FanPost

Who Could Use Tomas Kaberle?

 Kaberle_medium

Let's be honest - the utterly dreadful season that we've just ensured, and the lack of a first-round pick has really limited the topics available to us as fans to talk about this season. As a result, we as a community have returned to a very sensitive topic time after time; what to do this summer with Tomas Kaberle.

I have noticed a few things about these discussions. First, there is no general consensus on this topic; the opinions pretty much run the gamut of emotions, from Chemmy at one end, who is likely to take another trip back to Toronto to help Tomas pack his bags, to Eyebeleaf at the other end who will likely go with Tomas to the airport, hugging him and crying for him not to go, and everything in between.

Second, the questions typically focus on two main questions: When will Tomas be traded? (Chemmy: Yesterday. Eye: NEVAR!!!1) and Why should we trade him? (Chemmy: He's terrible defensively, he's a free agent, etc, etc.  Eye: Best Leafs D Ever!!!1 Blurr: Carter and a 1st!)

However, for all the energy spent discussing these two topics, there is one question that has been neglected. What teams are a good fit for a trade with Tomas? The point of this fanpost is to generate discussion about who might make a good trading partner, and what we could expect back in such a trade. I'll offer my opinions on who makes a good trading partner, then open up the floor to you fine folks to make an offer on behalf of Burkie.

*All figures per Capgeek.com*
Salary Committed for 2010-11 includes bonuses, cap space remaining is based on the projected cap of $57.7M

Anaheim Ducks
2010-11 Roster - 18 players, $37.9M committed, including bonuses (about $19.8M cap space)
Defence under contract: Lubomir Visnovsky, Steve Eminger, Nathan Oystrick, Brett Festerling
D Prospects: Luca Sbisa, Mark Mitera

Anaheim's an intriguing possibility, if only because of Burke's history with the Ducks, and the pending RFA status of Bobby Ryan. The Ducks are in a pretty good place cap-wise, but it's possible that they have to replace Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu  We'll give them a MAYBE

Atlanta Thrashers
2010-11 Roster - 12 players, $33.8M committed (about $23.9M cap space)
Defence under contract: Ron Hainsey, Tobias Enstrom, Johnny Oduya, Zach Bogosian, Boris Valabik, Arturs Kulda
D Prospects: Ivan Vishnevsky

I don't see Atlanta being a prime candidate for a trade. For one, Enstrom and Bogosian are strong puck-movers and handle the PP duties. Second, those two plus Hainsey and Oduya form an adequate top 4, and all 4 make over $3M. Finally, the team is trying to rebuild after the loss of Kovalchuk, and may also need to replace Kozlov and Armstrong, possibly even Kubina. Adding a guy like Kaberle doesn't help that process along. I say NO

Boston Bruins
2010-11 Roster - 16 players, $51.8M committed (about $5.9M cap space)
Defence under contract: Zdeno Chara, Dennsi Wideman, Andrew Ference, Matt Hunwick, Jeff Penner
D Prospects: Cam Fowler

With only about $6M to sign 7 players, it's unlikely they'd use over 70% of that on one player, unless they sent a bad contract back the other way. Still, Kaberle would slot in nicely on the Bruins PP with Chara, and their strong defensive system would hide his deficiencies. Would Leaf fans be able to handle sending three picks and their best defenceman since Salming to Boston in a calendar year? Depending on the return, MAYBE

Buffalo Sabres
2010-11 Roster - 15 players, $45.5M committed (about $12.2M cap space)
Defence under contract: Craig Rivet, Steve Montador, Tyler Myers, Andrej Sekera, Chris Butler
D Prospects: Mike Weber

Another intriguing possibility. Lydman and Tallinder are UFAs, so room and cap space are available to fit Kaberle in. Buffalo's another team with a strong defensive identity that could mask some of Kaberle's deficiencies, and a very young team could use another veteran presence (albeit a quiet one). I think depending on what happens in the playoffs, Buffalo could possibly see Kaberle as a player to push them to the next level next season. And Buffalo lights us up anyways, so it's not like having Kaberle on their team will change anything. YES

Calgary Flames
2010-11 Roster - 17 players, $53.8M committed (about $3.9M cap space)
Defence under contract: Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regehr, Cory Sarich, Steve Staios, Mark Giordano, Adam Pardy
D Prospects: Tim Erixon, John Negrin, TJ Brodie

Let's be quick. A team without enough cap space to fit his contract in, with over $10M tied up in its top 2, and in complete disarray pretty much ever since the last trade they made with the Leafs is not going to be lining up to trade for Tomas. NO

