For the better part of two full seasons, veteran defenseman Tomas Kaberle has seen his name appear in just about every trade rumor surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs. TSN is reporting that the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are set to announce a deal involving the talented puck-moving defenseman, which will see the Maple Leafs receive Bruins prospect Joe Colborne, the Bruins’ first-round draft choice in the upcoming 2011 NHL Entry Draft and a conditional draft choice (believed to be the Bruins second-rounder in 2012) in return.
Kaberle, who hates the spotlight, had hinted that he was willing to waive his no-trade clause if he was dealt to Boston. The Bruins badly need a puck-moving defenseman to help on the back end and with their power play.
Kaberle and Zdeno Chara would make an interesting 1-2 punch on the back end. While it is far too early to suggest that the two will be partnered together, the pair should see plenty of action together on the power play where Kaberle can feed pucks to the heavy-shooting Chara.
For Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, this deal puts an end to the Kaberle rumors and, based on the return, sets his team up for a dramatic re-tooling this summer.
Originally drafted in the first round (16th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Colborne (who stands 6’5” and weighs in at 205 pounds) has registered a total of 12 goals and 26 points through 55 games with the Bruins' AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins.
Ranked as the Bruins' best centre prospect behind Tyler Seguin by Hockey’s Future, Colborne is described as a “pass-first player” with decent skating ability whose best assets are his size and vision on the ice.
All and all, it’s a good deal for the Bruins and, for the Leafs, another step in the right direction towards rebuilding a team that is in dire need of an infusion of youth and skill, two attributes Colborne brings to the table.
For my thoughts on which player(s) will replace Kaberle, click HERE.
For my thoughts on which players Burke will go after in the offseason, click HERE.
Until next time,