Leafs Surge on the road; and where might Kaberle end up?

As the Leafs bring their record to 4-1 in the last five, after 3-2 and 4-2 victories over the L.A Kings and San Jose Sharks Monday and Tuesday respectively, things seem to be looking up for the team in the short term. There are two main places where the Leafs have struggled this season; offense, and road wins. After last nights win, the Leafs have gathered 4 wins in their last 4, 3 of which were road games. During this stint, the offense has been surging, scoring 22 goals, allowing only 14.

The recent surge in the win column, and also in scoring, has put some of the Leafs trade chips at a lot higher value than expected earlier in the season. The one who again seems to be gathering the most attention yet again; Thomas Kaberle. Kaberle's contract expires at the end of this year, and would be a great addition to many teams that are searching for the playoffs. Kaberle has gotten 1 goal and 28 assists for 29 points, in 42 games, and is on pace for a 57 point season, .7 points a game is not bad for a defenceman with next to no production in front of him.

Some Eastern Conference teams that could use Kaberle:

Atlanta Thrasers:

- good young core of guys, could be the piece they need to help solidify a playoff berth down the stretch. Question is, would he want to stay? Probably not. Also, the Thrashers do not have much to give up.

New York Rangers:

- after moving Rosival, aren't very deep on the back end with proven D-men. The addition of Kaberle could bolster that significantly. Likely to resign... probably not. Anyone of interest to get back in the trade? Not too much that Rangers would be willing to move.

Some Western Conference teams that could use Kaberle are:

LA Kings...

- although there is a good young core of defencemen in L.A, they could use the veteran presence of Kaberle on their blueline. Chances of him resigning aren't terrible... I can see Kaberle on the west coast. Only problem is, Leafs would expectedly want Schenn in return, and L.A is probably not going to move him.

Sharks...

- the Sharks are the place where I can most likely see Kaberle going to. They are hugely lacking on the back end, and they will probably be looking to deal for some defencemen at the deadline. Would he likely resign for SJS? Good chance. Anything to get in return? Setogouchi maybe?

Don't get me wrong, i'm a fan of Kaberle and would love to see him remain a Leaf. But if Burke finds the right deal that would benefit the team, I would also love to see him take it. The Leafs need to move their assets while they have value and can be moved. Even Kaberle is more of a rental player, expect there to a lot more talk about him as the deadline moves closer.

Should Kaberle remain in Toronto, it is likely he will resign.

Daniel.

8 Comments

Patrick Storto's picture

I think Leaf fans over the years, myself included (but no more) have misinterpreted Brian Burke for someone who was here to rebuild, and that's pretty evident by Leaf fans continuing to think that Burke will be a seller at the deadline.

Burke is not a seller, I don't see him ever being a seller. He's not going to move players he deems valuable for just draft picks. Yes there have been players that he has moved out of Toronto for picks, but for the most part, those were players he didn't want around anymore, he didn't do it for the sake of acquiring picks.

I don't agree with Burke, and I wish it wasn't this way, but it is what it is.

Kaberle will not be moved at the deadline, unless he's part of a deal to bring another good player to Toronto. Mark my words, Kaberle will walk as an unrestricted free agent.

Daniel_W's picture

I don't think so man... I think he'll stay. But when you really think about it... maybe what Burke is doing IS smart.

Maybe he see's no point in fast tracking a rebuild. Trading for high picks, what's the need. He drafts well, there's no doubt about that. He did a great job with what he had this past draft...

So maybe he's developing depth. Boyce, Brent, Reimer, Rynnas, Scrivens, Holzer, Aulie... the Marlies have a good team. In a couple years, Toronto will still be ending up in 24-30th spot. Getting the high pick next year, not next. They'll still have Versteeg, Kessel, McCarthur presumably, Grabovski, Phanuef, Schenn. It will be a good team when they get a couple top prospects in their organisation on top of Kadri.

Patrick Storto's picture

Burke see's no point in fast tracking a rebuild??? Where have you been?

I think every Leaf fan and their dog wanted a proper rebuild. Burke stated from day one he was fast tracking this rebuild and I hate to bring it up, but nothing proves that point more than the Kessel trade.

Burke is NOT a seller. He stated last week on a Toronto radio show that he wasn't interested in dealing for picks.

Daniel_W's picture

I misworded that aha. I meant like, instead of trying to get back up into the first round for this year, just keep his guys, let these ones develop further. And then next year, they'll be back into the first round and still closer to the bottom.

George Prax's picture

I don't see any of those teams being fits for Kaberle lol. Atlanta has one of the leading defensive scorers in Big Buff and have another all star in Enstrom. The Rangers are incredibly deep on the back end and have plenty of good defensemen. if anything they'll go for a defenseman who's a little older and has a little more experience. Kings have Doughty and Johnson, and I see them in the same boat as the Rangers, and the one good thing about the Sharks is probably their defense.

If Burke is serious about what he wants in return for Kaberle, there's no way he's going to get traded. He's a rental!

Daniel_W's picture

Rangers have very young players on the backend... absolutely no experience. The Thrashers need some experience back there. The Sharks have terrible defence... so I don't know what you mean by it's the one good thing... other then 3 of the top forwards in the league?

And with the Kings, there's 3 defense pairings, not one.

George Prax's picture

No, the Sharks' goaltending is terrible, not their defense. And the Rangers experience is irrelevant. Most of their top defensemen are 26 and are all leaders and very capable players. If they add someone it would be more along the lines of someone like JovoCop. A 35-36 year old leader type. Same goes for the Kings.

Kaberle's a great offensive defenseman, but that's his major positive attribute. That being said he doesn't suit the needs of the teams you mentioned, especially considering Burke isn't going to give him up for what the standard in the league is these days.