The Columbus Blue Jackets bowed out a little early from the Tomas Kaberle sweepstakes that never actually took place Sunday night, but the Columbus Post-Dispatch reports that the team did at least kick the tires on a trade.
The Blue Jackets offered no players from their NHL roster in trade talks with Toronto for Tomas Kaberle, the Dispatch has learned. This is hardly surprising given that Kaberle had only one season remaining on his deal. (Some of the projected proposals — i.e. Jake Voracek — were entertaining.) It’s believed the Jackets’ offer was centered around draft picks and prospects. While Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke said he was looking for a top-6 forward — hey, there’s nothing wrong with putting that out in the media, right? — it’s thought he was amenable to draft picks or prospects or a combination of both.
Clearly, Burke did not get what he wanted from the Jackets or anyone else.
It seems like Brian Burke really boxed himself into a win-now corner, which is a problem considering the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs lack much in the way of world-beating talent. While it’s too easy to say “the Leafs would have had Tyler Seguin if they didn’t trade for Phil Kessel,” it’s no doubt that the NHL has its fair share of teams who made quick reboots thanks to timely draft picks.
Would the Leafs have been better off trading Kaberle for prospects or picks? Maybe. What’s somewhat clear that the Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets or other teams really could have used the smooth skating defenseman if the price was right.
Of course, the price wasn’t.