Friday, December 5, 2008

Tomas Kaberle's trade value: Don't panic

Lots of panic in the Barilkosphere today over Tomas Kaberle's recent Bryan McCabe impression. The concern is that, much like Vesa Toskala, Kaberle is having a bad year right when the Leafs need to trade him most, killing his value in the process.


Kaberle and Toskala are in very different situations. Toskala's shaky play could drive his value down significantly. Kaberle's won't.

Here's the key different. Tomas Kaberle has a track record of years of excellence in the NHL. He's been playing at a high level for virtually all of a long career. One bad half-season won't drive his value into the floor.

Sure, his value may not be as sky-high as it was last year when his refusal to waive his NTC cost the Leafs Jeff Carter and a first round pick. But that was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, because the Flyers were desperate and Carter is a young franchise player and it was a great draft and I'm going to go punch myself in the eyeball right now.

Sorry, where was I?

Right, Kaberle. Don't panic. Come the deadline, GMs will talk themselves into overlooking his one rough season and will stay pay close to top value for him.

If anything, his recent slump may convince GMs that he represents a good value now. That's especially true if he starts to pout over his benching, leading to plenty of "maybe he needs a change of scenery" stories. GMs may jump at a Kaberle deal if they feel he'll come even a little bit cheaper, like a guy who talks himself into an expensive new TV he doesn't need because the salesguy says it's 5% off today only.

Toskala, on the other hand, is a career backup who has one solid season as a starter under his belt. If he struggles, his value really does tank.

So panic about Toskala. But not Kaberle.


  1. I tend to agree with you on this one. Kaberle will be fine both for the Leafs and whoever gets him at the deadline. Though he has looked frighteningly slow and lost out there for most of the season!

    Knowing that deal for Carter was on the table is a killer, and now any trade involving Tomas will be compared even though the circumstances will be different.

    Toskala is surprising me with his poor play. I figured he would be consistent at least. Too bad too, all he has to do is be decent that the Leafs would have a bunch more wins under their belts. Not sure of the market for Vesa anyway, he has never proven anything over the course of a season really.

    I am anxious to see who gets moved and what the return for these players is - things are only going to get worse for this team on the ice - but for once it is with a purpose!

  2. That would have been an amazing haul for Kaberle.

  3. A Jeff Carter reference! Quel surprise!

    Here's hoping Kabbs bounces back, and that you're right.

  4. This is no excuse but some guys just lose that fire and passion to play when a season is only about going through the motions. Losing Sundin and finally having the organization say they are officially rebuilding might have just put Tomas into neutral.

    I agree, his value isn't going to completely tank. He has the skills and proven history that GM's want when they are looking for a player for a run at the Cup.

    On The Fence Sports