MONTREAL -- Tomas Kaberle has no desire to leave Toronto, but the Maple Leafs defencemen said today he wouldn't stand in the way of a trade if management was forceful in its request.
Asked if he would wave his no-trade contract should Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke tell him he is no longer part of the team's future, Kaberle for the first time opened the door for a potential trade.
"Obviously when the GM is going to tell you he doesn't want you here any more, you don't want to play for a team if someone doesn't want you any more," Kaberle said at the Bell Centre prior to tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens. "That's a different story."
Kaberle, who today was named to the Eastern Conference team in this year's all-star game, said he has not been approached by Burke with a request for a trade.
"It's pretty much with Brian if he's going to talk to me or not," Kaberle said. "I haven"t talked to the GM and my agent didn"t talk to him. Let's leave it at that for now.
"My thing never changed. I signed here because I love to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That never changed. Let's leave it at that."
Kaberle is widely considered to be one of Burke's best assets as he goes about rebuilding the team. Though he has had some defensive lapses, Kaberle has scored two goals and 23 assists in 40 games. Also attractive in terms of his trade value is that he has two more years remaining on a contract that will pay him $4.25 million per.
And though he is nowhere near asking for a trade or declaring that he would waive his no-trade contract, this is the 30-year-old Czech's strongest suggestion that he wouldn't stand in the way of a trade should he be asked.
As for the All-Star game, Kaberle will be making his second consecutive appearance and is looking forward to soaking up the experience.
"It's an honour to represent the team, it's going to be lots of fun," Kaberle said. "Sure it's nice to have a rest (at the All-Star break), but it's good hocky and lots of fun. It's good to be in the dressing room around the best guys in the world."
Meanwhile, Leafs coach Ron Wilson gave his team the morning off, essentially cancelling the game-day skate. There was one surprise guest, however, newly acquired forward Brad May.
The rugged veteran, who was acquired from Anaheim on Wednesday, skated despite taking a red-eye flight from California to join his new teammates. May, who is scheduled to make his Leafs debut, will wear No. 10.