Kaberle finally speaks

Tomas Kaberle was all smiles at the Leafs Legends Charity Golf Classic on Tuesday. (QMI Agency/Dave...

Tomas Kaberle was all smiles at the Leafs Legends Charity Golf Classic on Tuesday. (QMI Agency/Dave Thomas)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

Tomas Kaberle made it clear Wednesday that he's in control of his fate with the Maple Leafs and his relationship with Ron Wilson -- not his well-meaning father.

In his first comments about Frantisek Kaberle’s shots at coach Wilson, the Leafs and Tomas’s supposed dim future in Toronto, the younger Kaberle said his father was just sticking up for him, though not in the public manner he’d approve. Frantisek, a respected player, coach and father of two NHLers, popped off to a Czech hockey magazine when the Leafs didn’t trade Tomas as expected.

“My father’s opinion I can’t control...can you control your Dad?,” Kaberle asked the media at the MasterCard Centre. “I love my Dad (but) I don’t agree with everything my father says. That’s normal. And I don’t agree with everything with my coach. But when you’re losing, you get into some arguments.”

That was a reference to what happened with Wilson last year, as the Leafs missed the playoffs a fifth straight year. Wilson aimed some barbs Kaberle’s way in addition to other Leafs. The perception was that the skilled Kaberle can’t play the rough style that Wilson and general manager Brian Burke want on the new-look Leafs, which has fueled trade talk in two consecutive summers.

“I will always play my style of game, that’s why I was brought over here in my first year,” Kaberle said. “It’s always fit perfect and if it doesn’t, I will have to move on (waiving his no trade clause).”

But Kaberle echoed Wilson’s belief that a sit-down before training camp should settle the matter.

“It’s better for me and for the public also, to make it clear there is no issue,” Kaberle said.

“I’m just looking forward to the first day of the season. We have a shot (at playoffs) this year, there is a lot of change over the summer. I have a good feeling about this team. I’ll do anything for this organization. They’ve been so good to me the last (12 years).”

Wilson watched Wednesday’s informal workout, of which the newly returned Kaberle participated for 45 minutes. Teammate Mike Komisarek was anxious to have the controversy settled, too.

“We’ve got more pressing issues than that,” Komisarek said. “I’m more concerned about what we need to do to get results. We have great depth on defence and new guys we’re trying to incorporate. I want our team known for being tough to play against.

“I want the media to be talking about these than (coach-player-father) relationships. They should go on a soap opera.”


Videos

Photos