Burke expecting best offers for Kaberle to come at last minute Staff

8/13/2010 10:29:37 AM

It's still a waiting game for Brian Burke and the Maple Leafs when it comes to the possibility of trading defenceman Tomas Kaberle before his no-trade clause kicks back in after midnight on Sunday evening.

Toronto's president and general manager appeared on the FAN 590 morning show on Friday, and was first asked if Kaberle will be a Maple Leaf on Monday morning.

"I don't know. There are a large number of teams in, and we've received a significant number of offers, but we're talking about a pretty good player here and we're not giving him away," Burke told the FAN 590.

"It's too early to say. I know it sounds crazy because the deadline is midnight on Sunday, but the simple fact is we haven't received an offer yet (worth acting on)," added Burke. "We're not going to see everybody's best cards until the last couple of days anyhow, so I'm not surprised we don't have anything that we would take yet, so we'll see what happens."

The structure of Kaberle's contract allowed his no-trade clause to be lifted between the NHL Entry Draft in June and this Sunday. Beginning Monday Burke will require Kaberle's authorization in order to deal him.

In the meantime, Burke outlined his demands for what he would like to receive in a potential trade for his veteran defenceman.

"We're looking for a forward with size and scoring ability if possible, and if not, we've been offered some what I would call "futures packages", which include a high draft pick and a quality young player, and we haven't ruled out doing one of those types of deals.

"We're trying to get better right away - that's our first goal, first focus and our priority. But we've been offered some attractive deals that would be more future-oriented as well," Burke told the FAN.

Burke also said that the uncertainty surrounding the rejection of Ilya Kovalchuk's 17-year contract has affected Toronto's Kaberle trade talks with the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings.

"I suspect that both teams involved in the Kovalchuk situation would have been more involved (in Kaberle trade talks), that's my own belief, without this distraction," Burke told the FAN. "I don't view that as fatal or particularly hindering the situation, but I think it has been impacting it for sure."