The deadline is ticking down until Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle’s no-trade clause activates Sunday at midnight. GM Brian Burke has been actively trying to work a lethargic summer hockey media into a lather in order to put more pressure on NHL GM’s to up the ante. Up until this point, it has not been successful. Cap constraints and self imposed payroll limits have narrowed down the willing Kaberle trade partners, of which the San Jose Sharks have appeared in heavy rotation.
The latest rumor by the Toronto Sun’s Bruce Garrioch details an unconfirmed Sharks offer of defenseman Derek Joslin and a first round draft pick for Tomas Kaberle:
The San Jose Sharks are looking for help. But Kaberle, 32, who carries a $4.25-million hit, wants to stay in the East. That hasn’t stopped talk of Sharks GM Doug Wilson offering prospect D Derek Joslin and a first-round pick. Bieksa and his $3.75-million hit might make more sense. Not sure what to make of whispers that San Jose is willing to trade LW Jamie McGinn or C Logan Couture for Bieksa, but the talk is out there.
There has been no mention of Jamie McGinn or Logan Couture this summer in San Jose. It should be noted that Couture’s rise within the organization has been substantial enough to influence the $1.8M one-year contract RFA Devin Setoguchi signed this offseason. Couture is the top offensive prospect in the Sharks organization. Any rumor involving #39 should be treated with a healthy amount of skepticism. McGinn is a quick skating, developing two-way forward. Given his cap hit of under $1 million, and the fact that he is versatile enough to play on the third and fourth lines, it is hard to see him being dealt either.
The retirement of captain Rob Blake has opened up a hole on the Sharks blueline for 2010-11, one that San Jose GM Doug Wilson believes he can fill with nine NHL caliber defenseman. Dan Boyle, Douglas Murray, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Niclas Wallin currently fill out the Sharks top-4. Veteran Kent Huskins, rookie power play specialist Jason Demers, Jay Leach, and prospects Derek Joslin and Mike Moore are all capable of filling a 5-6 defensive role at the NHL level.
The Sharks have upwards of $3 million in cap space according to capgeek.com, putting them in a position to add a quality defenseman to the fold. Derek Joslin, this blog’s pick to make the 2008-09 roster after a solid training camp, and Mike Moore, a hard hitting blueliner that was this blog’s pick to make the 2009-10 roster out of training camp, give the Sharks a depth of talent that will create a competition for roster spots in training camp.
“Are we looking to add another player on the back end? We are always looking to add. If there are guys out there that fit, we have room in our payroll, we have all our picks left,” San Jose Sharks EVP/GM Doug Wilson told KNBR on Wednesday. “I would venture to say we will probably add a defenseman at some point between now and the trade deadline, like we have in the past.”
With former San Jose head coach Ron Wilson at the helm in Toronto, GM Brian Burke has about as good a scouting report as possible on prospects in the Sharks system. If Kaberle is not San Jose bound by midnight Sunday, then it will be the Vancouver hockey media’s turn to ramp up interest in Kevin Bieksa.
[Update] Burke expecting best offers for Kaberle to come at last minute – TSN.
[Update2] Burke Statement On Kaberle – MapleLeafs.com.
The hockey club confirms this evening that Tomas Kaberle remains a Leaf. While a number of Clubs made offers to trade for Tomas, none of them reflected Tomas’s value to our team. I understand a period like this is stressful to the player, and we are pleased that there is a resolution, and we can all continue to prepare for the coming season.