Over that past few days I have heard over and over that Burke will begin to entertain offers for Kaberle once the Kovalchuk situation gets ironed out. To a certain degree I agree with this thinking, because I do believe that if the Kings do not get Kovalchuk (which I do not believe they will), then I feel that Kaberle will be a King and I truly believe Wayne Simmons will be one of the players come back.
Lets say for arguments sake, that Kovalchuk drags on a longer that thought, another option I continue to hear is the Anton Stralman arbitration hearing. Which could be tied to Kaberle. The thinking here is that Columbus may walk away from the contract if Anton wins the hearing, which he is seeking 3 million dollars. If Columbus does in fact lose this hearing WHY would they want to walk away from a 3 million dollar contract for a player who will turn 24 in a few days and is basically the same type of player the Kaberle?
If you look at the statistics over the season, Kaberle had 7 goals and 42 assists, which is a solid season for the Leaf defenseman. Stralman on the other hand scored 6 goals and 28 assists for 34 points. Which on the surface would seem like a drastic margin of 15 points. But lets face it, if Columbus walks away from Stralman and trades for Kaberle, it will be primarily be for the power play. This is where the stats become eerily similar. Stralman produced those 34 points playing 2 minutes per game less than Kaberle (Kaberle 22:21 TOI/G, Stralman 20:29 TOI/G) which if Stralman played the same minutes would have actually had more points than Kaberle.
Lets get to the heart of this potential situation. That is power play time. When we look at the extra time, Kaberle played 4:29 of PP time per game and registered 25 power play points. Stralman, who again played almost a minute less 3:35 PP time per game, registered just 3 points less. By diving deeper into the stats (as I would like to think the Blue Jackets have) it would make much more financial sense as well as production sense to sign the 24 year old Swede and allow him to run the point on the PP.
Follow me starting Aug 1 when I begin to preview each individual NHL team from a Fantasy Look for the upcoming season. We will start from the bottom #30 and work our way to #1