2011, Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke: Kaberle

Burke traded Kaberle for Joe Colborne, Boston’s 1st rounder in 2011 and Boston’s 2nd rounder in 2012 (conditional).

So Kaberle is finally gone. It took some time, no doubt in great part to Ferguson giving him that no trade clause (which, don’t get me wrong, I think he earned, given his salary and his play at the time).

I was under the impression that over the last few seasons Kaberle’s value had gone down significantly but this trade suggests that I was wrong. It is good that Burke waited and waited to make the right deal here – though that can’t have been entirely intentional – as I think to get three assets for him at this point – when he is about to be a free agent and when he is far from the player he was say 2-3 years ago – is a bit of a coup. Yes, he got three assets for Beauchemin but one was a third liner with a huge contract so it’s not really the same.

The Bruins’ first rounder will be low, possibly really low, which is a problem. If it had been the Leafs’ pick coming back, I really would have loved this deal. So the hope now must be that either Philly or Boston loses in the first round.

But I still think to get a first rounder and a former first rounder (plus a conditional) for a pending free agent is a steal. It’s sort of the reverse of the deals Ferguson and Quinn used to do deadline day, when they would give up picks for expiring contracts – which never worked, unless your definition of a trade working is to make it to the second round.

The deal is a gamble and it is all ifs.

  • What happens to Boston in the playoffs?
  • Is the pick a mid-1st-rounder or a late one?
  • Is Colborne any good? My concern is that Burke loves his size and that maybe Colborne isn’t all that much of a hockey player. He was a point a game player in college but then so was Bozak. His season in the AHL this year has been far from spectacular. I don’t know how much he is playing but if you’re not scoring 30 goals in the AHL chances are you won’t do it in the big league.
  • Finally, there is the conditional pick. I have heard that there are two conditions but I haven’t been able to verify them: either the Bruins make the finals or Kaberle re-signs. I don’t know what happens if both are met.

So basically this could turn out very well for the Leafs or it could turn out not so well but giving up Kaberle this late in his contract is no sacrifice. We all knew he was going eventually. By getting this much back Burke at least gives the Leafs a chance to prosper from his departure.

I am impressed. I think it is the best deal he’s made this season and definitely one of his better moves since taking over (and those have been few and far between).

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