Tomas Kaberle's time as a Toronto Maple Leaf has finally come to an end.
After 12 seasons in blue and white, the Maple Leafs have traded the veteran defenceman to the Boston Bruins in exchange for prospect centre Joe Colborne, the Bruins' first-round pick in 2011 and a conditional second-round draft pick in 2012.
Kaberle signed off on the deal by waiving his no-trade clause.
"On behalf of our entire organization I would like to thank Tomas for all of his many outstanding contributions to the Toronto Maple Leafs on the ice, and in the community," said Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke. "He has been a model citizen and it's never easy to trade a player that has conducted himself as professionally as Tomas has for the past 13 years."
Kaberle, 32, has been a mainstay on the Leafs' blue line for the past decade and is the second-highest scoring defenceman in team history behind Borje Salming - with 83 goals and 437 assists in 878 games. Kaberle led the Leafs in assists this season with 35 and he is third in blocked shots with 100.
"He's consistent every night at what he does," said defenceman Luke Schenn, who played in a pairing alongside Kaberle since coming into the league last season. "He establishes the setup on the power play, makes that great breakout pass, logs big minutes for our team every night. There's no question that he is one of the top defencemen in the league and has been for the last 10 years or so."
Maple Leafs forward Colby Armstrong said he often let his play on the ice speak for itself.
"He's here, first guy in the morning all the time and he's ready to go," said Armstrong. "You can't say enough about him as a teammate and obviously his play on the ice ... (he's) a real good player."
While the Leafs haven't made the playoffs since the 2003-04 season, Kaberle has played in 77 career post-season games. He also represented the Maple Leafs at four NHL All-Star Games and he participated in the past three Winter Olympic Games for the Czech Republic.
The Bruins will be on the hook for the remainder of Kaberle's $4.25 million contract. He will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
Colborne, 21, was Boston's first-round selection (16th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and is currently playing in his first professional season. He is third in goals (12) for the AHL's Providence Bruins this season and is tied for third in team scoring with 26 points. The Calgary native spent two years at the University of Denver and was named to the All-WCHA Rookie Team in 2008-09.
"We are happy to add another first-round draft pick and a solid prospect in Joe Colborne," Burke added. "He brings a unique combination of skill, vision and size."
Colborne will report directly to the Toronto Marlies, the Leafs' AHL affiliate.
Toronto has now gained a pair of first-round draft picks in the last week. Toronto received Philadelphia's first-rounder in the Kris Versteeg deal, and now own Boston's pick for Kaberle. Burke said at a press conference on Friday that he intends to try to explore deals that might package the two first-round selections together in order to try to move up to a higher pick.