Tomas Kaberle Traded to Boston; Bruins Trade Blake Wheeler to Atlanta
As recently as a week ago the Maple Leafs were without a first-round pick in this year's draft, having sent their pick to Boston two years ago in the Phil Kessel trade. And now, after a series moves over the past couple of days, general manager Brian Burke has given his team two first-rounders thanks to this deal and the trade that sent Kris Versteeg to the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Leafs have been active in recent weeks trading Francois Beauchemin, Versteeg and Kaberle, netting them a return of Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner, Colborne and a number of draft picks.
Kaberle will become a free agent on July 1 if he and the Bruins don't work out a new contract extension, while he will cost Boston just a little over $1.1 million against the cap for the remainder of the season. To make room for Kaberle under the salary cap, Boston is sending forward Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik. General manager Peter Chiarelli has given his team quite a makeover in the past week thanks to Friday's two deals as well as the move earlier this week that netted them Chris Kelly from the Ottawa Senators.
In 59 games with the Thrashers Peverley scored 14 goals to go with 20 assists, while Wheeler had 11 goals and 16 assists for the Bruins. The key for Boston, however, is the additional cap space it saved to allow it to acquire Kaberle.
So far this season the puck-moving Kaberle has three goals and 35 assists in 58 games. His addition adds to a Boston team that's already one of the toughest teams in the NHL to score against, surrendering just 2.35 goals per game, fourth best in the NHL.