Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
“No one is going to be able to prove circumvention until one of these guys retires and by then we’ll be in a new CBA. But I’m comfortable that a number of these players are, in fact, going to walk.
“I don’t believe these players are going to play in their mid-40s. And I don’t believe they’re going to play for what they’re making in those final years. So it defies logic. It may not defy the CBA. But it defies logic to think that players are going to serve the term of all these contracts. So that’s why we don’t do them. And a number of teams don’t do them. If the league thinks that this is one that they need to look into, then we support that.”
-Brian Burke on what he calls “back-diving deals”. More from Michael Traikos of the National Post.
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While teams continue to make inquiries about the availability of defenceman Tomas Kaberle, the Toronto Maple Leafs say that all is quiet at the moment.
It is believed that the Leafs will once again turn up the heat on dealing their blueliner around August 1st when they will contact the teams who have already tabled offers.
At that time the message will be “improve the offers, otherwise Kaberle will be taken off the market.”
from Erin Pollina of Sabres.com,
When George ‘Punch’ Imlach accepted a job as manager of the Buffalo Sabres in 1970, he did so for two very distinct reasons:
First, he wanted to establish a winning hockey club and take on the unique challenge of building an expansion team from scratch.
Secondly, he desperately wanted to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Prior to joining the Buffalo staff, Imlach served as the head coach of the famed Canadian squad for 11 years – from 1958 until 1969 – claiming four Stanley Cup Championships during his tenure.
He did so by maintaining an unwavering policy of loyalty with both his players and the personnel around him, preferring to build around a core group of athletes.
Unfortunately for Imlach, that mentality also led to his downfall in Toronto.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
So Burke is serious when he says his next move is to take his family to some beach in Southern California where he can dip his toes in the water and sip on a drink with a tiny umbrella in it. After that, he is heading off for his annual fishing trip with right-hand man Dave Nonis and some other friends.
The BlackBerry will be on the whole time, but Burke does not expect to receive any calls.
The question then is: What if the phone does not ring again between now until the start of the season. What if this is it?
Is this team significantly better than the one that finished last in the Eastern Conference last season? Is the penalty kill and power play, which ranked last in the league, better? Is the goaltending, which ranked second-last in the league, better? Is the offence, which ranked tied for 25th in the league, better?
“This is Toronto,” Burke said yesterday from Boston, where he has just picked up his kids from yoga. “There’s question marks over everything. And they’re fair ones. But we’re comfortable with our back end and we’re comfortable with our goaltending. Now, we’ve tried to upgrade our forwards.
from Kevn McGran of the Toronto Star,
The defenceman essentially tutored under the likes of Nik Lidstrom, Chris Chelios and Brian Rafalski in his time with the Red Wings.
As great as it had been to play with them, and win a Cup, Lebda believes it’s time to fulfill the promise of his youth when he signed as a free agent out of Notre Dame.
In Detroit, ice time was limited for the slick, puck-moving defenceman, largely because the Wings had a great cast on the blue line. He played just about every game, but only about 15 minutes or so per game in his five seasons in Detroit.
He believes he’ll get his shot with the Toronto Maple Leafs after signing a two-year, $2.9 million contract.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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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