Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kaberle's still a Leaf. Go Figure!

     Well, the last window of opportunity to deal The Toronto Maple Leaf's most tradeable asset has closed and Tomas Kaberle wasn't moved, again!  Don't get me wrong.  I'm a big fan of Tomas, but after 3 years of hearing boasts of Kaberle netting us high draft picks and scoring top six forwards, I'm a little disappointed to say the least.
      When the Kaberle trade talks began, he had three years left on a quite affordable contract.  Combine this with his unique skating ability and a great first pass. and you had a very marketable asset.  When Brian Burke took over two years ago he immediately targeted the defenseman as a player to be traded for some key pieces to the Toronto Maple Leaf puzzle.  His asking price was a big, young, forward who could score, and a high draft pick.  At the time it sounded very reasonable. 
      So why is Tomas Kaberle still a Leaf.  Part of the answer is Kaberle's no trade clause.  The Leafs have a small window every off season in which they can trade him without restriction.  The window opens after the entry draft and closes in the middle of August.  The other proviso is the no-trade clause lifts only if the team fails to make the play-offs.  Being that the team hasn't played post season since the lockout and never during Burke's tenure, they've had ample opportunity to trade him. 
     Since the day Burke took over, he's been touting the teams wealth of defenseman.  He claims they'll be instrumental in bringing talented forwards in trades.  So far Leafs fans have seen no sign of this.  A Kaberle trade was his chance for redemption.  So why no trade?  Is it as simple as Burke's giant ego getting in the way?  Maybe, maybe not.  I can't help but wonder how things may have changed if Burke hadn't set Kaberle price openly in the media.  I wonder still at how Burke arrived at the price he did for Kaberle.  The market proved he wasn't worth the price last summer when he wasn't traded back then.  This summer ten teams were in negotiation for him.  Still not one of them came close to Burke's asking price.  I think leaf fans and Brian Burke need to ask themselves.  Was every NHL GM wrong in their evaluation of Tomas Kaberle, or was Burke's bullheadedness getting in the way.    I think the answer is obvious.
     The bottom line is Brian squandered another golden opportunity to improve The Toronto Maple Leafs.  The team does have a wealth of quality defensman.  What they desperately need is talent upfront and draft picks.  Tomas Kaberle has been a loyal, honest and hard working player his entire career with The Leafs.  His name has been dragged though the media for three complete season now.  We are now in a position where we may lose him for nothing as a free agent.  At best he may still be traded, but his value diminishes the longer it goes.  It's not fair to him, his teammates, or the fans. The bottom line is, Brian Burke should have admitted he was wrong in setting Kaberle's worth.  He should have taken the best deal on the table and made the trade, period.


  1. Completely disagree. There was never an impetus to send Tomas packing, there was simply the desire among the fanbase to use pre-Burke assets to improve the team with young talent. Young talent doesn't always pan out, and Kaberle's value is proven and consistent. Burke would have been made a fool of if he had allowed himself to move Kaberle for the sake of moving him.

  2. RE: Completely disagree. There was never an impetus to send Tomas packing...

    Thanks for the comment. I do agree that Kaberle has value for the Leafs. I didn't mean to suggest he should have been traded for the sake of a deal. However the market has proven he is not worth Burke's asking price given the fact he has tried to trade him for that price for two years now.
    Burke has gone on record as saying he had offers for a top six forward. The team is in desperate need of such players and we have enough on the blue line. In my opinion, that's why the deal should have been made.
    Thanks for the comment and please keep them coming.

  3. To be a fly on the wall in Burke's office. I would need to know the offers I suppose before stating he should have taken the best deal. if the best deal was what he wanted but it was the low end of the scale, perhaps, especially if Kaberle is bolting. If it was never close, then keep him and trade him at the deadline to a team of his choosing, or get him signbed to an extension before the season starts so at least you don't lose him for nothing. This however forces you to trade another dman, or in the least actually put Finger in the AHL

  4. Kaberle is a good Defenceman, dont get me wrong, he is a good choice for some teams, but Brian Burke must have brain trauma or something because there is no way he will get what he is asking for. I can see once Kaberle is a UFA after his Contract is up, he's gone with no hesitation, the way Burke has the leafs going, their is not as much hope as people expected. I just hope that one day the leafs organization see's the fact and releases Burke and get the right GM who knows more about todays NHL unlike Burke who is stuck in the past. Trading for Kessel was the most dumbest move in recent leafs history, not only did he give up a better forward prospect, but also screwed up the leafs chances of having that Elite Franchise player like Crosby, Ovechkin, Kolvachuk etc...
    But that is just my opinion, which doesnt mean dickall since I am just a fan.
    So until the owner of the Leafs do the right thing and release Burke, don't expect much from a struggling team.

  5. Re: Trading for Kessel was the most dumbest move in recent leafs history

    I'm still not sold on this move. There's no doubt Kessel will score a lot of goals for the Leafs but I still say this is not the type of deal you make at the beginning of a rebuild.