Clock’s Ticking on Kaberle Countdown

As the countdown to Tomas Kaberle’s no-trade clause kicking in is down to just three more days, speculation as to where he might land still remains up in the air. Burke is keen on acquiring a top-six forward to add to the line-up in a transaction with the veteran defenseman, and with very little time to make it happen.

Among the numerous teams mentioned having shown interest in acquiring Kaberle include the Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, and Anaheim Ducks.

To stay clear of the copious trade scenarios that have been circling around the rumor mill, the single, latest speculation comes from San Jose where left-winger of the Sharks, Ryan Clowe, and a minor prospect, has supposedly being offered to Burke.

Recent speculation also introduced the possibility of Kaberle going to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but with the resigning of defenseman Anton Stralman, the likelihood of a transaction happening between the Leafs and Blue Jackets is doubtful.

Burke has expressed he would be just as content holding onto the puck-moving defenseman for one more year at $4.25 million, and is reluctant to give in to the highest offer he gets.

“There’s no zeal to move the player.” Burke said. “There’s no desire to move the player. But there is an obligation, I think… Can we upgrade the forward group with something that makes sense? So that’s what we’re doing. We’re listening.”

On Wednesday Kaberle’s agent, Rick Curran stated, “If it happens, it happens. We’re all big boys. He gave it as good a run as he could. At this point, does he anticipate or expect to be traded? Yeah. He does.”

Trade talks involving Kaberle have been mentioned for two years now, except this time the reality of whether he goes or remains a Toronto Maple Leaf for one more year, is down to just days.

Further evidence pointing towards Kaberle’s probable departure came with the addition of Red Wings defenseman Brett Lebda, who along with Dion Phaneuf, Francois Beauchemin, Luke Schenn, Carl Gunnarsson, and a now healthy Mike Komisarek, would represent a well-built, physically powerful defense group. (Not to mention the possibility of players stepping up from the Marlies).

In a recent statement by Burke, he stated: “The deadline is Sunday, and I don’t expect to see anyone’s best cards until probably Friday. That being said, the offers improved dramatically…We’re at a double-digit number of teams that are in.”

With that being said one can only replay old, ongoing and new trade scenarios in their minds until August 15th.

Drafted 204th overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, Kaberle spent his entire career playing in Toronto with the Leafs. In all 82 games last season, Kaberle posted 7 goals and 42 assists while having a career worst minus sixteen (-16) rating. Throughout his career as an NHLer, Kaberle scored 80 goals in 820 games played, with 402 assists and a career plus/minus rating of plus twenty-seven (+27).

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