Am I the only one feeling a sense of déjà vu? I mean seriously, Leaf fans have been hearing Tomas Kaberle trade rumours for the better part of two summers now. Well, I say enough already. Get it done! I don’t want to be sitting here next summer, hearing Tomas Kaberle trade rumours, for two reasons. First, if I’m still hearing them a year from now, it means Brian Burke will have failed to accomplish one of his goals for this off-season. More importantly, it will mean my beloved Leafs have missed the playoffs again for a seventh straight year. Emotionally, I just can’t take that. Over the last week or so I’ve read so many trade rumours regarding Tomas Kaberle, that I can’t keep track of them all. Forget the “Where’s Waldo” children books, someone should write a “Where’s Kabby” book. It would be a best seller. So with all this talk, this is the year it happens right? Here’s my take on some of the chatter I’ve read:
Tomas Kaberle and either Luke Schenn or Nazem Kadri to Anaheim for Bobby Ryan. There would most likely be more elements to a potential trade with Anaheim, because there’s no way they do a straight up Kaberle for Ryan deal. As far as I’m concerned they can have Kaberle and Schenn. Hell Burke might even throw in the John Deer tractor Luke Schenn rode in on for his first training camp. Anaheim can have anyone else off of our roster with the exception of Phaneuf and Kessel. Burke needs to leave Kadri out of any trade combination. Sure, I’ll admit I had no clue who Nazem Kadri was on draft day last year. I remember having a beer in my hand, Kadri’s name being called, and thinking, “Chi cazzo e questo stronzo!?” Boy was I wrong. Kadri had a stunning year in the OHL last year, and looks to be one of the most promising draft choices the Leafs have made in years. He’s a keeper and I do not see a trade with Anaheim working with Kadri involved.
Tomas Kaberle and Viktor Stalberg to Pittsburgh for Jordan Staal and a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick. This is my favourite of the trade rumours. It makes sense for both teams. Pittsburgh will most likely loose Sergei Gonchar in the off-season and will be looking for an offensive defenseman to fill the void. The Leafs are in desperate need of a top line centre, and make no mistake, that is exactly what Jordan Staal is. On a majority of the NHL clubs, Staal would find himself on the top line. However, the Penguins have more depth than most teams dream of, so Staal is relegated to third line. But that’s the best thing about Staal, he is a complete player, and can do it all. In Stalberg Pittsburgh would get a speedy winger with tremendous potential. Even the math supports this trade. Kaberle + Stalberg – the berg + a = Staal. Take that Einstein!
Other scuttlebutt I’ve come across would send Kaberle and Grabovski to Washington for Alexander Semin and their third goalie. This sounds farfetched to me because I don’t see Washington dispensing with one of their top offensive threats, for an offensive defensemen, one of which they already have, and a mediocre centre. Another has Kaberle off to Buffalo, with Toronto getting Drew Stafford. Drew Stafford is basically Matt Stajan with more hair on his head, yeah, no thanks.
I like Tomas Kaberle. He’s been a good player for us and served us well for the past 12 seasons. If the Leafs were in a better position as a franchise, I would say we were crazy for thinking of trading him. At $4.25 million with one year left on his contract, he’s a steal for a player of his calibre. The fact is, the Phaneuf trade makes Kaberle expendable. Not to mention, he’s really the only bankable asset Brian Burke has to offer other teams. For a player who has almost been traded twice, I think the time is now.