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Photo Credit: Fuzznut.net

Nothing beats a partial Habs GDT on a Toronto Maple Leafs fansite, right? To get more in line with the general sentiments of everyone here and making sure the glass is half full, or at least not half empty (one quarter empty) let’s just call this a ¼ Boston GDT. Sure, we might dislike Seguin and an certain draft pick, but for a Leafs fan desperate for playoff hockey, there’s always Kaberle to cheer for. The Hot Stove will also be looking at Vancouver’s possible exit from the playoffs in what I like to call “Chaos in Paradise”.


    This was a memorable evening for all Leaf fans. After 12 seasons and 878 games in a Leafs uniform, Tomas Kaberle returned. Many of us criticized his play in the past, many of us admired his crisp clean passes. Whatever the case may have been, I would just like to take the opportunity to once again thank Tomas for his time in Toronto. More than anything else, this night was about him. Continue for some rosy cheeks and a big bad blowout!

    (Toronto – Gus Katsaros) I tried to put together something that leads to the state of the Leafs, but it gets pretty intense and too much for a single blog so I’ve broken it down in two. Before we move forward we should acknowledge what is happening with the current club and I do that with just some observations.

    I’ve broken down what I feel are some of the more important points of the Leafs forwards and defensemen while not being entirely thorough, leaving something for future blogs. I’ll follow this up on Friday tying in the coaching, the Burke regime and vision of the team in the future.


    Day Two of on-ice participation is now in the books .. the sessions all had a purpose, as camp not only winds down, but clear decisions need to be made on who will remain with the main roster and who will be going to the Marlies or back to their original junior team.

    A breakdown of the drills and more observations from the intra squad game after the jump.

    Sunday Training Camp Day 2 practice

    Teams A and B practiced with Team A on the main ice. (Breakdown of teams is here.

    The drills weren’t very different from the previous days, they all focused on a real-game situation and the coaching staff made variations along the way.

    A quick note:

    I’ll be attending the on-ice portions of training camp on the weekend. I’ll do a blog about the day that will be a little different from the traditional coverage. If you want to know what Grabovski said, or how Kaberle felt … well, there’s other outlets for that. Here, I’m hoping to provide a different outlook of the camp that doesn’t get touched upon by traditional coverage.


    Even before the clock struck midnight, it had become apparent Tomas Kaberle would remain a Leaf headed into 2010-11. Indeed TSN ended the wait at 11.57pm, officially announcing that all trade negotiations had come to an impasse after a morbid day of Tweets, updates and rumours boiled down to the status quo. Almost three years of trade speculation seemed to be distilled into a cathartic melting pot of emotion. For many this was the trade that would define the Leafs future and after all the hyperbole, one leaked offer from San Jose; Joslin and a first round draft pick, seemed to set an ominous tone for a day that ended in nought.


    As you all know, or may not know, Tomas Kaberle will remain a Toronto Maple Leafs. Whether he is still a Maple Leaf beyond this season is another question all together, and likely a long and awfully boring road. Regardless, here is Brian Burke’s statement:

    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.


    Brian Burke stated this morning, “if these offers are all we get, he is staying put,” in regards to the Tomas Kaberle trade watch. It has put many fans on their heels as they await a trade, but it should be known that this statement could be nothing more than a trade tactic.


    The Tomas Kaberle trade watch is now in effect with only 36 hours to go until this situation concludes. The rumor mill is running rampant with some high profile names and some future fan favorites, but let's dive into who is being mentioned as possible blue and white sweater bearers.

    McKeen's Hockey Annual Yearbook

    It’s been quite the time span since my last post here. But as many of you know, I’ve been working on the McKeen’s Hockey Annual Yearbook. That is in addition to the work on the player profiles for the Maple Leafs Annual.

    So to kick things off, and to change the subject from Tomas Kaberle, here are my player predictions for the Maple Leafs this season after the jump.
    (NOTE*** Predictions appearing the McKeen’s Annual Yearbook are decided as a collective from many different sources. These values will unlikely appear as they indicated below in the publication.)


