Last night Brian Burke let Tomas Kaberle's no trade clause window expire; giving the defender the right to choose his own destiny from now until he hits unrestricted free agency on July 1st, 2011.

Tomas is an elite offensive defenseman who is probably as large a victim of the Leafs crummy 2009-2010 campaign as anyone. Kaberle should be used heavily on the power play and given soft minutes to try and generate goals on a Leafs club that's going to need every single one.

His defensive game is almost nonexistent but if we know that should the responsibility to know when to use Kaberle fall to the coaching staff?

Personally I was hoping we'd be adding a young 25 goal scorer last night knowing full well that it would be a high price for a team to pay to pick up a power play quarterback who anchored one of the worst power plays in the league.

It's interesting reading the mainstream media's take on Kaberle though:

I suspect after the year-plus of trade spec/talk that he's much more amenable to leaving Toronto now than he was back in 08-09. - Bob McKenzie

Kaberle is obviously comfortable here and has exercised his NTC in the past. He went through the Muskoka Five business two years ago; this isn't new to him.

People, all it will take is 1 injury to an important D-man during the season to ramp up interest [in Kaberle]. - Adam Proteau

And? He has an NTC that he doesn't want to waive. It doesn't matter if teams are interested; he doesn't have to go there if he doesn't want to.

Burke put Kaberle on the market knowing full well that last night his NTC would kick in and carry him to free agency. Burke isn't an idiot: he knows we risk losing Tomas Kaberle for absolutely nothing next summer. If none of the offers for Kaberle were enough to convince Burke to break up the logjam on D we have given that risk you can bet they were probably pretty crummy offers.

As much as a lot of us want a scoring winger is anyone upset that we might have missed out on Ryan Malone last night? The oft injured 30 year old is signed through 2015 for $4.5M and plays with really strong teammates. That sounds like a disaster in Toronto.

In the end from an asset management standpoint we have to hope Tomas Kaberle really meant it when he said he likes Toronto and wants to retire a Maple Leaf. To keep him on the team he'll have to come in at something close to his current salary especially as his production begins to wane as he gets older.

For now we have a player who will probably finish between 40-50 pts which could very well put him top four or five on this team in scoring. If the Leafs coaching staff can get the power play to work we'll all look back at today and thank Wendel we didn't move Kaberle for a pile of garbage: it's obvious no one offered a young top six winger.