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Kovalchuk in play?

I’m among those confused as to why Kovalchuk really has anything to do with whether the Leafs trade Kaberle or not. I can certainly be convinced there’s a connection—I just don’t see it.

In any event, Kovalchuk is free again, but we all know he won’t be playing in Toronto. You have to believe he signs with the Devils, under a slightly re-structured arrangement. When/if he does sign (for real) with New Jersey, they will have to move some guys, but I can’t imagine they will be the kind of backbone guys the Leafs (if they could even acquire one of those soon-to-be ex-Devils) need to take a big step in the standings.

As for wondering about Kaberle going to the Devils, if the Devils have to shed salary to ensure they keep Kovalchuk, can they really spend more than four million on another defenseman like Kaberle, when they are trying to move salary quickly?

What is uncertain is whether the two sides will need a few days to re-do the deal. Maybe they’ve already done that, in case the arbitrator ruled as he did today, and they’ll make a new announcement shortly.  Who knows?

In any event, time’s ticking for Burke and the Leafs regarding Kaberle.

With the market seemingly lukewarm, does anyone now think that the Leafs may just turn around and try to sign Kaberle to an extension, and let him play in peace (finally), while still somehow looking for that hard-to-find “top-six” forward?

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