Tomas Kaberle Traded To Boston Bruins For Prospect Joe Colborne, Picks

Tomas Kaberle has finally been traded. The defenseman is heading to the Boston Bruins in exchange for prospect Joe Colborne and two draft picks.

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In Wake Of Tomas Kaberle Trade, Leafs Fans Feel 'Empty'

Tomas Kaberle pulled on his Boston Bruins jersey for the first time on Friday night. It was the first time in his NHL career that he didn't sport the uniform of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and despite years of pleading from many Leafs fans to trade the defenseman, it's admittedly a bit weird now that he's gone.

SB Nation's Pension Plan Puppets explains:

As for Tomas Kaberle, I cannot do justice to the man. I was part of the contingent of fans that have spent the past two plus seasons agitating for him to be traded, disparaging his will to win because he wouldn't leave, and cursing Brian Burke for not using the two summer periods to move him for something. Well, we got our wish and I don't know about others but I feel pretty empty right now. The Leafs lost their last link to the never quite strong enough pre-lockout teams that came so close to breaking through to the final. The franchise has also lost the last active player to play at Maple Leaf Gardens. He was also the 11th on the Maple Leafs' all-time points list with 520 points, eighth in games played with 878, fifth in assists (437) and second in regular season overtime goals (7). Among the pantheon of Leafs defencemen he stands astride as a colossus beside all-time greats Tim Horton and Borje Salming. 

While Kaberle's gone, it's probably the right move for the Leafs. As PPP points out, the two sides were seemingly prepared to part following this season anyway, so for Brian Burke to get that something for him is the best situation in Toronto.

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Tomas Kaberle Traded To Boston Bruins For Prospect Joe Colborne, Picks

Finally, after years of trade deadline speculation and almost-deals that never went through, Tomas Kaberle is leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs.

On Friday, Brian Burke sent the 12-year Leafs veteran defenseman to the Boston Bruins in exchange for prospect Joe Colborne, Boston's first round pick this June and a conditional second round pick. The deal was reported by several different sources. According to TSN, the conditional pick is based on if Kaberle re-signs in Boston or if the B's win the Stanley Cup. 

The deal was made possible thanks to a separate trade between Boston and the Atlanta Thrashers. Boston sent Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart to Atlanta in exchange for Rich Peverley and young defenseman Boris Valabik.

Peter Chiarelli and the Bruins now have the defenseman they need to become a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference. He immediately improves the B's 14th ranked power play, as Kaberle is considered one of the best power play quarterbacks in the business. At even strength, he's a mobile, puck-moving defenseman that will no doubt help a B's blue line that's been bailed out by Tim Thomas quite a bit this season.

Kaberle is a free agent at the end of the season. He had to waive his no-trade clause to go to Boston. 

For the Leafs, the rebuild is officially underway now, despite what Burke may say to the contrary. Colborne is a very nice prospect, selected 16th overall by the Bruins in 2008. Hockey'sFuture.com had him listed at No. 2 in the Boston organization behind only Tyler Seguin

In the last two weeks, the Leafs have added two first round picks (from Philadelphia and Boston), two other picks, prospects Colborne and Jake Gardiner and NHL forward Joffrey Lupul. Not too bad at all.

For more on the deal, check in with SB Nation's Leafs blog, Pension Plan Puppets, and our Bruins blog, Stanley Cup of Chowder.

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