So Tomas Kaberle has told GM Brian Burke that Boston may be a potentially favourable location if he’s ultimately dealt. How generous of him. He’s basically told Burke that it’s my way or the highway – which, when you have a no trade, is one of the big advantages you possess. But, by favouring only the Bruins, Kaberle has guaranteed that Burke is going to get hosed by Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli…again.

Chiarelli holds all the chips in this one. All he has to do is briskly decide if he thinks Kaberle would be a key piece toward a potential Bruins’ Stanley Cup run in 2011. Boston hasn’t won the Cup in almost forty years. And they haven’t been to the SCF in over twenty. With, arguably, the best one-two goaltending tandem in the NHL (Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask), the Bruins are poised to end their drought this season.

Kaberle, despite his weaknesses, would be a key piece, with Zdeno Chara, on the Bruins’ playoff power play. Entering their game on Tuesday night v. Toronto, Boston sits in third place in the East. But their 16th-ranked PP puts them in the middle of the NHL pack. How great would Kaberle look on that PP? Pretty darned good.

Brian Burke knows Kaberle has to go before he becomes a UFA on July 1st. He’d be insane to re-sign Kaberle…and Brian Burke’s not insane. Kaberle is not the future of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s that simple. He’s the do-nothing-but-lap-up-the-adoration past. Burke’s got to get something for Kaberle…but what will Boston offer? They don’t have to offer much and, unless Burke wants to gamble on Kaberle adding another team or two to his “potentially favourable” list, he’ll have to deal.

But Burke has one thing in his favour…Chiarelli’s level of desperation. Teams don’t build Stanley Cup contenders every season (unless they’re the Detroit Red Wings). Chiarelli has done a fine job of working the Bruins into an elite-level NHL team. But does he think Tomas Kaberle is this season’s missing piece?

Losing centre Marc Savard for the remainder of the season was a crushing blow to the Beantowners. But, there’s no doubt that, in today’s game, a rock-solid defence goes a long way to making a Stanley Cup champion. Going into the Leafs’ game, the Bruins have allowed the fewest goals (135) in the Eastern Conference.

And wouldn’t the Bruins LOVE another shot at the Philadelphia Flyers, after Boston coughed up only the third three games-to-none playoff series lead in Stanley Cup history in 2010? The guessing here is that the Bruins will try hard to land Kaberle.

It will just depend on how generous Peter Chiarelli is feeling toward his old pal, Brian Burke – the same Chiarelli who fully hosed Burke on the Phil Kessel deal.

  • Seriously....Gord?

    It’s more like Thomas and his soon to be friend Peter will be giving it to Burkie for years to come. Kaberle must not be happy with his treatment in the media and the very public trade baiting last year and this year. He’s loving the fact that he can a)hold out and give TO nothing as a final screw you Burke or b)trade to a contender in the same division and be a perpetual screw you Burke for years to come.

    Add in for years down the road, Sequin and TO’s 2011 1st rounder will be giving it to TO too. Its nothing but sunshine and lollipops in bruins territory when TO is in Town!

  • Seriously....Gord?

    “It will just depend on how generous Brian Burke is feeling toward his old pal, Peter Chiarelli – who fully hosed Burke on the Phil Kessel deal.”

    I thought that the whole point of this article was that Chiarelli was in the power position and would hose Burke? Now it depends on how generous Burke feels towards him?

    I’d feel a lot better if I felt like you’d thought your piece through before writing it. There’s no argument, no point, barely a focus…the article should probably just be called “Things I Think I Know About the Leafs and Bruins Organizations”

  • CoryNewb

    If Savard is off the cap for the rest of the season, he doesn’t really have to do anything with the cap (from my 2 minute glace at capgeek) to get Kaberle. What kind of picks/players do you think Burke could get for him? We all know Peter would never give up that 2011 1st rounder from Toronto, but I don’t see a whole lot of players that Toronto could get in return on the Boston roster. I don’t think Boston is going to happen IMHO. Unless this turns in to a three way trade…DUN DUN DUN.

      • CoryNewb

        Well, I was right and wrong. It was all prospects and picks from Boston, like I said…but me thinking this wasn’t going to happen was my nagging sense of “if it hasn’t happened yet”…

        So yeah, I’m looking forward to an article today about the actual trade.

  • Seriously....Gord?

    If the Bruins want Kaberle, they will have to trade some salary to Toronto in the deal. The Bruins can absorb a max cap hit of about $2.5 million while Kaberle has a $4.25 million cap hit.

    So the real question is who might be coming back in the deal (both from a cap hit and player personnel standpoint)? Up front, the only possible players that fit the salary need would be either Michael Ryder or Blake Wheeler. On the backend, only Andrew Ference has a high enough cap hit and could be deemed expendable by the Bruins.

    Of the three players, Blake Wheeler is definitely the only one that should interest the Leafs. He’s only 24-years old and should be able to eventually become a 50-60 power forward (his career high to date is 45 points in his rookie season).

    Would Kaberle for Wheeler be a good deal for the Leafs? Or would the Bruins need to sweeten the pot with a draft pick?

    Of course, Burke may only be able to get a combination of parts to cover the cap space issue, which means that none of the players listed above are coming to Toronto. How does Kaberle for Daniel Paille and Adam McQuaid sound?!?!?!

    • Problem is, because Kaberle has only offered up one team to Burke, any deal Burke could get would be a good one…compared to the alternative of simply watching Kaberle walk this summer.

      Bet a lot of NHL GMs wish the reserve clause was still in play.