Tomas Kaberle: The Five Best Fits for Kabby

August 15th, 2010 1 Comment

The jury is still out on whether or not Toronto Maple Leafs veteran defensemen Tomas Kaberle will be traded, but with just over 24 hours to go before Kaberle’s no-trade clause kick’s back in, there seems to be a number of teams that are interested in Kaberle’s services.

Leafs general manager Brian Burke has said that he would prefer to bring in a top six forward that can help elevate the Leafs into a playoff position as early as this season. But he said he would consider a “futures package” that may include one or more prospects and/or draft picks coming to Toronto.

While there has been plenty of speculation as to which teams appear to be interested in Kaberle, there has been no confirmation.

Of that teams that may be interested in Kaberle only a few may offer a better opportunity for Kaberle than the Leafs do. Let’s take a look at five teams that may trade for Kaberle that would be the best fit for the talented Czech defenseman.

Wahington Capitals:

Flush with forwards the Washington Capitals are more than capable of sending an NHL-ready or top six forward to the Leafs for Kaberle.

Tomas Fleischmann’s name has already been mentioned in the Kaberle trade rumors and, while the Capitals prospect cupboard is hardly “full,” they do have a number of impressive forwards in their stable.

Regardless of what may or may not be coming in return to the Leafs, Washington would be an incredible fit for Kaberle.

Kaberle is known for his tremendous outlet passes and ability to run the power play. With the likes of Nik Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin on the power play and the shot happy Mike Green on his side, Kaberle would fit right in on the Capitals power play and make them a much better team five-on-five.

Boston Bruins:

Admittedly, Brian Burke and the rest of the Leafs Nation may be a little shy about doing a deal with the Boston Bruins, especially in light of losing out on the opportunity to select Tyler Seguin at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

That said, the Boston Bruins look to be on the cusp of putting together a very good hockey team, one that looks ready to challenge for the Stanley Cup as early as this season.

The Bruins own one of the best goaltending tandems in the entire NHL with Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas between the pipes, while their forward lines boast a nice collection of veteran savvy and youngsters.

While the Bruins backend is pretty solid, the addition of Kaberle would be a solid fit for both sides, with Kaberle bringing a veteran presence, ability to run a power play and, most importantly, that much needed transition pass that the Bruins lack at times.

With Kaberle likely leaning towards an Eastern Conference team to sign an extension with, the Bruins would seem to be a logical fit.

Tampa Bay Lightning:

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has done a masterful job of addressing the Lightning’s forwards and goaltending. What he has yet to address is the team’s defense, which is in need of a tweak or two.

Kaberle could help address the Lightning’s defense and would fit in nicely with their top-tier forwards, especially on the power play where Kaberle feeding the puck to the likes of Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier could be downright scary!

Kaberle’s veteran presence and calm demeanor could go a long way in making the Lightning a legitimate Stanley Cup contender and his ability to tutor younger players would also come in handy.

Like the Capitals, the Lightning have plenty of forwards they could peddle and a well stocked prospect cupboard from which the Leafs could chose.

Of all the teams out there that may have interest in Kaberle I see Tampa as one of the best fits, if not the best one out there. In a word: “opportunity”…

 San Jose Sharks:

With the loss of veteran defenseman Rob Blake, the San Jose Sharks could use another veteran defenseman to off-set the minutes Blake would have logged in 2010-11.

Kaberle’s ability to play in all situations, his veteran presence and calm demeanor on and off the ice make Kaberle an attractive option for the Stanley Cup aspiring Sharks.

In the Sharks, Kaberle would be able to play for a team that is on the cusp of winning the Stanley Cup and he could also cash in on all of that California sun, which would make up for being so far away from his summer cottage in the Muskokas.

Los Angeles Kings:

With the Los Angeles Kings seemingly missing out on the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes, there are plenty of fans that want to see GM Dean Lombardi make a splash this summer.

While the addition of Alex Ponikarovsky is nice, acquiring one of the NHL’s premier defensemen would go a long way in saving a little face with King’s fans.

Among defensemen, Kaberle is always one of the top NHL point producers, which would come in handy for the Kings. Kaberle’s ability to make the first pass and run the power play make him an attractive option for the Kings, even with the likes of Drew Doughty in the fold.

Kabelre could also help mentor some of the younger players on the Kings (especially the defensemen) and his playoff experience, however grim, would also come in handy.

Los Angeles boasts one the most impressive bunch of prospects in recent memory and could offer the Leafs one heck of a package should they want Kaberle. In my opinion, Kaberle to Los Angeles could be a win-win for both teams, especially if Burke could land the likes of Brayden Schenn!

If not Tampa Bay, I love the idea of Kaberle doing a little California dreamin’!

1 Comment

  1. D.J says:

    WHile it’s true that these teams could use Kaberle’s OFFENSIVE output, a lot of people seem to forget that he is a defencemen-and as a defencemen, he has his glaring shortcomings. That’s why it’s so difficult to deal him. During the playoffs, a defencemen’s shortcomings will be multiplied by ten. Mike Green was exploited by the Habs last season, and Brian Campbell was downgraded to the Blackhawks #5 defencemen, despite his offensive upside, during the playoffs. During a deep playoff run, against the strongest teams in hockey, Tomas Kaberle’s defensive weaknesses would also be exploited-thus the reason the Leafs will NOT receive a true top-six forward from a contending team in return for him.

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