PHILADELPHIA – Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke confirmed there has been plenty of interest in defenseman Tomas Kaberle, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be moved. In fact, Burke said there’s a possibility Kaberle will be offered a contract extension on his deal that ends after next season.
There is a window of July 1 to Aug. 15 when Kaberle can be traded without his approval and Burke said he’s listening to offers. Burke said any trade for Kaberle will have to bring in return a scoring winger, preferably with size, and secondary toughness.
“There is significant interest in Tomas Kaberle,” said Burke, who was attending the GM Meetings in Chicago Wednesday, “but it goes back to the fact that we like him. He’s a good player and he wants to stay in Toronto, he’s a good person and he’s at a good wage.”
Burke said he is not intent on using a Kaberle trade, if it happens, to replace the first-round pick he dealt to the Boston Bruins for Phil Kessel.
“There seems to be this misconception that I’m dying to get a first-round pick,” Burke said. “We paid the price tag for Phil Kessel and we’d do it again tomorrow. We didn’t envision the pick would be where it is. The reason I would want to get a first-round pick is not to get the media off my back, it’s so my scouts don’t sit there with their thumbs up their butts for three hours.”