Carolina Hurricanes
2010-11 Roster - 13 players, $41.2M committed (about $16.4M cap space)
Defence under contract: Joni Pitkanen, TIm Gleason
D Prospects: Jamie McBain, Brett Carson

Carolina's in the midst of a pretty big overhaul of its roster, especially on the back-end with only 2 D under contract and 2 young D expected to step into the lineup full-time next season. Carolina's no stranger to having a Kaberle on its blueline, employing Tomas' brother for several years. The question is whether the presence of offensively-minded defenders PItkanen and Gleason will scare off Carolina from making a move for another one. We'll give them a MAYBE

Chicago Blackhawks
2010-11 Roster - 14 players, $57.6M committed (about $0 cap space)
Defence under contract: Brian Campbell, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brent Sopel
D Prospects: Dylan Olsen, Nick Leddy (neither appear to be close to ready)

Wow. Chicago's offseason is going to be tremendous to watch. They already have spent to the cap and have 9 players to sign, including RFAs Niemi, Ladd, Eager and Hjalmarsson. I can't see Chicago's need for Kaberle with puck-movers like Campbell, Keith and Seabrook on board, and they're going to be looking to dump bad salary. I'm going to say NO, just because I can't conceive a trade involving Kaberle that gets them under the cap and actually makes sense on both sides.

Colorado Avalanche
2010-11 Roster - 13 players, $31.5M, committed (about $26.2M cap space)
Defence under contract: Scott Hannan, John-Michael Liles, Kyle Cumiskey, Ryan Wilson
D Prospects: Kevin Shattenkirk, Stefan Elliott, Colby Cohen

The good news: Colorado has a good amount of cap space, a need for a puck-moving D, and a number of young prospects that Burke could ask for. The bad news: A chunk of that cap space could be eaten up by RFAs Mueller, Quincey, Stewart and Porter, and UFAs like Chris Durno. We'll say MAYBE

Columbus Blue Jackets
2010-11 Roster - 18 players, $48M committed (about $9.6M cap space)
Defence under contract: Mike Commodore, Rostislav Klesla, Fedor Tyutin, Jan Hejda, Kris Russell, Marc Methot
D Prospects: John Moore

The Jackets seem to have the majority of their roster in place, although considering their finish this season that may not be a good thing. A trade for a big-name could really shake things up, though I don't know if Kaberle is the guy for them what with a full complement of D already signed, plus RFA Anton Stralman and 2009 1st round pick John Moore (who from what I've read is as one-dimensional as Kaberle). With all those puck-movers, I'd say NO

Dallas Stars
2010-11 Roster - 16 players, $39.7M committed (about $18M cap space)
Defence under contract: Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley, Karlis Skrastins, Mark Fistric, Philip Larsen, Jeff Woywitka
D Prospects: Larsen

Dallas is currently in the middle of a big change in direction, with mainstays Turco, Modano and Lehtinen all set to leave. They have cap space, and the only RFAs of note are James Neal and Matt Niskanen. A power-play with Robidas and Kaberle would be really something to watch. The question is whether the Stars decide to reinvest in the forwards and goaltending first. Are they a possibile destination? YES

Detroit Red Wings
2010-11 Roster - 12 players, $39.9M committed (about $17.8M cap space)
Defence under contract: Brian Rafalski, Brad Stuart, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson
D Prospects: Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith

Another team in transition, the old guard of the Red Wings is nearing its end, wiith UFAs Nik Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom and Kirk Maltby all in their late 30s. I doubt Detroit feels Kaberle is its primary target wth Rafalksi, a better version of kaberle, under contract for 2 more seasons. I will say NO

Edmonton Oilers
2010-11 Roster - 14 players, $42M committed (about $15.7 cap space)
Defence under contract: Sheldon Souray, Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney, Ladislav Smid, Taylor Chorney
D Prospects: None of note

I doubt Edmonton really considers Kaberle a viable option. They're trying to rebuild again around Eberle, MPS and Hall/Seguin, they're dealing with yet another vet who wants out, and a team that was even worse than the Leafs defensively probably doesn't need an all O/no D defenceman. NO

Florida Panthers
2010-11 Roster - 19 players, $50.4 committed (about $7.3 cap space)
Defence under contract: Bryan McCabe, Keith Ballard, Bryan Allen, Dmitri Kulikov, Keaton Ellerby
D Prospects: Jason Garrison

Florida's made no effort to hide the fact they are interested in blowing things up, so adding a puck-mover isn't high on their priority list. They also have Keith Ballard and promising rookie Kulikov in the fold. Too bad, Kaberle could use some sun. NO

