What Is Tomas Kaberle Worth?

August 10th, 2010 1 Comment

With 820 NHL games played, 80 career goals, 402 career assists and a career plus/minus rating of +27, Tomas Kaberle has the stats to back up his title of an elite defenseman.

Originally drafted 204th overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kaberle has played his entire career with the Leafs. Along the way Kaberle has played in a total of four All-Star Games (2002, 2007, 2008, 2009) and as a member of the Czech Republic team won Gold at the 2005 World Hockey Championships, Bronze at the 2006 winter Olympics, and Bronze at the 2006 World Championships.

Known for his steady play, calm demeanor passing, and the ability to rush the puck, Kaberle is known as a good citizen both on and off the ice who quietly seems to find himself amongst the NHL’s best defensemen year after year.

As it stands right now, there have been reports that as many as 10 NHL teams may be interested in the services of Kaberle if and when the Leafs’ general manager decides to pull the trigger on a deal.

While most of the players being discussed in various forums seem unlikely to end up in Leaf land, one can assume that the price tag for Kaberle will be high, and deservedly so.

The question is: What is Kaberle worth on the open market?

If you pay attention to rumors (and most of the time I do not), speculation has the Leafs landing anyone from Bobby Ryan in Anaheim to James Neal in Dallas. While it’s unlikely either of those players would come to Toronto in return for Kaberle, many Leaf fans will point to the unlikelihood of Dion Phaneuf coming to Toronto last season as proof that anything is possible.

The truth is, if you remove yourself from being a Leafs fan, the price tag for Kaberle, while steep, is not a Ryan or a Neal.

More Likely, Brian Burke will get an offer for a top-six forward, but not a first line player (on most rosters).

Names like Mike Ribeiro out of Dallas would seem to be more accurate of what the Leafs can expect in return—though I do not see Burke pulling the trigger on that one.

If the rumors are true, we can assume that the Philadelphia Flyers (who have long been interested in Kaberle’s services), the Dallas Stars, the Tampa Bay Lightning (who have a ton of forwards they could offer Toronto), the Los Angeles Kings (who may or may not land Kovalchuk), the Detroit Red Wings, the Anaheim Ducks, and perhaps even the San Jose Sharks may all be kicking the tires on Kaberle.

The Flyers could offer up a player like Scott Hartnell (who has a no-trade clause); Dallas could offer up Ribeiro; Tampa could offer up the likes of Teddy Purcell; the Kings could send a number of prospects Toronto’s way including the likes of Brayden Schenn (long thought to be the apple of Burke’s eye); the Red Wings could offer up a guy like Valtteri Flippula; the Ducks may offer up a guy like Ryan (but only if the Leafs were to part with other players as well); and the Sharks could send the likes of Ryan Clowe to Toronto.

In the end, with the exception of Ryan, we are not talking about a team’s top line player, we are talking about second liners that may or may not evolve into first line players given the expanded opportunity they may get as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

What say you? What is Kaberle worth on the open market? Which players would you accept (try to be intelligent here: no Crosby, Ovechkin, Datsyuk rumors please!) in return for Kaberle?

There are only five days left for Burke to make a move. I for one hope he gets it done.

1 Comment

  1. leaf fan says:

    unmitigated disaster if burkie doesn’t pull the tirgger. Sundin should be shot for sandbagging the leafs the way he did. burke will get something done and will fetch more than kaberle will ever be worth.

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