by Matt Iaboni --mapleleafs.com
The Tomas Kaberle trade window has closed with the 32-year-old returning to the Maple Leafs for his 12th NHL season.
The most recent deadline to trade Kaberle was from the NHL draft in June to Midnight on August 15th. The months of speculation have finally come to a close. After all the rumours of possible trades, Leafs general manager Brian Burke decided to hold on to the puck moving defenceman.
Burke gave an exclusive statement to mapleleafs.com after the deadline.
“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.”
While many thought that a trade was inevitable, the Leafs weren’t going to give away the current longest serving Maple Leaf. The deals that were proposed didn’t entice Burke enough to make the trade as they now will head into training camp with eight NHL defencemen on the roster on their roster.
A deal is still possible, with Kaberle’s OK of course but the odds of that happening are pretty close to zero. Kaberle has gone through three years of rumours and speculation but that doesn’t seem to have made him bitter or want to leave Toronto.
The Leafs now boast a blueline of Kaberle, Dion Phaneuf
, Francois Beauchemin, Mike Komisarek
, Luke Schenn
, Carl Gunnarsson
, Jeff Finger
and Brett Lebda.
Burke will continue to try and add a top six forward to the lineup and moving out one of the other defencemen might be the way for that to happen.
That remains to be seen. For now, the Leafs will have the smooth skating Kaberle in training camp in September and Burke believes there is nothing wrong with that.