Sleepy Kaberle glad for brother

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

Would Frantisek Kaberle consider trading his champagne-drenched Carolina Hurricanes jersey for Maple Leafs blue-and-white?

It's a scenario Tomas Kaberle, his younger brother, would welcome with open arms.

Fresh off a memorable Stanley Cup win with the Carolina Hurricanes, Frantisek Kaberle, 32, is slated to become a free agent at the end of the month.

Frantisek, who earned $1.292 million US in 2005-06, showed his worth in the final, scoring the eventual winning goal in the Hurricanes' Cup-clinching 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 on Monday.

Given that triumphant outcome, Tomas, 28, might have difficulty wooing his brother off Tobacco Road and on to the Leafs' blue line.

"I would love to see it somehow," Tomas Kaberle said yesterday from the Czech Republic. "Obviously it would be nice.

"I saw the two Niedermayers (Scott and Rob) playing in Anaheim together this season and wondered what it would be like to have the opportunity to play with your brother. I played a bit with him in Kladno during the lockout and at the world championship, but that's it.

"But it could be hard. He's probably very happy in Carolina and I can see why."

The fatigue was evident in Tomas Kaberle's voice, and with good reason.

The Leafs defenceman stayed up until 6 a.m. local time yesterday watching the live broadcast of Game 7. He spoke with Frantisek about an hour after the Cup was awarded.

"I didn't sleep all night," Tomas said. "Our family is so excited.(Frantisek) said it was an unbelieveable feeling."

In a strange twist of fate, Tomas left a message for Frantisek on Monday afternoon telling his brother that the Cup would be his if he shot the puck more.

Maybe Tomas, who is notorious for passing up shots, should heed his own advice.

Maybe that might help the Leafs overcome their four-decade Stanley Cup drought.

"It's awesome for (Frantisek)," Tomas said. "Now we need to get a Cup in Toronto. It hasn't happened in 40 years."

Meanwhile, recently appointed Leafs coach Paul Maurice, who coached the Hurricanes from 1996 to 2003, called Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford yesterday morning to offer his heart-felt congratulations.

"When the game was over and I watched those guys hoisting the Cup, I felt so good for so many close friends there," Maurice said.


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