Los Angeles Kings
2010-11 Roster - 15 players, $46.6M committed (about $10M cap space)
Defence under contract: Drew Doughty, Rob Scuderi, Matt Greene, Jack Johnson, Davis Drewiske, Peter Harrold
D Prospects: Thomas Hickey, Vyacheslav Voynov, Colton Teubert

LA's building a very nice foundation and has an absolute stud in Doughty. They have a raft of prospects that could start moving in in the next two years, so I don't see them going out and acquiring somebody like Tomas that might mess that up. NO

Minnesota Wild
2010-11 Roster - 17 players, $48.4 committed (about $9.3M cap space)
Defence under contract: Marek Zidlicky, Brent Burns, Nick Schultz, Cam Barker, Greg Zanon, Clayton Stoner
D Prospects: Tyler Cuma, Marco Scandella

Minnesota might see a PP specialist as something they need to help re-establish themselves in the West, especially as they try and shake off the long-time tag as a defence first, second and third team. Although I don't know if the presence of Zidlciky and Barker will affect that, or whether they'll use their cap space to add up front. MAYBE

Montreal Canadiens
2010-11 Roster - 13 players, $44.9M committed (about $12.7M cap space)
Defence under contract: Andrei Markov, Roman Hamrlik, Jaroslav Spacek, Hal Gill, Josh Gorges, Ryan O'Byrne
D Prospects: P.K. Subban, Yannick Weber, Mathieu Carle

Let's see. $13M available to sign 10 players, and they have to try and re-sign Plekanec and both (one?) of their goalies. Barely play defence as it is, so adding an offence first guy doesn't help. 6D already under contract, and they probably want to make room for Subban. About the only reason it would make sense for Montreal to acquire Kaberle is so that he stops lighting them up every time he plays against them. This is a NO

Nashville Predators
2010-11 Roster - 16 players, $42.4M committed (about $15.3M cap space)
Defence under contract: Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Kevin Klein
D Prospects: Ryan Ellis, Jonathon Blum

The cap space figure is completely meaningless for Nashville, since they aren't a team that spends anywhere close to the cap limit. Hornqvist and Franson will take up a lot of Nashville's remaining budget, and that's before even asking what they do with Dan Hamhuis or Dan Ellis, both potential UFAs. At least one of Blum or Ellis should be with the club next season, and Ellis might end up being a better version of Kaberle. I don't see Nashville breaking open the piggy bank for a guy like Kaberle. NO

New Jersey Devils
2010-11 Roster - 15 players, $41.3M committed (about $16.3M cap space)
Defence under contract: Colin White, Bryce Salvador, Andy Greene, Anssi Salmela
D Prospects: Matt Corrente, Alexander Urbom

Hard to read what New Jersey is on the market until we see what happens with David Clarkson (RFA), Ilya Kovalchuk (UFA) and Paul Martin (UFA). Jersey's another one of those teams that play such a rigid defensive style that they could hide Kaberle's defensive deficiencies. But if they decide to pay Kovalchuk $10M, they may not have the money to take him on. Still, Kaberle teeing up Kovalchuk for one-timers on the PP? Yikes. MAYBE

New York Islanders
2010-11 Roster - 16 players, $36.1M committed (about $21.5M cap space)
Defence under contract: Mark Streit, Radek Martinek, Anton Klementyev, Bruno Gervais, Andrew MacDonald, Jack HIllen
D Prospects: Calvin de Haan, Travis Hamonic

Another team for whom the cap space figure is meaningless. The Islanders are completely committed to building around their young foundation, and aren't in a position to add a vet with Kaberle's skill set, especially with Mark Streit running the PP. NO

New York Rangers
2010-11 Roster - 14 players, $45.2M committed (about $12.5M cap space)
Defence under contract: Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival, Matt Gilroy, Michael Del Zotto
D Prospects: Derek Stepan, Bobby Sanguinetti

Much of the cap space will be tied up in new contracts for Dan Girardi, Marc Staal and whatever insanely overpriced free agent Sather picks up this summer. More importantly, would any sane GM try to acquire Kaberle when the four defence he has under contract are all offensively minded? Then again, Glen Sather is not a sane GM. MAYBE

Ottawa Senators
2010-11 Roster - 19 players, $51.1M committed (about $6.6M cap space)
Defence under contract: Filip Kuba, Chris Phillips, Jared Cowan, Erik Karlsson, Brian Lee, Matt Carkner
D Prospects: Karlsson, Cowan

Foligno, Regin and Volchenkov (assuming he re-signs) tie up most of the cap space. Karlsson should be taking on a more prominent role next season, including more PP time. Plus, it's Toronto and Ottawa. What are the odds of them ever getting together on a trade? NO

