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Tomas Kaberle aims for NHL return

Aug 19, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders Getty Images

Tomas Kaberle left the NHL with a whimper, but it sounds like the veteran defenseman isn’t ready to hang up his skates just yet. He told the National Post that he hopes to return to the NHL for a year (or maybe more) and that he might even have a tryout offer lined up.

“It’s not in Ontario,” Kaberle said Monday at the BioSteel Pro Hockey Camp at St. Michael’s College. “I’m planning to stay around here if possible, so we’ll see what’s going to happen in the next few weeks.”

At 36, Kaberle is unlikely to approach the impressive 60 or even 50-point seasons he generated during his long run with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he’s not so old that it’s unthinkable to imagine him making an NHL roster. That’s especially true if being a depth blueliner doesn’t bother the four-time All-Star.

He makes it pretty clear that a Maple Leafs reunion is unlikely, but that doesn’t mean the team doesn’t hold a special place in his heart. Kaberle told the National Post that he still watches the team and believes promising young defenseman Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly both have the potential to make an impact like he did during his best days with the Buds.

“They’re going to be the core guys soon,” Kaberle said. “They’re not going to be young kids anymore. When you’ve been playing three, four, five, six [years], everybody depends on you. That’s fun. I enjoyed those years. Hopefully they will do the same thing.”

We’ll find out soon how many – if any – years Kaberle has left.

  1. bsaures - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Watching him at the Olympics he is still good enough to be a solid 3rd pairing guy and qb a pp. Anyone have a idea who the team is

  2. phtjoey - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    i get the fact that he thinks he can find a team to play another season. with the cap ceiling up this year teams have more money to spend, so he figures he can find a gig. why would a bottom tier team with cap space give this over the hill player a contract? that extra money should go to the player development organization.

    • claysbar - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      If he gets signed and plays well on a bad team that’s gonna likely miss the play-offs, he’d garner a 2nd or 3rd rounder probably.

    • bsaures - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      He will likely go to a playoff team that wants some extra depth look how many dmen were injured for pit last year it never hurts to have a extra dman on the cheap who can fill in

  3. 7mantel - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Looks like he’s perfect fit for the Islanders

    • anthj99 - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      “Tank for McDavid!” -Sabres fan

  4. milkmemalkin - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    People seem to like jumping on Kaberle for no reason, I think this guy easily has 1-2 years left in the tank. He could help so many teams defense and PP. Don’t be surprised if a bidding war breaks out.

  5. crazemastercraze - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Flyers sign him to extremely long deal

  6. charastein - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    This guy used to drive me nuts. Would NEVER shoot!

    He has his name on the Cup, thanks to the Bruins. I don’t recall him adding much at all to that run.

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