FanPost

The gift that keeps on giving...

Apparently Tomas Kaberle saying "obviously when the GM is going to tell you he doesn't want..., you don't want to play for a team if someone doesn't want you" equivocally means "will be waiving his no-trade clause, end of story". I'm not going to get too excited yet over what he may potentially bring the Leafs in return for his services, because we all remember what happened with Kubina at the deadline last year.

I will take Burke at his word, and therefore think it's safe to say that Kaberle will not be traded for the sake of a trade. In all likelihood, Burke will tell either Tomas or his agent that he will only mention a possibly deal IF something of good to great value is offered his way. Until then, I don't see Burke even giving Tomas a "what up" between now and the deadline. That said, Kaberle's comments will let other GMs know that prying him out of Toronto is plausible - and at the same time sends the right message: the offer better be damn a good one.

But speculation aside, one wonders why Tomas was so adamant about staying put on a shitty Leaf team last year, but now all of the sudden he's understanding the plight that Toronto faces these next few years because "obviously, the team is re-building now and I can’t control that". I guess it's true that Toronto wasn't openly rebuilding last season, but the circumstances surrounding the team really haven't changed all that much. So what gives?

Some have suggested that it was the "Muskoka 5" that had plotted to remain solidified in their effort to stay in Toronto, all agreeing over dinner to not waive their NTCs no matter what. True, none of them ended up waiving, but no one knows for sure if it was something all five players conspired to do. It seems likely, but I have another tag-along theory as to why Tomas, as well as the others, refused to be traded:

Mats Sundin.

Why yes, the man who stuck it out in Toronto for all the reasons we've heard a thousand times, only to end up a hypocrite who signed with a new team who offered him the most money. I get that he was within his rights, bla bla bla, but his methods haven't done much to hold on the respect of his long time fans. I personally will always have fond memories of Mats (I don't have many other fond Leaf memories other than him), but for now I couldn't care less. I don't give a shit what he says or what he does anymore. He's no longer my guy. But, it is what he said [i]last year[/i] at the deadline that would have made it difficult for anyone else to waive their no-trade. Let me explain:

The feeling about Mats leaving was pretty much a Catch-22 for him - if he lets the trade happen, he abandoned the team and its fans at their lowest point for greener pastures. If he stays, he's selfish and refuses to give back in the most meaningful way he can to an organization that has given him so much and desperately needs the help. He said and did all the right things at the time, but that's only if you consider "right" to be synonymous with "the easiest".

Had Tomas, or anyone else, agreed to a trade, it would cast a negative light on the other players who wouldn't leave, but most importantly on Mats Sundin. Kaberle becomes a Flyer, Leaf fans rejoice, and not many people would be that upset with Tomas, because he's not [i]the[/i] guy like Mats was. Mats, on the other hand, looks like a selfish ass if the deal is completed and he stays put. Tomas was willing to waive it to help the future, why won't you? Kaberle's sacrificing personal short-term comfort for the good of the team, while expressing his desire to win (which we all know wouldn't happen in Toronto) at the same time, yet you won't go too? Aren't the playoffs even further away with Tomas gone? You're the captain, shouldn't you be the one that falls on his sword before the followers do?

I'm not saying these arguments are legit in the least, but knowing the MSM in Toronto, you better fucking believe that this kind of bullshit would have been hurled Mats' way from every angle. The rest of his season would've been much harder if people had a solid reason to cast doubt on his motivations. And we see now that Mats was being selfish from how things are today. Again, its his right to be selfish, but that doesn't mean I, and all Leaf fans, have to like it.

I believe McCabe, Tucker, Kaberle and Kubina all knew what an agreement to a deal would have meant for Mats. No one would look to those four for answers, but a lot of media and fans certainly would've gone to Mats and questioned him as to why some would agree to go, and some would not. The easiest course of action was for all five to stay, and the next easiest would be if all five agreed to go. Anything in between and you'd have a couple friends and teammates making the life of one other teammate particularly difficult because of their actions. Kaberle in particular knew this, and that's why I believe he wouldn't agree to be dealt.

This year, though, agreeing to go won't affect anyone else around him. Kaberle can leave with a clear conscience, and Leaf fans will love him for it. No one will boo, no one will accuse, and no one's life is any harder because of him.

But fuck, Carter and Sbisa sure would have been nice. Lets start the bidding at a 1st rounder and a blue chip prospect.

PensionPlanPuppets.com is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of PensionPlanPuppets.com.

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