Darren Dreger's Twitter: Aug 1, Toronto will likely start pushing those who have made offers for Kaberle. The message: better the offer, or he stays a Maple Leaf.
Uh oh, guess everyone better give Brian Burke what he wants, he really means it! "Hey, wanna buy this penny? It costs a nickel." "What? Nah man, I'm go-" "You only have 30 seconds, this offer is going now!" "Uh, OK."
I still don't understand why the Leafs are trying to trade Kaberle anyway. They're trying to win, not rebuild, right? Then why would you trade away your best defenseman? Why don't they just re-sign him? Seems simple enough. It seems like they're trying to trade their best defenseman and get better this season. What?
Anyway, that update both made me laugh and made me think: are the Kings going to add another defenseman? Seems like we need to, since Johnson and Greene go together like a dumb defenseman and a dumb defenseman. The Kings' biggest problem is that they need a defenseman who can A) play on the first penalty kill unit, B) play on the 2nd power play unit, and C) cover for Jack Johnson. That kind of defenseman is simply not available, and even if he was it'd cost a ton. The best addition the Kings could make would be if Jack Johnson got smarter on defense, but here are a few options that could potentially help:
Not gonna happen. The Kings probably would have traded for him if they had nabbed Kovalchuk, but there's no real point in getting an aging defenseman on a 1-year deal if they're not going to seriously contend for the Cup.
A 34-year old defenseman signed for 2 more years at a $5.4 million dollar cap hit? Sign me the fuck up! Oh, and he broke his wrist last season. I'm sure that won't affect his shot at all.
I love this guy. He's big, he's tough, he's sound positionally... he's the closest thing you'll find to Mattias Norstrom. The problem is he's coming off a nasty concussion because Evgeni Malkin is a dirty cheapshot artist but no one mentions it. We Kings fans are a little wary of concussions since our patron saint still can't go a week without feeling woozy. Still, Mitchell would be great alongside Johnson (assuming Johnson doesn't mind going back to the right side) and at the very least would give us a fantastic first penalty kill unit. We'll see.
Kevin Bieksa is a moron.
Andy Sutton's a big mother fucker. He's also incredibly slow and takes a bunch of holding penalties. He's good in the playoffs and he's good on the penalty kill. He's OK.
Paul Mara's a place holder for all those marginal defensemen that populate the league. We'll call this the "Defenseman everyone hates" list. Other people on this list include Andreas Lilja, Brian Pothier, Freddy Myer, etc.
Most likely, the Kings are going to rely on a marginal defenseman, probably a former Shark or Flyer, and the kids. Vyacheslav Voynov would seemingly have the leg up because he's right-handed and because he's "paid his dues," but Thomas Hickey and Jake Muzzin will get their shot as well. I'm wary of how the Kings are going to do without Sean O'Donnell; say what you want about the ol' goat's speed, but he was a reliable defender and great on the penalty kill. The Kings' defense is going to go through growing pains and they're going to rely even more heavily on Doughty and Johnson; I hope they're up for it.