Home Leafs News Entry Draft Ye Olde Rumour Mill: Draft Day Edition

Ye Olde Rumour Mill: Draft Day Edition

294

I’ve been holding off on posting one of these, as the sheer volume of Toronto-borne speculation renders separating the plausible from the impossible a rather difficult task.

Without further ado, here we go:

  • There is no guarantee that Tomas Kaberle is traded this weekend. Sources say the chance that he could remains a member of the Maple Leafs beyond the Draft is increasing by the day.  The reason?  “Burke wants a player who can step in and play right away. He wants to win now, and is far less concerned about getting draft picks than he is about getting an impact forward.”
  • .

  • Assuming that is indeed the case, there is no need for Burke to rush a deal; he’s got the whole summer ahead of him and may wait to cash in on teams that strike out on filling their blueline needs in free agency.
  • .

  • The above quote actually explains quite a bit about the reports of no offers being good enough as of yet.  On that note, there is a growing suspicion that the only way a deal gets done this weekend is if it is one Burke feels he cannot turn down.  People will point out that he loves making a splash and the draft would be the perfect place to do so, but the general sentiment is that if the right deal isn’t offered, he is willing to wait until it is.
  • .

  • Dreger reports five teams have made offers thus far for Kaberle. Duhatschek says the number is six. My own sources, while not mentioning anything specific to any sort of offer, have noted the teams expressing the most interest in Kaberle have to date been Buffalo, Detroit, LA and NJ, and suggested Boston and Philadelphia are not far behind in that regard.  1, 2, 3 … hmm, that totals six … interesting …
  • .

  • That said, interest in Kaberle extends far beyond a handful of teams.  As many as twelve teams have definitely kicked tires (at least four of whom are in the West), with the bulk of speculation putting the number even higher.
  • .

  • Nikolai Kulemin’s contract dispute is proving to be quite the double-edged sword. The Leafs would like to re-sign him, but only if the money is right. Should the right offer come along, he could be included in a package deal — but because he is unsigned his trade value has taken a serious hit.
  • .

  • Word on the grapevine is Kulemin would at best return a second-round pick in a one-for-one scenario due to the contract issue; historically, “rights” deals have rarely generated a return close to the player’s value and Kulemin would in all likelihood be no exception. Hence the Leafs‘ preference to retain him.
  • .

  • Mikhail Grabovski could be deemed expendable should the Leafs acquire a top-six centre in another deal (e.g. in exchange for Kaberle). However, should the Leafs fail to acquire said centre, expect Grabovski to be wearing the blue-and-white for at least one more season.
  • .

  • Don’t disregard the possibility of another defender joining Toronto’s already-crowded blueline. The longer Hamhuis remains unsigned, the more the speculation will grow that the Leafs could still be in on him. Beauchemin’s name keeps popping up as a guy who could be the way out if another defender joins the fold.
  • .

  • Burke is not afraid to deal prospects if necessary to make a deal work. The names making the rounds most are Reimer, Holzer, and Stefanovich.
  • .

  • People have speculated widely on a ridiculous-sounding deal that would supposedly send three players to Edmonton for the first overall pick. From a source: “Comedic gold.”
  • .

  • Sticking with Edmonton for a moment, one slightly more-legit rumour had the Oilers inquiring about Luke Schenn. The story goes, the Leafs told the Oilers sure, Schenn’s available — if the number one pick is available, that is. No reports as to whether they received a follow-up on that one.
  • .

  • Bottom line: everyone is available – for a price. Kessel, Bozak, Phaneuf, Schenn, and Kadri are the core, and as such it would take a hefty offer to pry any of those players away. Expect to see all five suiting up for the Leafs in 2010-11.