In recent days leading up to the July 4th long weekend, it has been speculated that Kaberle—possibly with a package of others—could be traded to an interested L.A. Kings.
That's the current rumour anyways.
Some would say they're not so sure the Kings need another puck rushing defenseman with Drew already blossoming into a Norris trophy type player—but Kaberle's game is more passing, and transition.
I think Kaberle would definitely help the Kings attack and powerplay.
Here are some players on the Kings who could be coming back if such a trade were to happen.
First round pick in 07, has the makings to be a top two defenseman and a powerplay QB.
A bit on the small side, his skating and skill sets are world class.
He could definitely be Tomas's replacement when the Leafs are set to resurge in a few years.
First round pick in 09.
A burly, physical, skilled center with great Top Six potential. Would look great playing with his brother in the blue'n'white!
It would take some great convincing and a bit of slight-of-hand for Burke to convince Lombardi to part with this guy.
First round pick 2008. Has the size and makings of a great shut-down D-man—no offensive upside though.
Has to learn to control his emotions and discipline in order to take the next step in his development—but he's definitely a "Burke" player.
I don't really see him being a part of any package unless we give Schenn up via trade.
Second round pick 07. The Scarborough, Ontario native is a Lombardi favorite.
He's a skillful, yet gritty right winger with Top Six forward potential. If the Kings get Kovalchuk they may not want this pending (2011) RFA to get much more than he's currently making—and Wayne would likely want at least $3 million.
That said, Wayne's got incredible upside. I would love to see him as a Leaf!
First round pick in 94. Has a no-trade clause but has waived it in the past.
Captain Canada may waive to play in Toronto.
Gritty prototypical power forward on the decline of his career, with a $6.25 million cap hit. Would definitely be a salary dump for a Kovalchuk signing.
First round pick in 03. I only mention this talented left winger because along with the rumours of a Leafs/Kings Kaberle trade, his name keeps coming up with the bloggers.
He's got a great contract until 2014 with a cap hit of $3.175 million—and he's their captain.
Lombardi won't let go of this guy—we will have a greater chance getting Brayden Schenn!
First round pick in 03. This rather colourful character could turn into an All-Star top two defenseman or a Bottom Six bust.
Had 36 points in 80 games and was a glaring minus-15. Has at times grandstanded instead of making the simple play.
Carolina drafted him and then traded him and Oleg Tverdovsky to the Kings for Tim Gleason and Eric Belanger in 2006—which tells you he has some "baggage."
Could be a contractual nightmare for Lombardi when he's an RFA in 2011. But there's lots of upside if he can mature!
There are a few others that could also be named as trading pieces—Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll, Michael Handzuz, and Oscar Moller for example.
But I feel that these are the seven players that would interest Burke more and/or be a better fit for Lombardi post-Kovalchuk signing.
Nothing major will likely happen until Tuesday after the long weekend... if at all!