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Where does ex-Leaf Tomas Kaberle end up? Here's a likely destination...

OK, I’ve probably posted too much about Tomas Kaberle.  But his is an intriguing story: long-time Leaf rebuffed by new management three years ago.  They spend three years trying to move him.  His no-trade clause causes nothing but frustration and confusion for himself, fans and management.

He and Ron Wilson are obviously not on the same page.  Tomas’ Dad (click to read the earlier story)expressed his own frustration very publicly last summer.

Finally, Kabby was dealt to the Bruins in a long-awaited deal.

The Leafs got some young talent (Colborne and in a roundabout way, 2011 first-round pick Tyler Biggs and another pick next year).  Kaberle went on to play, but not confidently, for the Bruins.  He was playing5/6 defenseman minutes, but when all was said and done, he won a Cup.

Now he is a free agent.  I don’t see the Bruins re-signing him, unless he signs for only a million or so a season.  A 5/6 d-man is only going to get so much and Kaberle looked to be an old 33 in the playoffs much of the time.

Years ago, in his prime, he was a bargain, a good signing by John Ferguson Jr. at a little over four million a year on a long-term deal.

But after his performance in the playoffs, what’s he worth now?  Two million a year?  Surely he won’t sign for four million.

But here’s a team that just may stick it’s toe in the water.  The Columbus Blue Jackets.  They’ve just, as we know, acquired Jeff Carter.  They have a superstar talent in Rick Nash.  They have a mediocre power play (yes, yes, we know Kabby is hardly a PP star…) but badly need a puck-moving defenseman.

Before the draft, there were reports that Brian Campbell, the ex-Sabre who won a Cup with the Hawks a year ago, would be heading to Columbus as Chicago continues to shed salary. 

So the Jackets still need that puck-mover on the back end.  It's a very modest free-agent class, including on the blueline.

Do I hear a phone ringing?

Here’s my “prediction”.  Two years, three million a year.  And Kabby is in Columbus.

1 comment:

  1. TK was one of my favorite Leafs, but there's no question his best years are behind him. I thought he played increasingly better for the Bruins, and am delighted he won a Cup. We got rid of him at a good time - both for him and the team - and I wish him the best. But I'd hate to see him back with the Leafs. Blue Jackets would be a fine fit, I think.