It has been nearly two months since the Leafs had the option to trade Kaberle without asking him to waive his no-trade clause, and we’re still here today wondering where he’ll be traded to; or if he’ll be traded for that matter.
Brian Burke has decided to exercise this option he has until the bitter end in hopes that a knee-buckling trade will find his way to his desk.
I can’t speculate on the teams that have offered him deals and what ones are the best, but what I do know is that over 6 teams have expressed great interest in Kaberle.
Leafs fans from around the globe are anxious for a deal to be done, waiting in anticipation. All Leaf fans hope that its not like those Christmas mornings where you find coal in your stocking rather than presents, candy and money. As a Leaf fan, I hope that the waiting with baited breath is worth it, because if the Leafs don’t end up trading Kaberle, essentially my whole summer following rumors, blogs and media reports will have been a waste of time.
Right now, according to reports that Sharks appear to be the closest to signing Kaberle. This won’t be one of my articles unless I add something to this though.
Here are the seven teams that I believe are in the running for Kaberle.
Why: The Sabres defence core after the loss of Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman is rather thin after sensational rookie Tyler Myers. Adding Kaberle to that team would assure them of a consistent power play and he would provide some mentorship for Myers. They added Jordan Leopold, but I don’t believe he’ll be enough.
Offers: Derek Roy or Drew Stafford and Zack Kassian
Why: The Bruins lost defenceman Dennis Wideman in the Nathan Horton trade. Although their defence is still strong, they could always use the help on the back-end, and can provide Toronto with a top six center in return, or a decent futures package.
Offers: Marc Savard or Joe Colbourne and Blake Wheeler
Columbus Blue Jackets
Why: A defence that is starved for a powerplay quarterback. Their quarterback last year was Leafs cast-off Anton Stralman. Although I believe Stralman was a good player, the Leafs did not think he deserved a spot on their second-last place team roster, so they sent him packing. Adding Kaberle to that team would instantly give them more scoring, something of which they desperately need.
Offers: RJ Umberger and John Moore or Jakub Voracek and Cody Goloubef
Why: Another team that is in need of back-end help. They could really use a powerplay quarterback on the team. Playing the system they do in Dallas could help Kaberle out and playing next to Stephane Robidas, who is one of the hitting and blocked shots leaders in the league will only help his defensive numbers.
Offers: Mike Ribeiro and James Neal for Kaberle and Kulemin and Brad Richards (my personal favorite of all seven, if its possible)
Los Angeles Kings
Why: After Drew Doughty, the offence from the defence is one of the worst in the NHL. Jack Johnson, who came into the league with Chris Chelios like expectations, has pretty well flopped and really has not shown much other than being a minus pig. In fantasy hockey, you never want to draft minus pigs.
Offers: Dustin Brown or Wayne Simmonds and Thomas Hickey
San Jose Sharks
Why: After losing veteran defenceman Rob Blake to retirement and also having lost Christian Ehrhoff to the Vancouver Canucks, the Sharks are in dire need of some defence to help out 34-year old Dan Boyle, who is not getting any younger. Supposedly, the Sharks remain the front-runner for Kaberle’s services.
Offers: Ryan Clowe and a first round draft pick, Devin Setoguchi and a second round draft pick, Joe Thornton remains a possibility, but more of a dream than anything for Leaf fans.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Why: Tampa Bay last season probably had one of the worst defensive cores in the league, allowing plenty of goals and ranking 27th out of 30 teams. They added good friend and Czech Republic teammate Pavel Kubina to the roster this summer and it appears the Lightning are ready to try and turn over a new Leaf (pun intended). Having added Simon Gagne, Brett Connolly, Pavel Kubina and Dan Ellis already to the roster, Steve Yzerman’s next target in my mind should be Kaberle.
Offers: Ryan Malone and a first round draft pick or Brett Connolly, Ty Wishart and a draft pick (futures package)
So there you have it, Tomas Kaberle if or when he gets traded, I expect it to be to one of these seven teams. If somebody comes in and takes him that’s not on this list, I expect the deal to be a monster deal and the Leafs to be getting a great package in return.
Thoughts on Kaberle and his possible destinations.