The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t move defenseman Tomas Kaberle at the trade deadline, leading to the inevitable speculation he’ll be traded this summer during a two-month window in his contract that allows the Leafs to move him without his consent.
However, that is far from a certainty.
Following last week’s deadline, Leafs GM Brian Burke suggested he’d consider offering a contract extension to Kaberle, who has one year remaining on his current contract with a $4.25 million cap hit.
Kaberle said he was happy to hear that from Burke and was open to the possibility.
Of course, that won’t stop the speculation as the summer draws near; after all, Burke nearly shipped Kaberle to Boston at last year’s draft for Phil Kessel, so it’s possible he could move him for the right deal this time around.
Steve Simmons of Sun Media believes the Leafs have to make a decision this summer to either trade the veteran blueliner or re-sign him to a long-term contract.
Meanwhile, Bruce Garrioch believes Kaberle will be traded before the draft, claiming the defenseman submitted a list of three teams – thought to be the Flyers, Rangers and Bruins – he would have accepted a trade to before the March 3 deadline.
It must be remembered Kaberle has been rumored to be on the move for the past two years and still remains a Leaf, so nothing is certain regarding his future.
• Another player long-rumored this season to be on the trade block is Los Angeles Kings left winger Alex Frolov, but according to Kings GM Dean Lombardi he never had a deal for Frolov and wasn’t close to trading him.
It remains to be seen if Frolov will still be a King beyond this season as he’s eligible for unrestricted agency in July, coming off a multi-year deal worth a cap hit of $2.9 million per season.
• Atlanta Thrashers veteran Slava Kozlov requested a trade prior to the Olympic break, but according to GM Don Waddell there was very little interest in the 37-year-old left winger at the deadline.
That doesn’t bode well for Kozlov heading into this summer’s UFA market. He’s had reduced ice time this season and his production has declined from 76 points in 2008-09 to only 24 points in 52 games this season.
• Vancouver Canucks prospect goaltender Cory Schneider, the 20th-ranked prospect in THN’s 2010 Future Watch, was considered a trade candidate at this year’s deadline, but while GM Mike Gillis admitted he received some offers for the young goalie he didn’t get anything that convinced him to part with Schneider.
Gillis claims he has significant plans for Schneider, who becomes a restricted free agent this summer. Whether that means the netminder will be re-signed or dealt remains to be seen.
Schneider is too valuable for Gillis to deal away for just a rental player, but the Canucks GM could get a better return in the off-season. With Roberto Luongo entrenched as the Canucks starter, Schneider isn’t likely to get many opportunities to prove himself as an NHL No. 1.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays and Thursdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.