According to TSN, the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to turn on the Tomas Kaberle pressure cooker on August 1. That is the day Brian Burke is expected to make calls to the teams that have made offers to acquire Tomas Kaberle and see if they will up the ante. It begs the question though, why is he waiting so long?
Last week he was on his annual fishing trip and, because he does not like it to be interrupted the delay made sense. However, now that the trip is over why is he still waiting. Perhaps he thinks people will start offering him more when he only has 2 weeks left to deal. As such he can get a bidding war going.
The next issue would be the strange free agency we have had so far. Teams may sign a stud forward (ie. Kovalchuk) and then they would be free to deal their forwards for a defenceman. Since there are so many stud forwards left, okay only one, Brian Burke expects the offers to get better once he is signed.
Another reason might be that he has a trade to beat, but by not contacting the team that made the offer that team might be tricked into offering something better. This is a negotiating ploy that has been used many times. It normally works, and in this case it will work even better as there clearly is a deadline.
Another reason is that the best offer right now may come from the Sharks or maybe another Western Conference team. As such you do not expect Kaberle to sign an extension with them, so they should be offering less than Eastern Conference teams. So Burke may just be waiting for an offer from an eastern team, possibly Boston.
Another thing that can occur is the Blake Wheeler arbitration. If the Bruins decide to give him the arbitration money and then deal him it could work out in Burke's favour. Also if they let him go as a UFA then Burke can just sign him outright cheaply while dealing Kaberle for a cheaper forward. Maybe he will just bury Finger in the minors and sign Kaberle to an extension.
Wheeler and Kovalchuk are the two main things stopping a deal now. Personally I think Burke will get a good shot at Wheeler. If he can deal Grabovski as well, the cap space really gets freed up, unfortunately Grabovski is a solid goal scorer, hence dealing him to create the cap space needed to get Wheeler and maybe Clowe seems like adding by subtraction.
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