Philadelphia Flyers
2010-11 Roster - 16 players, $49.2M committed (about $8.4M cap space)
Defence under contract: Kimmo Timonen, Chris Pronger, Matt Carle, Oskars Bartulis
D Prospcets: Kevin Marshall

Other than Bryadon Coburn, the Flyers don't have to resign anyone of real consequence, except for their never-ending search for a #1 goalie. So there is potentially money available to make a deal. But with so much money tied up in Timonen and Pronger, adding Kaberle could make their cap headache worse. Philly does like to make a splash. MAYBE

Phoenix Coyotes
2010-11 Roster - 14 players, $31.3M committed (about $26.4M cap space)
Defence under contract: Ed Jovanovski, Jim Vandermeer, Kurt Sauer, Keith Yandle
D Prospects: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, David Schlemko

Phoenix's biggest cap challenge is going to be adding enough salary to hit the cap floor. Wolski, Upshall and Hanzal are all RFAs, and they have several UFAs to decide whether to resign. There's uncertainty surrounding almost every facet of this organization that it's hard to read what will happen, but Kaberle could be an effective addition if Phoenix needs to add salary and solidify its place in the competitive West. MAYBE

Pittsburgh Penguins
2010-11 Roster - 15 players, $45.5M committed (about $12.2M cap space)
Defence under contract: Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski
D Prospects: Simon Despres

The Pens don't have any RFAs to worry about, so if the Pens decide to let some of their UFAs walk, they might look to the market for replacements. If Gonchar, Eaton and Leopold all leave, there could definitely be room here for Kaberle, although is Pittsburgh interested in replacing Gonchar or transitioning his PP time to Letang and Goligoski? MAYBE

San Jose Sharks
2010-11 Roster - 12 players, $37.7M committed (about $20M cap space)
Defence under contract: Dan Boyle, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Doug Murray, Kent Huskins, Jason Demers
D Prospects: Nick Petrecki, Demers

The Sharks have a number of key free agents to try and re-sign (including Marleau, Pavelski, Setoguchi and Nabokov) along with about half their team, and they don't have that much money to do it with. A failure to go far in the playoffs might lead to calls to move in an entirely new direction. They also already have a player in Boyle who does everything Kaberle does only better. This is not an option. NO

St. Louis Blues
2010-11 Roster - 12 players, $30.2M committed (about $27.5M cap space)
Defence under contract: Eric Brewer, Barrett Jackman, Roman Polak
D Prospects: Alex Pietrangelo, Ian Cole, Jonas Junland

David Perron, Erik Johnson, Junland and Chris Mason need to be resigned. Tkachuk is retiring, and if Kariya comes back it will be for significantly less. There's definitely money for St. Louis to play with. They'll certainly bring Pietrangelo up for good next year, so they might not be in need of one year of Kaberle. It depends which of the last two years they view as the aberration. MAYBE

Tampa Bay Lightning
2010-11 Roster - 13 players, $45.5M committed (about $12.2M cap space)
Defence under contract: Andrej Meszaros, Mattias Ohlund, Victor Hedman, Matt Walker, Matt Lashoff, Matt Smaby, Scott Jackson
D Prospects: Lashoff

They have just over $1M/player avaialble to fill out their roster.(and 5 forwards under contract) They have 7 defence already under contract, and I've only heard of 3 of the ones they do. They have a ton of question marks, and adding Kaberle makes zero sense at this point in time. NO

Vancouver Canucks
2010-11 Roster - 17 players, $49.1M committed (about $8.6M cap space)
Defence under contract: Kevin Bieksa, Sami Salo, Alex Edler, Christian Ehrhoff, Andrew Alberts
D Prospects: None of note

They have the core of their roster all locked up, and have a little bit of money available to add depth. This is another team that depending on what happens in the playoffs will influence their decision. Perhaps Vancouver feels it needs to acquire an elite puck-mover to compete against the likes of Detroit, San Jose and Chicago, all of whom have one. MAYBE

Washington Capitals
2010-11 Roster - 13 players, $36.7M committed (about $21M cap space)
Defence under contract: Mike Green, Tom Poti, John Erksine, John Carlson, Tyler Sloan
D Prospects: Karl Alzner, Carlson

Much of this cap space will be earmarked for Backstrom, Fleischmann, Fehr, Schultz and a replacement for Jose Theodore. More importantly, does a team with Green, Poti, Carlson and Alzner need to spend precious cap space on Kaberle? Only if they're trying to win 8-7 every night. NO

So there you have it, that's a capsule look at every team's situation for next season, and whether Tomas Kaberle could fit into that picture. By my count, half the league won't pick up the phone to call Burke, 12 teams would think about whether a deal works for them, and 2 teams would seriously consider it.

Now it's your turn to have your say. Have at it in the comments.

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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