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UPDATED: Kaberle deal Bruin?

Thursday, 02.17.2011 / 11:46 AM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / Road to Trade Deadline Day

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Road to Trade Deadline Day
UPDATED: Kaberle deal Bruin?
It seems like Tomas Kaberle goes with trade-deadline rumors like peanut butter goes with jelly, but could this be the time a move actually happens? TSN's Darren Dreger is reporting today that barring "a complete meltdown," the talented defenseman will move from Toronto to Boston prior to the Feb. 28 trade deadline.

There's no report on what the return to the Leafs might be, but according to Dreger, the Bruins are not requiring Kaberle -- who can become unrestricted free agent on July 1 -- sign a new contract to consummate the deal.

At 32 years old, Kaberle is having one of his typically strong seasons, with 38 points in 58 games. One place the Bruins are lacking is offense from the back end, as Zdeno Chara is the only Boston defenseman with as many as 25 points.

Dreger is reporting it's doubtful the deal happens today, and that the Bruins might have to make another move to settle any salary-cap issues. However, Kaberle would have to waive his no-trade clause for the deal to go through, something he hasn't been amenable to doing in the past.

Will he do it this time? We'll find out for sure some time in the next 11 days.

UPDATE: Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com confirms Dreger's report that Boston is close to adding Kaberle, and also reports defenseman Mark Stuart could be on his way to Chicago to open up some salary cap space. Haggerty said the package for Kaberle is believed to be young forward Blake Wheeler and a draft pick, while Stuart would only bring a draft pick (and more importantly cap space) in return.

According to capgeek.com the Bruins have enough to acquire a player who carries a cap hit of just more than $2.5 million. Kaberle's deal has a cap hit of $4.25 million, but moving out Wheeler and Stuart would free up $3.875 million of acqusition space -- enough wiggle room to add Kaberle and still have a little space left.

Wheeler was the No. 5 pick in the 2004 draft by Phoenix, but didn't sign with the Coyotes after leaving the University of Minnesota and instead inked a deal with Boston as a free agent. He had 21 goals as a rookie, but only 18 last season and 10 in 57 games in 2010-11.
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