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Burke's Kaberle Conundrum

As the countdown to the trade deadline kicks into motion, one thing which seems to have been taken for granted thus far, doesn't seem such a sure thing any more.

That is, the notion that Kaberle would be packing his bags for prospects and picks come the March 4th deadline. Broken hand and all, in likelihood Kaberle will be full in play at this year's trade deadline.

Yes, he almost got moved prior to the deadline last season, but that was on Cliff Fletcher's watch, a man given permission to blow the team up. Burke, it seems, might be planning on using a scalpel to repair this team, not a jackhammer.

Sure, it's a hell of a fun time to see what kind of return our top players might yield on the deadline, but then there's the reality that Burke might actually like some of those players staying put for the near future.

After all, Kaberle is a top-end offensive defenseman with a reasonable contract. He's a player that teams such as Ottawa and Tampa Bay wish they had. Both clubs actively sought to get a top end defenseman this summer, and they failed.

What do those two teams also have in common? They were picked to make the playoffs. Both will not see the postseason this year.

Burke himself stated that the problem with moving Kaberle is the truth that he would have to spend all offseason looking for a replacement. Maybe that's a challenge he just doesn't feel up to.

The fact is that Burke is only going to move Kaberle if the offer knocks him off his feet.

Last year the team was ready to trade him away for Jeff Carter and a first-rounder, but Kaberle exercized his no-trade clause and the motion was nixed. Now it seems the drag of losing has eroded Kaberle's reluctance to consider a trade.

If an offer similar to that of last season comes along, then Burke might just move on it. And come on, people, Kaberle isn't old.