Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
Given Tampa Bay’s needs on defense, it is naive to believe general manager Steve Yzerman hasn’t at least inquired about getting Kaberle into a Lightning uniform.
Is Kaberle a good fit for the Lightning? Seems like it on the surface. Kaberle, 32, is a sturdy, efficient puck-moving defenseman who had seven goals and 49 points in 82 games last season for Toronto. He averaged 22:21 of ice time. Yes, he was minus-16 on a bad team. But he had three goals and 25 points on the power play.
Kaberle also has one year left on a contract that will pay $4.25 million next season. Even without the expected salary going to other way in a trade, Kaberle fits under the $59.4 million salary cap as Tampa Bay has about a $10 million cushion. It also means the Lightning is not locked into anything long term. That fits perfectly with Yzerman’s idea of evaluating his roster over the next season or two as he reshapes and rebuilds the organization.
more including why he may not fit…
Nada, nothing, no news, unless you are interested in Patrick Kane and the Stanley Cup getting a police escort to Niagara Falls.
Oh, this just in…
Brian Burke was on Fan590 this morning and said he is looking for a forward with size and scoring ability (note he did not say Top 6 forward) or a package of a high pick and good young player when talking Kaberle trade.
You can listen to the interview here.
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
He (Burke) can also go a couple of different ways on a deal. He can replace Kaberle’s salary with those of incoming players - David Backes, Ryan Malone? or he can acquire draft picks and inexpensive prospects, say a solid youngster like 23-year-old blueliner Derek Joslin of the Sharks. The Kings, meanwhile, have both kinds of commodities, young veterans and prospects, and could do a hybrid deal.
If Kaberle’s salary isn’t replaced in the deal, Burke could also use it on a free agent before training camp. Or he can spend it on Boston’s Marc Savard, assuming Savard’s contract isn’t disallowed by Gary Bettman anytime in the near future. Interesting - Burke has vowed not to sign one of these goofy front-loaded contracts, but does that mean he wouldn’t trade for a player who owns one?
The important part is that Kaberle is moved - it’s just time to turn the page - and that tangible assets are required, which might not be the case if he were allowed to stay a Leaf beyond Sunday.
from Howard Berger of Fan590,
Though it’s understandable that any person directly involved in the Tomas Kaberle trade watch might be fed up by now, statements attributed to the defenseman’s agent on Wednesday afternoon were off the mark.
In a column by Nicholas J. Cotsonika on YahooSports.com, Rick Curran unfairly castigated Maple Leafs’ general manager Brian Burke for the tone of media coverage relating to his client. As per any loyal advocate, Curran spoke passionately on behalf of Kaberle and made a number of salient observations. But, he went overboard, I believe, when he accused Burke of stoking the fires….
When told of the comments, Burke responded appropriately. “He drafted the [limited no-movement] clause… this isn’t my handiwork,” double-B said about Curran. “I’m dealing with what I inherited. So, if he doesn’t like the fact it puts his client in this position, he can certainly accept some of the blame. I don’t have to.”
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
The clock is ticking on Tomas Kaberle(notes). The Toronto Maple Leafs have until Sunday to move the veteran defenseman before his no-trade clause kicks back in. What has been talked about for years, what he has never wanted, now seems almost inevitable.
“If it happens, it happens,” Kaberle’s agent, Rick Curran, said Wednesday. “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. He’s not naïve. He’s been around long enough, been a Toronto Maple Leaf long enough, to know that anything could happen in Leafland.”
“It was a rough start and the last couple of years have been tough on this organization having not made the playoffs. What we can change is what we want to do about it. Staying on the ice together keeping in touch with each other.
“We finished on a positive note, taking steps forward with our young guys and bringing our team together. We feel good about ourselves.”
-Mike Komisarek of the Toronto Maple Leafs. More from Komisarek and the Leafs from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun.
Until Sunday, expect plenty of Kaberle for Savard rumors.
-James Murphy of ESPN Boston. Read more on this trade scenario.
The Leafs need to make Kaberle an ex-Leaf by Sunday, which may be their last opportunity to convert him into other assets. That gives Burke six days to drum up increased interest in a marketplace that is a little dazed and confused these days.
-Damien Cox of the Toronto Star. Read more on Kaberle from Damien.
from Mike Ulmer of MapleLeafs.com,
This will be the second-last blog I write on Tomas Kaberle.
The final one will come when he is traded, or by some miracle, re-signed by the Maple Leafs.
Trade rumours concerning Tomas Kaberle started on simmer at the beginning of the season. They bubbled nicely before taking off around the March 3 trading deadline. Now they have until August 15 to be rendered into something real.
You read more on Tomas Kaberle than any other Leaf this season. He has had more names connected to him than Madonna. The year before he was supposed to have vetoed a deal that would have brought him to Philadelphia for Jeff Carter and a first rounder. Now the names are less grand but still tantalizing, Drew Stafford in Buffalo, Devin Setoguchi in San Jose, Ryan Malone in Tampa. Feel free to pencil in your own candidate. Everyone else has.
A scan of your Czech\English dictionary will reveal that Kaberle actually means ‘one who moves in rumour and not in fact.’
from Michael Traikos ot the National Post at the Montreal Gazette,
“We’re not asking for anything,” Burke said. “We’re fielding offers. We’re either going to get an offer that makes sense for Tomas Kaberle or we’re going to keep him.”
The difficulty is figuring out what offers might make sense.
It is no secret that the Leafs, who appear to be starting the season with sophomore Tyler Bozak and rookie Nazem Kadri as their top two centres, are incredibly thin up front. The team needs players who can put the puck in the net. So any deal would have to include a top-six forward.
But with 180 top-six forward positions in the league, the quality varies.
“Is it Sidney Crosby or is it someone who got 21 goals last year?” asked one league GM, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It would depend on what your qualifications on a top-six forward are. I would assume that Burkie is talking about a guy that could bring some offence.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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