I’m sure every one of us here is tired of hearing about the Kaberle situation. From trade offers, to extensions, to fishing trips, the summer seems to be just as lengthy as the season for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Now, to start you guys off, I’m no Darren Dreger or Bob McKenzie as I have zero connections to organizations or any professional hockey league. However, from various reports today that I will share with you, something tells me that Burke is very close to getting a deal done for Tomas Kaberle.
“The Brian Burke and Friends Luncheon” is a charity event that is supposed to be held on Thursday in support of the upcoming Ontario Special Olympics. According to a Thunder Bay newspaper , Burke called the manager of the event Tony LaChimea to let him know that he will not be able to attend the event. When asked for a reason, the response was simply, “hockey business”.
The story started to unfold even more when several reports and a tweet from “LeafsNews” explained that Burke made an immediate trip to Europe to negotiate face-to-face with a player. This is where all of us are left guessing. “Who’s so important to need a charity cancellation for negotiations?” “Why would Burke want to meet him face to face?” “Is Burke pursuing Forsberg or Jagr?” (OK that one was a joke).
The bottom line to this situation is I don’t think Brian is over there to pick up some hit or miss out of the SEL or DEL. If anything related to the Leafs is that important to miss a charity event over, it would be something to do with Tomas Kaberle.
The rumor was he is there to “negotiate with a player for a contract”, so is Burke trying to extend Tomas Kaberle and keep him as a Leaf? Yes and no. If Burke was over there to extend Kaberle to keep him in Toronto, why would he cancel a charity event and make a quick trip over to Europe? He has all year to extend him, the only deadline Burke has is the trade window that ends August 15th .
It all starts to piece together here. I think Burke finally has a trade in place for Kaberle, but the team who made an acceptable offer wants Kaberle to be extended so they know they get his services for at least a few years. Burke could be over there to discuss the entire situation and try and get Kaberle to accept a contract with whoever the deal is with so a trade can go down and end the saga that’s been dragged out for about 3 years.
Kevin Allen (a very reliable insider with USA Today) also posted an update of NHL rumors which mentions that Burke has received two offers that encouraged him and he expected it to get even busier. This means that the offers recently got better and maybe now one of the teams have given Burke an offer for an extended Kaberle that he can’t reject.
At the end of the day, he actually could be over there just to sign a free agent and leave everyone wondering how the Kaberle situation is going to pan out. I could just be looking into this way too much, but something has to happen and cancelling a charity event for the Special Olympics must mean something important is going down, right?.
The countdown for Kaberle is now down to 11 days before Tomas calls the shots, if Burke doesn't get a deal done in time, there is no doubt about it that Leaf nation will have a year or two of criticism towards Burke and his fellow management.