Rumors persist that Burke has offers for other Dmen not named Kaberle coming in.
It would seem wise to retain Kaberle at his cap hit and given the lackluster offensive abilities of Toronto's truculent defense. The key is to turn a 4-10 defenceman with other parts into a "top 6" forward
Given Chicago's cap situation and the recent firing of Tallon regarding that cap situation, let me know what you think of a trade involving:
Patrick Sharp (3.9)
Jack Skille (1.25)
Lee Stempniak (2.5)
Ian White (850K)
Dale Mitchell (entry level)
and a 5th round pick
Stempniak is a very poor man's Sharp there is no doubt, but he's a UFA after this year, while Sharp has 3 years at 3.9.
White would be a great addition to Chicago's backend and can provide that great outlet pass to their skill up front. The move saves them almost $2M in cap space this year and next year gives them way more options as Stempniak can walk or sign for similar/lower dollars. Aliu and others are coming through Chicago's system and could be ready next year for full time duty. They could retain White for cheap and he is a fantastic utility player (forward/defense) and Mitchell and the 5th rounder are further depth to their system.
With over $7 million tied up on Campbell, White is a perfect complimentary piece to Chicago's back end and brings that smooth puck moving ability to Sopel's rough and tumble game. They would pair nicely as Gill and White did during his rookie season.
Skille has been a bust so far but might need a new environment to succeed (high risk/high reward). He was a 7th overall first round pick and Toronto may be able to turn him into that tenacious 20 goal man he was meant to be. It will take time. Sharp is a "top 6" 30 goal man that could slot in well with Stajan and Ponikarovsky for the Leafs.
Leafs then look like this:
Frogren as a spare.
Blackhawks looks like this:
Eager as a spare
What do you think?
This may be one of those instances in a cap world that a trade is made to just create that breathing room. Toronto has some cap spaces and this shores up needs for both teams!
I really like Chicago's chances to be a top 4 team in the West for sometime and this trade from a Leafs perspective gives them the potential offense to make the playoffs this year. Retaining Kaberle should be a priority, his value will only go up at the trade deadline should Toronto be out of a playoff race (which I doubt). The two teams above would both at least meet expectation from the perspective of their fans with these rosters and the management on both sides could rest assured in their cap management.