With all the hysteria by a few Canucks fans on the Leaf Blogs these past few days, I thought I might try to inject my 7% solution into the potential trade of Kaberle to the Canucks.
First, my take on Kaberle: HOLY CRAP!!! GET HIM, GET HIM, GET HIM, GET HIM!!!!!!!!
Uh sorry, did I say that out loud? Oops. Anyway, about Kaberle: He is not just a 'puck moving defenseman', he is a premium offensive defenseman. He can play in your top pairing, pass the puck accurately, run your first power play unit etc. etc. etc. In his prime, he was at the same level as Dan Boyle, Shea Weber and Andrei Markov - just a step below Scott Niedermeyer and Nick Lidstrom.
However, his points per game have slipped over the past 2 years (from 0.78ppg to 0.65ppg to 0.54ppg last year), and he probably only has 2 or 3 really good years left. Coincidentally, his contract expires in 2 years. How convenient.
Now, many Leafs fans insist that since Burke signed Gustavsson they have no need for Schneider (I agree), and therefore the only tradable players Vancouver has (for a player like Kaberle) are Hodgson and Kessler.
But from a Vancouver perspective, Hodgson is off limits - Vancouver fans (and Canucks management) are much too emotionally invested in the idea of Hodgson. That is; the idea that for the first time in 2 decades we have a 1st round prospect with the potential to be an all star.
Surely Toronto fans can understand this feeling. They have experienced, and are experiencing the same emotional attachment with respect to Luke Schenn. So please, Leafs Fan, put your hands behind your head and back away from Mr. Hodgson.
And as for Ryan Kessler, he is much more likely to be part of any trade the Canucks make - if only because he has value in the marketplace. Still, it would be very tough for Gillis to trade either Ryan Kesler or Alex Burroughs. I don't know if fans of other teams know this, but Kesler and Burroughs have nicknames in this market: Heart and Soul.
How does Gillis justify trading away 'Heart ' or 'Soul'?
Well, he might justify it by explaining that Ryan Kesler is going to need a contract extension, and that contract extension means we could be paying a second line winger, or third line center, more than 4 million per year.
Kaberle for Kessler and ? (M. Raymond? 2nd rd pick? J. Hansen?). Well, maybe.
I think we are all forgetting about Jordan Schroeder. He was never the Canuck management's choice - he just kind of fell into their lap, so Gillis and co. are not as emotionally invested in the Mighty Mite as they are with Hodgson.
Many fans here didn't even know who this guy was. They knew he was rated higher than #22, but the vast majority of Canucks followers didn't know much about Schroeder, so I think it is safe to say the fans have not deified this guy to the extent they have with Hodgson.
Jordan Schroeder will be ready for the NHL in two years. So will Nazim Kadri. I know Leaf fans are impatient, but the potential for a Sharp/Kane type combo has to be intriguing for Mr. BB. So how about:
Kaberle for J. Schroeder, M. Raymond, and a 2nd Rd. Pick in 2011 or
Kaberle for J. Schroeder, and M. Grabner
Remember folks, if Brian Burke wanted to win now, there would be absolutely no reason to trade Kaberle. BB is trying to build a team that can compete for a playoff berth now, but can compete for a Stanley cup in 3 years.
He needs to trade Kaberle for top quality prospects (recent 1st round picks), or future 1st round picks, or a budding superstar like Phil Kessel. Dealing T. Kaberle for a couple of established (older) second line / borderline 1st line forwards will only get them back to the same place they've been for the last 30 years. Come on Leafs fan, try to see the big picture for a change - look to the future for your salvation.
If, and that is a huge IF, a deal for Kaberle is possible I think Jordan Schroeder is the centerpiece. What do you think?
P.S. Since I can't seem to post a comment, I will address a couple of your comments by edit.
Flopper99: Jordan Schroeder was Vancouver's 1st rd pick this year. At the end of the season he was the 5th ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting (Kadri was ranked 15th), and Inter'l Scouting Service (ISS) had Schroeder 14th overall (Kadri was ranked 8th).
Gusto: I certainly never compared either Schroeder, or Kadri to J. Toews - in my opinion he is on a different level. What i said was Kane and Sharp. And what I meant was that Toronto could have a pair of young, dynamic, exciting, offensive forwards who could get 130 to 150 points per year (I think Kane and Sharp manged around 120pts between them last season).
Thanks for the comments everyone!