Two quotes from Brian Burke:
"I will not ask Tomas Kaberle to waive his no-trade. I think a big part of being successful is your players knowing that they're treated fairly. Organizational fairness to me is a huge component of what we do... I said we're not going to ask him to waive it. I won't, with any player... That to me goes well beyond as far as our ability to attract free agents, to get people to come here, that notion that players know they'll be treated fairly rises above any deal or offer I might get on one player." - January 14, 2010
"I think (no trade clauses are) still a big problem. We have one, and that's for J.S. Giguere and that's because his son has medical problems and needs to be near UCLA medical school. As well as he's played for us and what a great guy he was, had it been for any other reason, I still wouldn't have done it. I think they're coach killers and they put the player in a bad spot more often than they help him. Once a team decides they don't want you and you say, 'I've got a no-trade,' then I say, 'fine, sit up here near me.' To me, I don't think they accomplish what they're intended to accomplish. So we have very few of them and we intend to keep it that way." - January 18, 2008OK, so explain this to me like I'm a hockeybuzz subscriber...
If Brian Burke doesn't give out no-trade clauses (except in the case of extraordinary personal circumstances, like Giguere's son), then why would it matter whether potential free agents thought he would honor one?
This is kind of a big deal. Trading Tomas Kaberle is the Leafs last chance to do anything resembling an honest rebuild. Is Burke really going to pass up that opportunity just to reassure potential free agents that he's willing to honor a clause that he himself won't offer them?
Am I missing something? The ship is sinking. It can't still be all about posturing and personal PR, can it?
Update: Some really good discussion in the comments, including some possible explanations for Burke's apparent contradiction. I'm not completely sold yet, but at least I've got something to think about. Keep 'em coming.