Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time to Start Leaning on Kaberle a Little

Brian Burke strives to be a principled GM.  He has a holiday trade freeze so guys can enjoy the holiday season with their families without concerns of being uprooted, he refuses to hand out 'top heavy' contracts though if any team can afford to do it, it's his, and he wont ask a player with a no trade clause to waive it.

Principles be damned.

At the risk of betraying my overwhelming frustration at the team's lack of offense, get Kaberle the f&*# out of here!!!

This isn't meant to in any way to be an admonishment of Kaberle or his time as a Leaf.  What it is meant to be is a cry for help.  We need a legitimate goal scorer and now.

Patience is wearing thin in Leaf land as the team has squandered reasonably solid goaltending.  Leaf fans are constantly muttering to themselves that we outplayed the opposition but good goaltending or bad luck kept us from scoring - I've been as guilty of this as anyone.  I'll buy that argument over the stretch of a game or two - but we're talking eleven in a row here.  Our forwards have a problem.

Grabovski, MacArthur and Kulemin have all been fine.  Kessel will be fine.  Who knows what's going on with Versteeg as he can look like a top line forward and like a career AHLer, sometimes in the same shift.  One good player up front could easily make all the difference.

Kaberle is the only asset we have that we would be willing to move that could be parlayed into a difference-making forward.

While this is certainly not the ideal time to be moving a veteran defenseman with Phaneuf about a month away from returning to the lineup, the ineptitude of our forwards is grinding on my nerves.

I'm not going to speculate on the names that a player such as Kaberle might yield but I will say that I would like a center.  Bozak looks lost and Kessel and Grabovski seem like a poor fit since both of them are puck-hogs (in a good way). 

Would he waive?  I'm not sure.  Maybe if you make it clear to him that you have absolutely no intention of re-signing him and that whatever team he gets moved to likely would, you might be able to convince him that way.  If Rick Nash has taught me anything, it's that players will give up two in the bush for one in the hand.

I like a guy with principles as much as anybody but this particular principle is silly.  You're not breaking the rules, you're not doing something every other team in the league isn't doing and you're risking seriously setting back the team for which you're  responsible.

Come on, Burkie.  It's time to ask.

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Leafschatter said...

Very interesting post. Very interesting. You might have inadvertently come up with a new idea.

I don't see Tomas Kaberle having much trade value. The most Burke could get for Kaberle during the summer was Ryan Malone from Tampa Bay. A 30 year old forward earning $4.5 mil cap salary with five years remaining on his contract. I am glad Burke passed on the offer.

New Jersey and Boston are the only other teams who seem to be interested in Kaberle. But, they have cap problems. Any trade with them requires Toronto to take back similar cap. I can see Boston offering Michael Ryder and New Jersey offering Brian Rolston. It will be difficult to negotiate a satisfactory trade.

It seems we are doomed to have Kaberle "block" or "impede" the building of the "future" Toronto Maple Leafs.

However, there may be another option. Let me reflect upon your post for a while before presenting it.

Curt S said...


I think the consensus is that the weak offers for Kaberle were the result of teams feeling that Burke's hands were tied and that he had to deal Tomas (and by a particular date, no less).

If Burke were to put Kaberle on the market now and had until March to deal him, you better believe that teams will be interested.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Anonymous said...

If Burke couldn't get much over the summer, he won't get much now. Another team has to want you before you have to waive your no trade.