Please – give me just a small break. I was driving into work today, listening to my favourite 9-12 sports show on one of Toronto’s AM talk shows, and assumed what I was hearing was nothing other than an April fool’s Day joke. Tomas Kaberle and Ron Wilson are feuding? Tomas NOW wants out of Toronto? Surely the host was joking…
Fast forward 15 minutes – I get to work, login…where do I go? Directly to the online article by the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons. (My thoughts on this guy another day…how someone so passionate and bright when it comes to fighting for justice in the Danton/Frost debacle can be so dim-witted in covering the Leafs is beyond me. Whatever sells a paper I guess…) Here is a link to the website and article: http://www.torontosun.com/sports/columnists/steve_simmons/
So Tomas is sick of Ron picking on him is he? Ron isn’t a good ‘veterans coach’? Sorry, I just threw up a little…not at these accusations; they all very well may be true, but let’s look at the source:
“The historically quiet and almost non-combative defenceman has told old friends he “can’t stand playing for Wilson” and as much as he has loved playing for the Leafs and living in Toronto throughout his National Hockey League career, even through five straight seasons out of the playoffs, he is prepared to move on because he is unhappy with the manner in which Wilson coaches the Leafs and the lack of respect he shows for the players.
“He’s had enough,” a good friend said. “He’s at his wit’s end with the guy.”” – Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun, April 1, 2010
“Has told old friends”? “A good friend”? Judging by the number of comments of my previous Leafs Game Day post earlier this week, only Me and my Mother bothered taking a look, but you will find it interesting to note that the Atlanta Thrashers were in town.
Hmmm. That got me thinking. Old friend…good friend…Atlanta Thrashers…there was smoke coming out of my ears, my brain working overtime. Then the eureka moment! Old friend = Nik Antropv; Good friend = Pavel Kubina. And it all made sense. If you think either of those two enjoyed their time with RW and Co. I have a lovely piece of property near Miami on the market…slightly damp, decent drainage. This reeks of an agenda of former disgruntled players firing a shot at their former bench-boss and GM while they still know a player or two on the current roster.
For those of you keeping score at home, this is the same Tomas Kaberle that has refused to waive his no-trade clause the last 3 seasons, with at least one substantiated rumour during that time being a deal that was scuttled by Kaberle himself that would have seen Jeff Carter and the PHI Flyers first round pick (Luca Sbisa) come to Toronto in exchange for the puck-moving rear guard. This is the same lone holdover of the Muskoka Five who mistook the NHL and Toronto Maple Leafs organization for the set of “Band of Brothers”.
So now, after all this time, TK wants out? There was no feud less than a month ago at the NHL trade deadline? Something smells if you ask me, and it is not the cooking of a native Czech dish at the Kaberle residence.
Can you argue with anything Ron Wilson is saying in this article? Tomas Kaberle has been brutal for the last month and the team continues to win despite his poor play. Rookie defenceman Carl Gunnarson is +11, playing a ton of minutes and in all situations…
$4.25 million is a bargain price for a puck-moving d-man of Kaberle’s ilk, but in order for that to be a bargain the on-ice product has to be of a standard exceeding the pay. Tough to make an argument in favour of Kaberle the last month he is earning his cheques with the Leafs.
If the goal was to stick it to Wilson and Burk by providing a miniscule list of 3 teams at the trade deadline Tomas would waive his NTC for, mission accomplished.
There will be 29 teams kicking tires at the NHL entry draft – if I was Brian Burke, I’d courier Mr. Kaberle and his entire family parka’s as soon as this season is over – I hear Edmonton is lovely in February. Let’s see how you like -35…don’t worry, it’s a dry cold.
About the Author
Written by Mike De Petrillo
Leafs fan; former OHL LW; Live in Toronto