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.