The GM Meetings in Naples, Fla. are providing their usual tease of rules changes (Five-man shootouts? A change in policy on the instigator rule?) while turning up the hot stove chatter to blistering levels. Today's target: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle.
He's under contract until 2012, but he's also cheap ($4.25 million per year) and the kind of top-pairing defenseman that's in short order at the trade deadline. Scott Morrison of the CBC reported today that no less than 15 teams had inquired about Kaberle. Howard Berger of the Fan 590 said that the Flyers and Leafs are "having talks, and the Flyers are among a half-dozen teams that could use Kaberle's smarts and puck-moving skills in an effort to boost their playoff designs." Guess who else is talking? Kaberle's agent Rick Curran, who poops on the party and tells TSN's Bob McKenzie that his client plans on remaining in blue pajamas:
"Tomas Kaberle is not going anywhere," agent Rick Curran told TSN. "He signed a contract to be a Toronto Maple Leaf and while he's disappointed with the way things have turned out this season in Toronto, he has no intention of leaving. He's fully committed to the Maple Leafs. That's why he signed a long-term contract (three more seasons after this one at $4.25 million per season) and that's why he's not waiving his no-trade clause.If this were "Dumb and Dumber," we'd be at the part where Lloyd Christmas goes, "So you're saying there's a chance..."
"I don't know how much clearer I can be on this. I talked to Tomas two weeks ago and he told me he's not going to waive his no-trade. I talked to Tomas two days days ago and he said then he hasn't changed his mind. I talked to him this morning and it's still the same thing - he's not moving. He likes Toronto, he likes the Maple Leafs and he wants to be a part of the team getting better. Players have no-trade clauses for a reason and Tomas doesn't want to be traded. It's really that simple. It's just not happening."