Leafs Sign D Lebda But Is This a Sign For a Kaberle Trade?

Ray H.Contributor IJuly 9, 2010

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed unrestricted free agent defenceman Brett Lebda to a two-year contract, worth $1.45 million per season.

Lebda, 28, has appeared in 326 regular season games amassing 18 goals, 50 assists, and 201 penalty minutes.

Lebda was under the guidance of likes of Nik Lidstrom, Chris Chelios and Brian Rafalski in his time with the Red Wings. But in In Detroit, this slick, puck-moving defencemen had limited ice time . And with the Leafs his role will ultimately change, and not only would he able to have more ice team, he would be considered a top 6 defencemen. That's if he gets a pass through training camp.

"In Detroit, I was more of a depth defenceman, and right now, that’s how the hockey world sees me. I’d kind of like to change that, and be a four or five guy, and contribute more to the team, in special teams, in key situations” Lebda said.

"He’s got good pace to his game. He moves the puck well,” said Burke.

Could this really be the move that might allow room for the Kaberle trade?

Lebda is the eighth defenceman with under contract with the Maple Leafs. Constricted cap space of $27 million would tie up the blue line. The signing of Lebda could allow the possibility of a trade involving Kaberle or at least with Jeff Finger. Brian Burke consistently denies this signing was a notion for Tomas Kaberle to be traded.

"It’s a good fit for me,” said Lebda. “At the same time, it’s an opportunity for myself to get some more experience and set myself on a path where I want to go.”

Whether this trade is forshadowing the end of Kaberle's stint with the Leafs, is still questionable. Burke should really pull the trigger on the Kaberle trade soon, while Kaberle still has a value.