So, talking to one of my sources this weekend, and he mentioned that the Bruins have not given up on their pursuit of Tomas Kaberle.
The question is-- what would it take to bring him to Boston? As you all know, Peter Chiarelli thought he had a deal for Kaberle in exchange for Phil Kessel and Toronto's first-rounder last year, but Brian Burke nixed that one in favor of keeping the pick and drafting Nazem Kadri.
Now, the B's apparently still have their sights on Kaberle, and I'm being told it would take Boston's first-round pick to get it done. The Leafs are desperate to get themselves back into the first-round after trading what looks like a lottery pick, plus their second to Boston for Kessel. And they still owe Boston their first next year as well. For a team that has bottomed out as Toronto has, not having a choice until the early third round is a status quo that cannot hold for Burke and Co.
Now, how excited are you, as a Bruins fan, to hear that Chiarelli will give up what could be a top-10 pick for a player who will turn 33 next season and will likely command more than his current $4.25 million salary when his contract expires in 2011? Now, I get that Kaberle is an outstanding puckmover, but he's a distributor, not a triggerman, and just like Dennis Seidenberg, is not going to be around long enough to make the tradeoff of a key building asset like a top draft pick worthwhile.
If the Bruins were going to be serious contenders next season, that would be one thing, but does anyone think that Chiarelli can fill all of the holes this team has between now and then? Do you really think that one season of Kaberle is worth surrendering such a prime asset, even though the B's will get better with Toronto's pick? Now, I'm not completely opposed to dealing Boston's pick, but for Kaberle? Chiarelli can do better, and if not, he should just keep the pick and not keep giving away the future for declining returns.
OK- enough on Kaberle. Whether he comes to Boston remains to be seen, but he will probably waive that no-trade clause to allow Burke to move him somewhere for a top pick that will help Toronto rebuild. I don't think that destination should be Boston, especially with the team's cap situation as it currently exists. Let someone like New Jersey or Detroit or Washington go out and get him; Kaberle would be an OK upgrade for Boston, but his numbers aren't going to get better as he approaches his mid-30's.
Another thing I heard of interest is that Nobles winger Kevin Hayes is a strong candidate to go inside the top-30 selections. Who will it be to roll the dice on the uber-talented fledgling power forward? Well, if I were a betting man, I'd say it would be one of the last 3-4 picks, because while the Dorchester native is risky business, there is no doubting his excellent skill, size and upside. Apparently, a few teams feel he's worth the long-term investment, so pay attention to him on draft day. Even though I believe that Charlie Coyle is a better all-around player than Hayes is, Jimmy's younger brother may be the one to go off the board earlier.