By Mark Ritter
For as long as he has been a Toronto Maple Leaf, Tomas Kaberle has heard his name mentioned in just about every trade rumor known to man.
That said, this off-season the trade rumors look to have plenty of truth to them with Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke saying he is willing to listen to trade offers on Kaberle- especially in light of Kaberle’s no trade clause being lifted until August 15th, 2010.
Kaberle currently has a salary cap hit of $4,250,000 and is set to become a unrestricted free agent after the conclusion of the 2010-11 season.
Known as a tremendous puck moving defenseman who skates well and can quarterback your power play, Kaberle’s skill-set and salary are very attractive to his suitors, which are believed to be many.
It has been widely speculated that Burke is looking for a top six forward (preferably a pass-first centre) in return for Kaberle in hopes of solidifying his forward lines and utilizing sniper Phil Kessel to the fullest.
Given Kaberle’s moderate salary and on-ice performance Burke is reluctant to move Kaberle; that is unless he is “blown away by an offer”.
With that in mind, why not look at trading Luke Schenn?
Selected by the Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (fifth overall), Schenn is Known as a physical defenseman who plays a solid stay-at home style.
Through two seasons with the Leafs Schenn has amassed seven goals and 24 assists for a total of 31 points in 149 games played.
Schenn, who stands 6’2” and weighs in at 215 pounds, is just 20 years-old, has a ton of upside and is thought to possess all the tools to make him a leader one day.
Schenn carries a $875,000 NHL salary, with another $2,100,000 available in bonuses, making his cap hit $2,975,000- a pretty big number for a player that has little offensive upside and essentially brings the same game as another one of Burke’s defensemen, Mike Komisarek (who has both a no movement clause and a modified no trade clause to go along with his hefty $4,500,000 salary cap hit).
Needless to say, with the likes of Komisarek, Dion Phaneuf (recently selected captain of the Leafs), veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin and sophomore defenseman Carl “Uzi” Gunnarsson.....(more)