Is Kaberle Really Worth It?

Message from your benevolent overlord Chemmy: BeyondBeleaf takes an in depth look at trades for single defensemen in the NHL since the lockout. Let's take a look-see at what Kubina and Kaberle might garner on the open market.



I must say, the return for an aged and diminished Mathieu Schneider wasn’t, in my mind, as high as what the Atlanta Thrashers garnered from the Canadiens. Whether Gainey was desperate to make a move or not is unclear, this trade will only help increase the value of the likes of Kaberle and Kubina. At least, that’s the thinking.

I think the return for these two defensemen will be more in line with what was acquired by trading of similar players over the last five years or so. Darren Dreger of TSN lists the asking price as "An early 20’s impact roster player, a top prospect, and a first round pick". God, I hope so, because history has shown that trades such as these don’t exactly pan out that well.

Let’s have a look at trades for defensemen, notably those for 1 single player (i.e. Kaberle) and possibly picks as well, the return it merited, and we’ll keep it exclusive to post-lockout seasons. Careful now, this is a long one:


Andrej Meszaros                               for                          D Filip Kuba, D Alex Picard, 1st Round Pick

Dan Boyle (& Brad Lukowich)       for                          D Matt Carle, D Ty Wishart, 1st & 4th Round Picks

Marek Zidlicky                                    for                          RW Ryan Jones, 2nd Round Pick

Lubomir Visnovsky                           for                          C Jarret Stoll, D Matt Greene

Marc-Andre Bergeron                     for                          3rd Round Pick

Brad Stuart                                           for                          2nd & 4th Round Picks

Hal Gill                                                   for                          2nd & 5th Round Picks

Brian Campbell (& 7th Rd. Pick)   for                          F Steve Bernier, 1st Round Pick

M-A Bergeron (& 3rd Rd. Pick)      for                          D Denis Grebeshkov

Shane O’Brien (& 3rd Rd. Pick)     for                          Gerald Coleman, 1st Round Pick

Alexei Zhitnik                                      for                          Braydon Coburn

Craig Rivet (& 5th Rd. Pick)             for                          Josh Gorges, 1st Round Pick

Brent Sopel                                          for                          2nd Round Pick

Dennis Wideman                               for                          Brad Boyes

Eric Cairns                                             for                          6th Round Pick

Dick Tarnstrom                                   for                          F Jani Rita, D Cory Cross

Jaroslav Spacek                                  for                          F Tony Salmelainen

Luke Richardson                                for                          4th Round Pick

Ken Klee                                               for                          F Aleksader Suglobov

Brad Lukowich                                    for                          3rd Round Pick

Denis Gauthier                                   for                          F Josh Gratton, 2nd Round Pick, 2nd Round Pick

Sandis Ozolinsh                                 for                          3rd Round Pick

Brendan Witt                                      for                          F Kris Beech, 1st Round Pick

Cory Cross                                            for                          4th Round Pick

Eric Weinrich                                      for                          D Tomas Mojzis, 3rd Round Pick

Ric Jackman                                         for                          Petr Taticek

Chris Pronger                                      for                          F J. Lupul, D Ladislav Smid, (2) 1st Rd. Picks, 2nd Rd. Pick

Alexei Zhitnik                                     for                          D Freddy Meyer, 3rd Round Pick

Danny Markov                                    for                          3rd Round Pick

Brent Sopel                                         for                          3rd Round Pick

Chris Pronger                                      for                          D Eric Brewer, D Jeff Woywitka, D Doug Lynch

Toni Lydman                                       for                          3rd Round Pick

Andy Hilbert                                       for                          5th Round Pick


Now obviously the majority of these players are not of the same caliber of a Tomas Kaberle, and the relatively low cost his contract will pose to a team, both in real dollars and the cap, can’t be ignored as positive factors for the Leafs. Most notably, the deals for Campbell, Boyle, Meszaros, Pronger and possibly Rivet would make the best comparables in what Kaberle will fetch.

The Boyle and Meszaros deals are still too fresh to determine the value received, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Campbell and Pronger didn’t exactly provide full value. I think the package that is coming is going to be much like the return seen in the Pronger to Anaheim deal, and even then, what do the Oilers really have to show for it? Sure, Smid is a nice prospect, and Lupul never really fit with their team, but it’s not exactly a rebuild jump starter type package is it? And I don’t believe many of us would put Kaberle into the same class as a Chris Pronger.

I really hope I’m wrong here. I really hope the increased parity adds to the desperation a lot of GMs feel at this time of year, and I really hope that Kaberle’s availability, along with not much else to choose from, contributes to Burke robbing someone blind. But if you look back at the recent history, for Burke to work out a deal that provides the type of haul that Dreger and many Leaf fans expect, he’ll be the first one to make it happen. 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

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