Tomas Kaberle aims for NHL return

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Tomas Kaberle left the NHL with a whimper, but it sounds like the veteran defenseman isn’t ready to hang up his skates just yet. He told the National Post that he hopes to return to the NHL for a year (or maybe more) and that he might even have a tryout offer lined up.

“It’s not in Ontario,” Kaberle said Monday at the BioSteel Pro Hockey Camp at St. Michael’s College. “I’m planning to stay around here if possible, so we’ll see what’s going to happen in the next few weeks.”

At 36, Kaberle is unlikely to approach the impressive 60 or even 50-point seasons he generated during his long run with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he’s not so old that it’s unthinkable to imagine him making an NHL roster. That’s especially true if being a depth blueliner doesn’t bother the four-time All-Star.

He makes it pretty clear that a Maple Leafs reunion is unlikely, but that doesn’t mean the team doesn’t hold a special place in his heart. Kaberle told the National Post that he still watches the team and believes promising young defenseman Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly both have the potential to make an impact like he did during his best days with the Buds.

“They’re going to be the core guys soon,” Kaberle said. “They’re not going to be young kids anymore. When you’ve been playing three, four, five, six [years], everybody depends on you. That’s fun. I enjoyed those years. Hopefully they will do the same thing.”

We’ll find out soon how many – if any – years Kaberle has left.