So the clock is about to strike midnight and Tomas Kaberle is about ripe to turn into a pumpkin as he remains a Maple Leaf. One has to wonder where did this come unglued. Without exception, almost every member of the media expected Kaberle to moved and for a fairly decent return. Instead, it looks like Burke was unable to get a deal done for the reasonably priced Bud. At one point we hear that Kaberle was going to Boston for Phil Kessel with picks going one way or the other. That deal fell apart. Burke is on the record as saying that players with NTC’s won’t be asked to waive them. Therefore it’s hard to see a situation where Kaberle gets deal after tomorrow.
Burke, in my opinion has a major problem. He can’t afford to let Kaberle walk at the end of next season. Yet with Burke being adamant about not forcing a player to waive their right to a deal, it appears that Burke may well be stuck with Kaberle after the fact. It says here that Burke, come next summer can’t let Kaberle go for nothing. The pundits also say that they can’t overpay for Kaberle. What’s a GM to do?????
So, if we assume that Kaberle is here for the rest of season, what else can Burke do is anything?? I mean what are his tradeable assts? Is there anyone that Burke would be willing to deal who has any value? I am pretty sure that the answer is nyet. Yes he can deal some Maple Leaf spare parts, but the question is what can he take back, or what will he be willing to take back.
It looks like what started out as a very busy summer is going to end with a whimper. Is that telling? maybe, maybe not. It appears to me though that once the window to trade Kaberle closes, Burke’s ability to make meaningful changes to the Leafs decreases diagrammatically. Has Buke done enough to get the team back into playoff contention? I am not sure. I happen to agree with Doug MacLean. As goes the goaltending, so too will the Leafs season go. Jim Ralph was on with Brady and Watters today and he said that we will know where the Leafs are going to stand 2 months into the season. I think that is right. Burke’s ability to make in-season changes is going to limited by the fact that he won’t have many desireable assets to deal this season. Come deadline day, Burke probably won’t have the horses to make more meaningful changes as many of us will want. Burke has made many changes, the results, I think will be impressive. The problem of the Leafs lack of depth, I think will be their biggest problem all season.
Time will tell…