Saturday, January 30, 2010
The time to trade Kaberle has come
The time to trade defensemen Tomas Kaberle has come in the Brian Burke era. The Toronto Maple Leafs continue their free fall in the NHL and Burke can not sit back and continue to watch this without doing nothing, his ego would not allow it, his passion to win will not allow this and his commitment to right the Leafs ship will not let this happen.
The Maple Leafs biggest asset is Kaberle, he knows, we know it and Kaberle knows this. Tomas Kaberle has on most nights done his best for this organization, a team he loves, a city he adores. The Leafs general manager knows that Tomas Kaberle has a no movement clause at least until it opens again in the summer but will Burke get as much for Kaberle if he waits for this time? I think not.
Burke continues to state that he will not ask Kaberle to waive his no trade clause, this much we can believe but he does not say that if an offer comes his way that he likes that he will not present it to the Czech blueliner to ponder. This would hold true to Burke's word as well as let Kaberle make the choice if he wants to move or stay, if Kaberle tells Burke he is staying then their is nothing more that Burke will be able to do with Kaberle this season. Burke knows that trying to do anything to humilate Kaberle into waving his no trade clause, by cutting his minutes or sitting him in the pressbox for his refusal to move will not score the general manager or the organization any points when he is trying to lure free agents to the city in the summer.
The play of Kaberle this season on the offensive side has been one of his better performances of his career even with the teams lousy powerplay this season. Kaberle currently sits tied for third spot in points from the backend, trailing the league leader by nine points an even more interesting stat is the Kaberle leads all blueliners in points earned on the road.
The 31 year old defensemen is on pace to earn 65 points this season just two points short of his career high and with just a few points here and there could better that mark. Burke knows that a defensemen of Kaberle's talent will bring a bidding war from teams looking for that extra edge going into the playoffs and teams like Washington, Colorado, Dallas and Buffalo to name a few are all in the need of an offensive minded defensemen for a post season run.
Tomas Kaberle would almost certainly land the Leafs a first round pick and a top prospect, the fact the he is signed for another season at a modest $4.25 million dollars is a bargain in the NHLs cap system. Brian Burke is a smart enough man to know that his best option in getting the best return for Kaberle is to play teams against one another hoping that he will be able to get the most for his prized asset.
Burke would be wise to make sure that along with asking for a first rounder for Kaberle that he do his best to pry the likes of a Tyler Ennis, John Carlson, Scott Glennie or Kevin Shattenkirk to go with the draft choice. The time to move Tomas Kaberle is now, the only question that is left to ask is if Kaberle will do what needs to be done to help the franchise he loves move forward at his expense, time will tell if this is truly the case and for Leafs Nation time seems to be all we have.