Often the last thing that a team who just won the Stanley Cup wants to do is dismantle their roster. But both the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks could find themselves in that situation this Summer.
Chicago signed three of its star players to long-term contracts this season; Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith, with all three of them getting significant raises. Since they already have Marian Hossa and Brian Campbell signed for the foreseeable future, that doesn't leave a lot of extra room for players making medium range salaries. Players like Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg and Dave Bolland might become expendable since they all make between three and four million.
Which brings us to the Maple Leafs, who, with their young roster, are looking to add some proven names to their top six forwards going into next season. Brian Burke has proven that he is very capable of seeing opportunity and acting on it with the acquisitions last year of Dion Phaneuf and Jean-Sebastian Giguere. So it is quite possible that Burke will look to acquire Chicago's forwards with their recently obtained playoff experience. Sharp being the most likely due his size and scoring touch.
Of course, with Tomas Kaberle being one of the Leafs most valuable assets that they would be willing to part with, his departure seems likely. The problem is, Kaberle makes $4.5 million to Sharp's $3.9 million, so that would not help Chicago's cap woes at all, and since they already have so much money tied up in defense it makes it all the more unlikely. The Leafs do have other cheaper assets to offer, such as Mikhail Grabovski or one of their young prospects, but for a rebuilding team this seems to go against the trend.
So what about the Philadelphia Flyers? They currently only have three top six defensemen signed for next year, and could definitely use a puck moving defenseman of Kaberle's skills. Trading Jeff Carter for Kaberle was on the table in the recent past, but was nixed due to Kaberle's no-trade clause. Could it be an option once again?
The Flyers are quite strong up the middle on forward, so they have been using Carter on the wing in the playoffs. Does this suddenly make him available once again for the Leafs?