It’s only Feb. 17, and the trade deadline is still 11 days away, but I’m already beginning to feel dizzy because of all the Tomas kaberle scuttlebutt.
Not quite the kind of dizziness that causes vicious bedspins, but close. Of course, there’s only one possible cure: more cowbell.
There’s really no excuse for any of us to be sick of the Kaberle craziness. Our immune systems should have adapted to it by now. Perhaps mine is just lagging.
This is a trade that to varying degrees has been rumoured for several years. In a sense, the annual late winter tradition of Kaberle shopping usually brings out the same emotions we felt while watching the Titanic movie. We know the ending, and we know that the ship sinks, but that doesn’t make it any less painful to watch.
This time though, Kaberle’s ticket out of town seems real. I have no convincing argument as to why it’ll be different here in 2011 than it has been in the past. All we have is logic, which states that if Kaberle isn’t sticking around Toronto once he hits the open market this summer, and if he can finally be convinced to waive his no-trade clause (a truly massive “if”) then Brian Burke should and will capitalize on his value now.
On Tuesday, the Twitter firestorm over a rumoured trade to Boston had us all believing that by the time Leafs Nation woke up the next day in their Borje Salming boxers, Kaberle would have escaped under the cloak of darkness. Words like “imminent” and “close” were used, and continue to be used, but the Leafs’ assists leader remains in Toronto.
Earlier today, TSN’s Darren Dreger continued to use those magical words and said that barring a “complete meltdown,” the trigger will be pulled in the very near future. He also noted that complete meltdowns are nothing new when it comes to the Bruins, Leafs, and Kaberle, and that the likely deal won’t be held up by Kaberle’s willingness or lack thereof to sign an extension.
Both Dreger and later Joe Haggerty of Comcast Sportsnet Boston reported that while the final pieces may still take a day or two to finalize, those pieces could include forward Blake Wheeler and a draft pick going to Toronto. Haggerty also noted the Bruins are working on a corresponding move to send defenceman Brad Stuart to Chicago to clear the needed cap space for Kaberle.
But the big dog hadn’t spoken yet, and when Burke’s voice permeates the airwaves in mid-February, you’d better be listening.
In a radio interview on NHL Live! Burke said a deal is not imminent–there’s that word again–and that Kaberle hasn’t given the Leafs a wish list of any sort showing his preferred destinations. Burke believes he’d be open to a trade, but nothing has been communicated directly.
“My guess is if we found something that was attractive and went back to the agent, Tomas might be receptive to that, but that’s far from clear or far from done. We’re just going to keep knocking on doors. The fact that he has a no-trade doesn’t prohibit me from talking to other teams about potential trades, which we’ve done.”
Burke used some fun words of his own that didn’t end in “ence,” calling the notion that Kaberle would only agree to a trade if it’s with Boston “erroneous.”
Here are 18 more minutes of Burke Newspeak for your viewing enjoyment.
So now we play the waiting game, and if there’s one thing we can thank Burke and Kaberle for, it’s that they’ve made us pretty damn good at it.