    In a move that will inevitably add to the frustratingly indecipherable trade rumblings of the last few days, Eric Belanger indicated that he has essentially signed with a team, but is unable to divulge where he will be going.  The article is French, but the English translation of the title (“Eric Belanger signs…but he won’t say where!”) says it all.  The information we can gleam from this is that Belanger can not reveal his new team because they are “working on an exchange that will affect the salary cap”.  Of course, this begs the question: are the Leafs somehow involved?


    When Brian Burke added Mike Komisarek and Francois Beauchemin to an established Leafs cast of Luke Schenn, Tomas Kaberle, Ian White and Jeff Finger it looked to all that the Toronto GM had built himself an enviable problem. A premium blueline, arguably one of the finest in the Eastern Conference, that also came with a premium price tag.

    Of course, what began an enviable problem on paper quickly devolved into an actual problem when the new additions failed to mesh into a cohesive unit with defensive and special team frailties more apparent than those of an comparatively budget offense.


    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.”
    • .


    The Toronto Star continues to shine a light on the Kaberle front. According to Brian Burke, he has “four concrete offers” on the table and seems to be rather confident he can land a first round pick. That said, the Toronto Sun suggest that of the six teams interested in Kaberle’s services, the Ducks have expressed the strongest interest.


      Though the news in Leaf Nation has been relatively quiet of late, there have been a few intriguing storylines making the rounds. Joel Champagne will re-enter the draft, Nik Kulemin and the Maple Leafs have hit a contract impasse, Tomas Kaberle is reportedly gathering interest from a number of teams, and a member of the Toronto media raised a few eyebrows with a blog post regarding the relationship between Dion Phaneuf and Ron Wilson.


        Final Deadline Trades:

        Alexei Ponikarovsky to Pittsburgh for Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula
        Martin Skoula to New Jersey for a fifth round draft selection.
        Lee Stempniak to PHX for 4th and 7th rounders.
        Joey MacDonald to ANA for a 7th rounder in 2011.

        Wrap-Up: That looks to be a wrap on Brian Burke’s trade activity for the 2009-10 season. The Stempniak deal was obviously a form of loss-cutting on a pending UFA, but it’s a bit painful to remember who we sacrificed to acquire him in November of 2008 in two albeit underachieving first rounders in Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo. The Leafs will not draft until the third round this year, and Burke did not succeed in that sense, however he moved the only piece realistically capable of fetching a second rounder for a semi-established young asset with the potential to replace Poni at an immediately cheaper price in Luca Caputi. It looks as though no takers could be found on either Wayne Primeau or Garnet Exelby, who look sure to now enter the FA market July 1.

        There seems to be details yet to unfurl surrounding the Tomas Kaberle situation this deadline, as once again Leafs fans were teased into believing a deal was pending (involving Hodgson, as it was reported, or possibly Alzner from Washington) only for what looked to be an imminent deal to be flatly denied by Brian Burke in the end. There are rumblings that Kaberle might have nixed a deal in similar fashion to the Jeff Carter situation at the ’08 deadline.

        From Garrett Bauman:


          It took me the weekend to devour and fully appreciate the Maple Leafs Annual, after receiving it late last week. So many different perspectives and writing styles between pieces don’t flatter the sheer magnitude of what’s actually been accomplished here and how much I believe Leafs fans will love the entire publication.


            Kicking off the week with another update on a whole lot of nothing around the NHL: The Leafs get ripped in ESPN’s Ultimate Team Standings, P.J. Axelsson signs with Frolunda, CBS Sports assigns offseason grades for the Northeast Division, and Kaberle bought out?

            • Update #1: Rumors of a Calgary -Toronto trade involving Anton Stralman.
            • Update #2: RDS confirms it. Stralman and Stuart to Calgary for Wayne Primeau.What the heck?


              I hope you’ve all called in sick for work, abandoned your family for the day, or are otherwise prepared to fill your normally empty schedule with the whirling excitement of rumours and deals that is the NHL Draft Day.

              Firstly, the team that tabled the “unexpected offer” for Kaberle has been revealed to be the Bruins.