him on the second pairing whereas he can easily be a top 2 defenceman elsewhere. So the question becomes where will he go?
The first thing to note is it will be in the Eastern Conference. Kaberle holds an unofficial no-trade clause because if he gets traded the team acquiring him should make it contingent on him signing an extension, otherwise the return on Kaberle will be too small and Burke may as well re-sign him. The second thing to note is Burke has no qualms about trading within the division (think Phil Kessel).
So the question where will he go? New Jersey is supposed to be the front runner, but I honestly cannot think of what they can give up. They have the 38th overall pick, and I guess they would have to offer Travis Zajac and the rights to David Clarkson along with the second rounder, but then why would New Jersey do that? No trade seems to be fair between the 2 teams especially considering that New Jersey would have to pay either Zajac or Zach Parise as part of the deal.
The only team that seems to be offering something brilliant is Buffalo. They offered Derek Roy and Drew Stafford, and Brian Burke countered with Roy and Zack Kassian. If that deal is done Burke, and Darcy Regier are just waiting for the deal to be consummated. Personally I think Burke will continue listening to offers until the draft because he has been getting more calls lately and so we will see.
In conclusion if the rumoured trade with Buffalo (the Kassian one not Stafford) is true I say do it, and do it fast. After all how often will you be offered a first line centre locked up for a while and a first round pick that is as gritty as Kassian for a player with one year remaining on his contract. The best part about it is Kaberle will not really have to move, as Buffalo is just down the 401!