Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle’s days with the team may be numbered – and that number may be roughly 82. That’s how many more games Kaberle will play as Leaf before he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of this upcoming season. Kaberle reportedly has no desire to return to the Leafs with a contract extension at season’s end unless a major move involving Leaf’s personnel takes place, according to Kaberle’s father.
“In my opinion, I can’t see Tomas entering a new contract with Toronto. Not if Ron Wilson continues to be employed there,” said Frantisek Kaberle Sr., Tomas’ father, in an interview conducted by Czech hockey magazine Hokej and reported on by both the Toronto Sun and Tsn.ca.
Kaberle was the subject of much speculation in the rumor mill recently because of a no-trade clause that was lifted during the summer and set back in place last weekend. It was believed that Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke was looking to trade Kaberle and his skills as a puck-moving defenseman for a top-6 forward to help the Leafs in their rebuilding process. However, no suitable offers came along which means that Kaberle will continue playing for the Leafs for the time being.
Kaberle Sr. believes that his son will not be a Maple Leaf for the entire season and will probably be moved by the trade deadline.
“I think that during the course of the year he will be traded to another club,” Karberle said. “There is only one chance for Toronto to get something back in return for Tomas now.”
For Kaberle to be moved, he would need to lift his no-trade clause, something that he may do rather quickly if the right team comes along that gives him a chance to win a Stanley Cup – especially if he has no desire to return to the Leafs in 2011-12 anyway.
Kaberle Sr. did comment that his son won’t even speculate on possible trade scenarios and is happy to be with the Leafs organization for another season.
“He is content in Toronto with both the club and the city,” Kaberle Sr. stated.
However, Tomas’ father added, “I still think though that some change would be welcomed.”