Brian Burke and Tomas Kaberle may be relieved now, but rumors will return soon enough

Thumbnail image for tomaskaberle3.jpgLast night, I emphasized the fact that the Tomas Kaberle saga is far from over. It seems that both Brian Burke and Kaberle’s agent Rick Curran threw the word “relief” around when describing the now-passed window in which the defenseman’s no-trade clause was lifted, but I would add “temporary” to relief in this case.

Still, it’s obvious that Canada’s version of Hollywood stars are hockey players (with the occasional exception being Michael J. Fox, Mike Myers, Celine Dion and Nickelback). By that comparison, the Toronto media* makes up most of the paparazzi.

* – No, that doesn’t mean ALL Toronto media by ANY means. I hope that my use of all caps makes my message as obvious as possible there.

Thumbnail image for brianburke.jpgSo when you read quotes from Curran and Burke, it’s a bit difficult to tell if you should read between the lines. Is it lip service when Burke says he’s glad to keep Kaberle or could it just be that the Toronto media made the chances of a trade overblown? Either way, Curran says that Kaberle just hopes that things settles down, according to the Toronto Star.

“He’s just trying to get everything back to normal and makes plans to come back to Toronto,” said his agent Rick Curran after speaking with Kaberle this morning.

“He woke up in the morning and he was relieved to know he wasn’t going somewhere he didn’t know he’d be going to.”

“Now,” continued Curran. “I’m just quite hopeful that everything settles down. Let’s just let everything settle down.”

Chances are, things will only settle down for a brief moment. With one year left on his contract, Kaberle will be a natural target for two very different trains of thought: one will focus on the possibility of an extension with the Leafs while the other will revolve around a trade. The latter situation will boil to an Emma Stone level once the trading deadline approaches.

So, yes, Kaberle and Burke (and Curran) can take a brief reprieve from the rumor mongering. Maybe even for the rest of the summer. But like “Saw” sequels, the Kaberle rumors won’t ever go away and – let’s face it – they’ll pretty much be the same old thing over and over again.

Without the silly masks and gore, I hope.

Scroll Down For:

    ‘It looks like a disaster’ — Senators could be facing more injury problems

    BOSTON, MA - MAY 27:  Head coach Guy Boucher of the Tampa Bay Lightning speaks to the media after their 0 to 1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 27, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Getty
    3 Comments

    Not only did the Ottawa Senators lose on Sunday, but three different forwards left the game because of injury.

    And that was after they had already lost forward Bobby Ryan indefinitely because of a hand injury. In a 3-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, the Senators had Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone and Tommy Wingels leave with injuries.

    Hoffman suffered a lower-body injury in the first period, while Stone was caught with a hit to the head from defenseman Jacob Trouba. That infraction might result in Trouba getting further supplementary discipline from the NHL.

    “Tough day with the loss of Bobby and then we lost another bunch of guys. At some point I felt, there was nobody on the bench,” said Senators coach Guy Boucher, who appeared furious with the officials’ decision to give Trouba only a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head.

    “I can give you an update – it doesn’t look good. We have to wait until tomorrow to be clear and precise about all these guys.

    “Right now, we could be losing quite a few guys … It looks like a disaster. We’ll see tomorrow and maybe the disaster is not as bad as we think but you’ve got to be ready for anything.”

    What especially hurts for the Senators is that Hoffman, Stone and Ryan are three very capable offensive players, and if all three are out long-term, that’s a good chunk of scoring suddenly gone from their lineup. Stone leads the team with 22 goals, while Hoffman is tied for second in that category with Kyle Turris at 19 goals.

    The Senators had a chance to take over top spot in the Atlantic Division. With a win, Ottawa would’ve tied Montreal with 70 points, but taken first in the division because of fewer games played.

    Blackhawks snap Sabres winning streak

    1 Comment

    The Eastern Conference playoff race is tightening up, especially when it comes to the wild card.

    The Buffalo Sabres, thanks to a three-game winning streak and six wins in their last 10 games prior to Sunday, have suddenly jumped right into the thick of that race. But with a chance to win four in a row and tie, at least temporarily, the Bruins at 64 points, the Sabres ran into the Chicago Blackhawks.

    And that proved problematic.

    After Evander Kane scored the equalizer with 5.6 seconds left in the first period, Chicago took over through the second half of the game, scoring four unanswered goals for a 5-1 victory to move within seven points of the Minnesota Wild in the Central Division.

    Patrick Kane put a stamp on this one. Given an absurd amount of time in front, Kane was able to put on a stickhandling clinic before beating Robin Lehner on the backhand.

    It further hurt Buffalo’s cause that it was unable to capitalize on a lengthy five-on-three in the first period.

    “I thought our opportunity was that 5-on-3, to get not just one goal, maybe two. We gave them too much,” said coach Dan Bylsma, per the Sabres.

    The Sabres now enter their bye week. They play the last-place Colorado Avalanche next Saturday. The time off might provide a rest in the middle of a grinding season, but teams have struggled immediately out of the break and the Sabres can ill afford a set back in the playoff race.

    Video: On Hockey Day in America, Auston Matthews did this . . .

    TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 11:  Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Air Canada Centre on November 11, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Flyers 6-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Getty
    Leave a comment

    Born in Scottsdale, AZ., Auston Matthews has taken the NHL by storm in his rookie season as an elite talent headlining an impressive freshman class.

    Taken first overall last June, Matthews made history with four goals in his debut, surely a dizzying experience for Maple Leafs fans accustomed to heartbreak and frustration. And he really hasn’t slowed down since.

    On Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes — and on Hockey Day in America — the 19-year-old Matthews once again put on a show, scoring his 28th goal of the season. That gave Toronto a two-goal lead.

    As he’s often done in his brief time in the NHL, this goal was of the spectacular variety, as he broke in off the left wing and, as he was getting hauled down to the ice, slid the puck five-hole on Cam Ward.

    Related: Auston Matthews is having a rookie season for the ages

    Video: After a slow start, Evander Kane is on a roll for the Sabres

    Leave a comment

    For about a month now, Evander Kane has enjoyed a particularly productive stretch for the Buffalo Sabres.

    Kane scored with 5.6 seconds remaining in the first period of Sunday’s game versus the Chicago Blackhawks, converting on a nifty pass from Jack Eichel and going top shelf on Scott Darling.

    He now has goals in three straight games, and 15 points in 14 games as the Sabres have fought their way back into the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.

    Of course, this latest run comes just before the trade deadline, and Kane’s name has consistently been in speculation about a possible move — in addition to off-ice issues. While GM Tim Murray has said earlier this month that he’s not actively shopping Kane, he also didn’t absolutely rule out trading the 25-year-old left winger, now into his second season in Buffalo.

    (Murray: “Is there a crazy deal that somebody could throw at me that would force me to do it? I guess there is.”)

    Most impressive about Kane’s numbers — remember he missed time earlier this season with a rib injury and then had a slow start, which drew the ire of the coach — is that he’s done the vast majority of his scoring, 20 of 21 goals, at five-on-five.