NOTE: This has been cross posted on my new sports blog Section LL19. Check it out by clicking here.
It seems like it’s been in the making for two seasons but today the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins finally consummated the deal that brings Tomas Kaberle to Beantown.
THE DETAILS: Kaberle goes to Boston for Providence Bruins (AHL) forward Joe Colborne, the Bruins first-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and a conditional second-round draft pick.
WHO WON: This is one of those trades we need to sit back on and judge three years from now. Will Kaberle re-sign with the Bruins at the end of the season? Will Colborne become an impact player for the Leafs? Most importantly, what will happen with those draft picks?
QUICK ANALYSIS: The Bruins get the quarterback they need for their power play without sacrificing an every day player but they’re also on the hook for the remainder of Kaberle’s salary. Do the Bruins have the cap space to absorb that contract? Or is there another move in the works to create some breathing room?
Kaberle can play offense but he does have shortcomings. He doesn’t throw his weight around. More often than not he’s disinterested in playing defense. He doesn’t shoot enough. Bruins fans love hard-hitting and hard-working players, which is something I found lacking in Kaberle in recent seasons.
This is a risky move for the Bruins. Not only is Kaberle defensively-challenged but he’s still an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. Will he stay in Boston? Or will he go elsewhere?
THE X FACTOR: Brian Burke has done a wonderful job of acquiring assets during the past week. Not only does he have the Bruins 2011 first round pick, but he also has the Flyers 2011 first and third round picks from the Kris Versteeg deal. Will he bundle those picks to acquire a young top-six forward before the trade deadline? To move up in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft? Use as compensation if he signs Brad Richards as a free agent on July 1st? Stay tuned.