DRAFTCENTRE: TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS EDITION
It's that wonderful time of the year again. The old leaves have begun to fall off (via buy-out) and some old trees have been retired and sent to the wood chipper of life after hockey. Now the time for the fresh young buds (or in some cases just new branches) is upon us.
Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs just ended a season where they finished an embarrassing 29th place and traded away their 2010 first round pick (2nd overall), 2010 second round pick and 2011 first round pick to the Boston bruins in exchange for sniper Phil kessel.
This year draft day looked to be a very depressing and boring affair for Leafs followers. After all, the Leafs first pick isn’t until the 3rd round followed by picks in the 4th, 2 in the 5th and 2 in the 7th for a total of 6 picks, none of which are in the first 61 picks.
It certainly looked dismal...until the Tomas Kaberle rumours started to heat up. Did the Leafs want to move him, how did his no-trade clause work, and was there a market?
From the email sent to the other 29 GMs to the confirmation that Burke was (and is) intently listening to offers; this draft day looks to be an eventful day for Leafs Nation.
In an unrestricted free agent class featuring 36 year old Sergei Gonchar as the best offensive defenceman and Dan Hamhuis as the top overall UFA defenceman, Tomas Kaberle was going to be a hot commodity.
There have been no shortage of trade scenarios involving Kaberle, disgruntled RA Nikolei Kulemin and the Leaf who seems to be everyones favourite trade add-on, Mikhail Grabovski.
Trades involving teams like Anaheim and Chicago including players such as Bobby Ryan, Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Brian Campbell and Patrick Sharp to name a few.
Even the age-old adage of never trading with ones divisional rivals is being tested with the possibility of a potential trade including the Derek Roy and Zack Kassian of the Buffalo Sabres.
Odder yet is the quiet and cautious suggestions of trading with the Ottawa Senators for Jason Spezza. Or even the Boston Bruins.
With the amount of hype leading up to the draft for the Toronto Maple Leafs one doesn’t have to wonder if Tomas Kaberle will be dealt. The only questions that remain are to whom, for what, and whose first round selection(s) is going to forgotten by the media because of it.
***Draft Day Coverage: TSN, Versus and RDS will be showing the first round, with TSN.ca streaming live coverage. Day two will feature coverage of the event streaming live from NHL.com.
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