Eklund has suggested that a deal trading Kaberle to Vancouver is almost complete. I like this move for the Canucks but can only wonder: what are the Leafs actually getting out of this? Assuming that the Leafs are in the market for a young top-six forward, it confuses me when I don't actually see any such players on the Vancouver roster not named Cody Hodgson.
Apologies to Mason Raymond, but he just hasn't impressed me at the NHL level. I know this kid has talent and one day could be a player to be coveted but, frankly, the Leafs are looking for something more established and 20 goals in 120 games isn't going to cut it here.
Much of the same argument could be applied to Michael Grabner. For anyone not keeping count, Grabner's been hiding out in Manitoba for the last couple seasons (sshh) and quietly putting together a couple very solid years. The kid oozes skill, but he is untested and counting on him as a sure thing could lead to tears in the GTA.
I suppose Ryan Kesler could be considered under this criteria. He's only 24, plays multiple positions and possesses a very sound 2-way game. Throw in a manageable contract and that he's coming off a near 60pt season and it seems like it could be a deal component. But I somewhat doubt Vancouver's willingness to part with what seems to be a core member going forward. I'm also not sold on Kesler's offensive ceiling being much higher than 60 pts.
After these guys who does Vancouver have to entice Toronto to make a deal? Shane Bernier? Jannik Hansen? Kyle Wellwood? (just kidding)
So what gives Leafs and 'Nucks fans? Are you guys willing to part with young Cody for some extra puckmoving zip for your powerplay? Am I underrating guys like Michael Grabner and Mason Raymond? Or is this some sort of crazy Burke-ian ploy to score more defencemen?