With no suitable deal offered for defenceman Tomas Kaberle, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke was forced to go with Plan 'B' late Monday night, meaning that the Czech native will continue to man the blue line for the blue and white this season.
For his once and future teammates, it is an arrangement that suits them just fine.
"I've been lucky enough to be defence partners with him," said Luke Schenn on Tuesday at the Maple Leafs' practice facility. "He's such a good player out there, he's smart and controls the game, he's great on the power play and is one of the top defencemen in the league."
It's a feeling echoed by many of his teammates.
"He is one of the premier defencemen in the National Hockey League," top Leafs prospect Nazem Kadri told TSN. "I think him sticking here is only going to make us a better hockey club."
With Kaberle sticking around the Leafs will enter training camp with a surplus on the backend as they will have no fewer than eight defencemen with NHL experience competing for only six spots. While a trade might still occur, Mike Komisarek believes that it is a good problem for the Leafs to have.
"Guys are going to be pushing each other and guys are going to be fighting for spots," said Komisarek. "So something good comes out of that."
While no one liked hearing daily about where the popular defenceman was likely headed, the team to a man understands that comes with the job of being a professional athlete.
"Business is business," said Komisarek. "Guys get moved and its part of what we do. Our GM is trying to put the best possible team out there and obviously we couldn't get the value that we wanted for Kabby so we're happy to have him back."