From Beauchemin to Stalberg, we're taking a look at and grading (please read the criteria below) the 2009-10 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Maple Leafs for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2010-11. That means only guys that are still property of the Maple Leafs. We're doing this in concert with Maple Leafs Hot Stove. Next up, Tomas Kaberle.
#15 / Defenseman / Toronto Maple Leafs
Mar 02, 1978
Years in the NHL: 11
Became a Leaf: Drafted in 8th round of 1996 draft, 204th overall
Contract Status: In 5th year of 5 year $21.25M contract; $4.25M cap hit
|2009 - Tomas Kaberle||7||42||49||-16||24|
The Summary: Where to start with Tomas Kaberle? He's a four time all star including the last three times the games were played. He's second all time in scoring for Toronto Maple Leafs defensemen.
Kaberle's scoring was instrumental in the Leafs first win of the season when he had a goal and four assists as part of a hot streak that saw him put up 22 points in his first 20 games. The opposite side of that coin is that to finish the season Tomas Kaberle scored two goals and had seven assists in 33 games; a stretch that saw the Leafs play 93 pt pace hockey. His slump started before the arrival of Dion Phaneuf but our new captain's arrival begs the question: does Tomas Kaberle have a role on the Leafs in the future?
Please read the entire article before you cast your vote.
Despite his terrible end to the season Kaberle put up 49 points and finished with a GVT of 9.3.
Kaberle played almost four and a half minutes a night on the power play, where he scored 3 of his goals and 22 of his assists.
Kaberle doesn't have the trust of the coaching staff in his own end. He plays six seconds a game on average on the penalty kill.
The truth is that Tomas Kaberle plays pillow soft minutes. At evens his stat line looks something like this:
Good teammates, bad opposition, Leafs being outscored.
Tomas Kaberle in his own end of the ice is terrifying. When he's on the ice opponents score more per minute than anyone else on the team save for Garnet Exelby and Jeff Finger. This is why he only goes on the ice when the Leafs have a faceoff in the offensive zone.
In the corners and down low Tomas Kaberle looks terrified and he's been that way ever since he was hit late by the New Jersey Devils' Cam Janssens. Three years later his injuries have physically healed but I don't know about mentally.
The idea that he's some sort of miracle power play quarterback should be dispelled by pointing to the Leafs' power play finished dead last in the league. Tomas Kaberle's staunch refusal to shoot the puck despite winning the All Star Game's accuracy competition in 2008 is obvious to everyone on TV and opposing teams know it.
Want to evaluate Tomas Kaberle's season? His expectation should have been something like; 1st pairing defender, PP QB. He's not a first pairing guy for the Leafs, and he's not our PP QB anymore. There's a changing of the guard and Tomas Kaberle isn't part of the core of this team anymore.
The comments to this post are going to talk at great length about how Kaberle loves Toronto and has always been a Leaf, but Tomas Kaberle is past his best by date. His offense is declining and his defense is nonexistent. Let's pray some GM gives us useful assets for Tomas Kaberle during the draft weekend.
Personally I hope Burke gets anything at all for him this summer and we can all move on.
Should Burke trade Kaberle? Should Burke re-sign Kaberle? If you think Burke should re-sign him, what's his role on this team moving forward?
Rate Kaberle below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.