February 15 2011 06:48PM
So Tomas Kaberle has told GM Brian Burke that Boston may be a potentially favourable location if he's ultimately dealt. How generous of him. He’s basically told Burke that it’s my way or the highway – which, when you have a no trade, is one of the big advantages you possess. But, by favouring only the Bruins, Kaberle has guaranteed that Burke is going to get hosed by Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli…again.
Chiarelli holds all the chips in this one. All he has to do is briskly decide if he thinks Kaberle would be a key piece toward a potential Bruins’ Stanley Cup run in 2011. Boston hasn’t won the Cup in almost forty years. And they haven’t been to the SCF in over twenty. With, arguably, the best one-two goaltending tandem in the NHL (Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask), the Bruins are poised to end their drought this season.
Kaberle, despite his weaknesses, would be a key piece, with Zdeno Chara, on the Bruins’ playoff power play. Entering their game on Tuesday night v. Toronto, Boston sits in third place in the East. But their 16th-ranked PP puts them in the middle of the NHL pack. How great would Kaberle look on that PP? Pretty darned good.
Brian Burke knows Kaberle has to go before he becomes a UFA on July 1st. He’d be insane to re-sign Kaberle…and Brian Burke’s not insane. Kaberle is not the future of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s that simple. He’s the do-nothing-but-lap-up-the-adoration past. Burke’s got to get something for Kaberle…but what will Boston offer? They don’t have to offer much and, unless Burke wants to gamble on Kaberle adding another team or two to his “potentially favourable” list, he’ll have to deal.
But Burke has one thing in his favour…Chiarelli’s level of desperation. Teams don’t build Stanley Cup contenders every season (unless they’re the Detroit Red Wings). Chiarelli has done a fine job of working the Bruins into an elite-level NHL team. But does he think Tomas Kaberle is this season’s missing piece?
Losing centre Marc Savard for the remainder of the season was a crushing blow to the Beantowners. But, there’s no doubt that, in today’s game, a rock-solid defence goes a long way to making a Stanley Cup champion. Going into the Leafs’ game, the Bruins have allowed the fewest goals (135) in the Eastern Conference.
And wouldn’t the Bruins LOVE another shot at the Philadelphia Flyers, after Boston coughed up only the third three games-to-none playoff series lead in Stanley Cup history in 2010? The guessing here is that the Bruins will try hard to land Kaberle.
It will just depend on how generous Peter Chiarelli is feeling toward his old pal, Brian Burke - the same Chiarelli who fully hosed Burke on the Phil Kessel deal.