Kaberle Traded to the Bruins
I'm going to update this blog during the day with rumours from around the web, so keep checking back. You can read my thoughts on Kaberle below.
As of right now, here are the rumours circulating:
UPDATE 12:48pm: Darren Dreger reporting that deal is done pending a trade call to the NHL. Leafs send Tomas Kaberle to the Bruins for Joe Colborne, a 1st round pick in 2011, and a conditional pick.
UPDATE 12:18pm: Bob Mackenzie reporting that Tomas Kaberle has been asked to waive his NTC to go to the Boston Bruins.
UPDATE 11:02am: Jonas Siegel, Leafs reporter for AM640 reports that Kaberle is on the ice for the Leafs practice, so obviously nothing is finalized.
UPDATE 10:54am: The Bruins blog and Bruins fans on twitter say that the Boston Globe is reporting that the Leafs-Bruins trade is all but done. Leafs will trade Kaberle to the Bruins for Joe Colborne and Boston's 1st round pick in 2011. Not official.
*Bob Mackenzie stated about an hour ago via his twitter account that he believes if Kaberle is going to get dealt to the Bruins that it will happen today. He also stated that the Bruins need to make at least one if not two deals before that can happen. http://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie
*Darren Dreger stated on TSN last night that one of the issues holding up the Leafs-Bruins deal is Chris Kelly who has yet to clear immigration. Once that happens the Bruins will be able to move out a player to make room.
*Mark Stuart was a healthy scratch last night for the Bruins, leading to speculation that he will be dealt today in order to make room for Kaberle.
*ESPN reported yesterday that the Blackhawks were looking to acquire Stuart from the Bruins, which could explain why Stuart was a healthy scratch. http://tinyurl.com/45fmjk3
*The Fourth Period reported early this morning that the Leafs-Bruins trade could actually be a three-way deal involving a team from the West. http://tinyurl.com/46hbxf3
*Joe Haggerty from CSNNE believes that the Leafs-Bruins trade will be Tomas Kaberle for Blake Wheeler and a draft pick. http://tinyurl.com/46tykk8
stay tuned for updates!
So it looks like the Kaberle saga will finally come to an end today after 4 years. Yes, it's been 4 long years since Cliff Fletcher took over the Leafs and tried to move him to the Flyers, a deal in which Kaberle dissolved with the power of his no-trade clause.
Kaberle has headlined many trade rumours over the years and has almost been dealt for a few different players including Chris Pronger, Jeff Carter and even Phil Kessel. While Kaberle has been more open to a trade the last couple of years and Burke has also had a couple of offseason windows where Kaberle's NTC disappeared, the Leafs were unable to find a deal that made sense.
So given that back story, here we are now. It's the final year of Kaberle's deal which will make him an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. The playoff races are tighter than ever, many of the contending teams need a puck moving defender and Kaberle's contract is more than reasonable for what he does. In addition to that, the pressure is on Brian Burke. He's had many opportunities to move Kaberle and now's his last chance. He must know that letting Kaberle walk as a free agent wont look good on him and he'll have to answer to the fans. It's almost the perfect storm of scenarios which will surely lead to a Kaberle trade.
There's only one catch. Kaberle ultimately controls the entire process with his NTC. While these rumours have been both fun and annoying at times, Kaberle can ultimately take his ball and go home, eliminating any chance of the Leafs have of trading him. Kaberle can decline to waive his no-trade clause and walk as a free agent on July 1st.
But I don't think that will happen. For one, Kaberle doesn't like to be in the spotlight. It's pretty well known that Kaberle doesn't want to play in the West and so he would most likely have to play in the ACC at least twice per year. I'm sure he knows that if he 'screws' the Leafs he will be public enemy number one every time he plays at the ACC. I don't think Kaberle would be able to handle that and I'm sure he doesn't want to.
Secondly, Kaberle isn't getting any younger. He knows that his chances of playing in the playoffs, let alone winning the Cup are quickly fading. I'm sure he knows that even though the Leafs are still in a playoff race, it's still far from a guarantee that they will even come close. I don't think Kaberle wants to waste another year of his career not playing for a championship, so ultimately I think he will accept a trade despite his reputation as someone content with losing.