The Kaberle Vortex

Steve Lansky
February 18 2011 06:41AM

The Tomas Kaberle trade vortex (see above) has sabotaged a week in which Leafs' fans should be widely rejoicing. Thanks to Mikhail Grabovski and Phil Kessel, with a pair each, the Leafs turned out a rare character win in Boston. Then, the next night, Joey Crabb's gusty shortie in Buffalo was the difference in a game when Ryan Miller, finally, was not impervious. Yet, for many, it's another week full of angst. That trade vortex, surrounding Tomas Kaberle, has, to a degree, hijacked Leafs' fans enthusiasm. And that's a shame.

I admire the fact that Kaberle and his agent, Rick Curran, have asked to keep the proceedings surrounding Kaberle's imminent departure from Toronto on the down low. But that's like asking Arnold Schwarzenegger to blend into the crowd. Pretty tough to do. Actually, we're going to amend that to impossible in Toronto. The NHL's trade deadline falls on Monday, February 28th so, for the next 10 days, we're in for pounds and pounds of speculation - not to mention the dozen hours of fluff that the sports networks will heap on us on deadline day.

However, for the 23 guys who wear the Leafs' jersey, the focus on Kaberle might actually be a bonus. There is such keen interest on this team in this city that a break in the scrutiny is probably welcomed. With the Leafs six points out of a potential playoff spot, James Reimer (who, with Jiggy's injury, now has ALL eyes on him) does not need any more intensity in his spotlight. He just needs to stop pucks. And, with the Leafs' next two games against the two sorriest clubs in the Eastern Conference, Ottawa and the Islanders, that should be eminently doable.

No matter where Kaberle ends up, Brian Burke will not get much immediate help in return...and he will certainly not get a top-six forward or top-four defenceman. No matter. After Kaberle goes, Burke'll have even more cap space with which to, during the summer, acquire a puck-moving defenceman to take over that role from Kaberle. And, more than likely, whomever replaces Kaberle will have a ton more heart and desire. And please don't start screaming about the reference. You know Kabby is woefully lacking in both.

Some are suggesting that Burke could get goaltending help from whichever team acquires Kaberle. Not likely. And, again, certainly not a goaltender who’s going to help the Leafs in this what-seems-like-annual, late-season playoff push. Reimer is going to be Ron Wilson's go-to guy. Frankly, whether or not J-S Giguère had been hurt, Reimer should be the guy anyway.

Bottom line is that the quicker that Kaberle hits the road – to the Bruins or another taker – the quicker the Maple Leafs can move into the brighter future.
 

8fa9f2e3836e3c8359c1c3dd7c6758d9
Steve Lansky's first exposure to the game was at storied Maple Leaf Gardens, running downstairs at the end of every period just to watch the great Dave Keon walk off the ice to the room. A decade later, while he was still in high school, Oilers' head coach Glen Sather asked Lansky, "Hey, how'd you like to be our team statistician?" In 1983, at the age of 22, Lansky became the youngest producer in the history of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, giving him a front-row seat to the Edmonton Oilers' dynasty. Lansky also helped launch Rogers Sportsnet's fledgling hockey coverage when the network made its début in 1998. You can follow him at bigmouthsports.com and at twitter.com/bigmouthsports
Avatar
#1 CoryNewb
February 18 2011, 11:52AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Aaaaaaaaand, he's gone.

Avatar
#3 robinrussia
February 18 2011, 08:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Is Burke Done? Two firsts would get some quality NHL players.

Avatar
#5 CoryNewb
February 19 2011, 08:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I'm also looking forward to what comes next. I would like to see something big with Kaberle off the books. Of course we can all say we want to see Richards, Vinny, or something to the like, but I think it will be some more baby steps first.

Burke is taking a page out of what about Bob, and I just now realized it....baby steps....baby steps.

Comments are closed for this article.