According to Howard Berger and Eklund, Kaberle is indeed on the block and the Canucks are sniffing around. A peek at some of the comments after Eklund’s blog presented some pretty far-fetched, ambitious –and ultimately delusional—propositions for the Czech’s services. Kaberle would no doubt improve the surprisingly fragile and porous Canucks D, but he is not worth a Hodgson, a Kesler or even a Burrows.
Let’s face the facts:
The Canucks do need some help on the back end, but there are plenty of options available. For strictly offense and the PP, Bergeron is still kicking and it sure would be nice to plug him in on the point and let him unleash bombs on Backstrom and Khabibulin, much like he has done to us in the past. The guy finds a way to score crucial goals and his point totals cannot be ignored.
Zubov would be a serviceable fit if not a gamble, and may be available for cheap. Derek Morris is around, Dmitri Kalinin can move the puck, Schneider has proven to be relatively ageless; and all these guys could probably be had without breaking the bank, maybe on a one year deal giving us that much needed flexibility for the impending cap-doom of 2010-2011. If Edler or Bieksa take another step, there is less of a need to really go out and pursue another high-end, middle echelon D-man (which, as Berger states, is all that Kaberle is)
With that being said, Kaberle would look good. But who is to go? If the market is Kessel (the 36 goal scorer), we are out of the stakes, done and done. We simply do not have anyone comparable to him, and the one person remotely close, Kesler, is pretty much untouchable. If it’s Kessel (the defensively weak, asking-for-too-much RFA), we may have something to provide Burkie. Granted, not of his sniper-pedigree or potential upside, but still there are some good, young, serviceable players with potential in the Canuck ranks.
Jannik Hansen is going to be a good 20- 20 guy, two or three years down the road, and Mason Raymond has some untapped potential. And I believe both are former Nonis draft picks. Either, plus a 2nd rounder next year, is closer to what the Canucks would be willing to give to obtain Kaberle. Ok, ok, I would concede even both of them for Kaberle, but that would be really pushing a limit, anything more would be drastically overpaying.
The other chips are on the farm, and they aren’t much better. Corey Schneider, sure, trade him along too, but it is wishful thinking that he can fetch a hefty price, let alone be more than a filler in a Kaberle deal, as there are plenty of goalies with his successes (Labarbera, Sabourin) in the league and no better than back-ups, and there are better goalies (exhibit A, Josh Harding) to be had. Grabner is no different than Raymond or Hansen, and it is still seriously doubtful whether or not he can or will do anything in the bigs.
Anyways, I ask you Toronto fans, put down the spiked Kool-Aid and tell me who you would want (and really think you could get from the Nucks), and all you long-suffering Vancouverites, who would you be willing to part with for Kaberle?