March 4, 2010
Kaberle open to a new deal...... But he's also willing to leave, that's not too confusing
By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency
BOSTON — In a perfect world, Tomas Kaberle would want to remain a Maple Leaf for life.
And yes, he admits he was “happy to hear” general manager Brian Burke state Wednesday that the team was open to discussing a contract extension for the veteran defenceman.
At the same time, Kaberle no longer appears so stubbornly steadfast to stay in Toronto if the right opportunity comes along elsewhere.
That was evident Wednesday when Kaberle’s handlers told Burke there were three destinations, known to be in the Eastern Conference, that he would be open to going to.
Burke, in the end, could not complete a deal by Wednesday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. But a swap might very well happen over the summer, when the no-trade clause in Kaberle’s contract becomes moot from the June draft through Aug. 15.
“Brian was always fair to me,” Kaberle said. “He said if he gets the right deal to make this team better, he would probably do it. On the other hand, I was probably going to (waive the no-trade) too for some of the teams. The story stays the same.
“I’m glad it didn’t happen and I’m happy to be here.”
Asked if he wanted to be a Leaf for life, Kaberle pretty much offered a solid “maybe.”
“It would be nice (but) a lot of stuff can happen in the next little while,” he said. “I don’t really want to talk about it.
“I always look at the guys like Steve Yzerman and those guys who only played for one team,” he added. “Obviously, these days, it’s really tough to stay with one team your whole career.
“Always even back home (in the Czech Republic) I was always one of those guys who really didn’t want to move. I wanted to stick with the team you sign for and hope for the best.
“A long time ago I found that Toronto is like my second home and it would be nice if I could extend (my contract). But we’re still a long way apart and you never know what will happen in the summer time.”
Conclusion: While Kaberle would like to stay a Leaf, he has left the door open to leave. There can be no denying that.
Kaberle, 32, has one year left on his deal that will pay him a salary of $4.25 million US in 2010-11.