MONTREAL -- Boston's interest in acquiring Tomas Kaberle, reported here on Boston.com last night, took an interesting twist here today when TSN.ca's Bob McKenzie reported that the Bruins have offered Phil Kessel to the Leafs for Kaberle and the Leafs' seventh pick in tonight's NHL draft here at the Bell Center.
Peter Chiarelli, the Bruins general manager, did not return at email last night when asked about Boston's interest in acquiring Kaberle, the 31-year-old Czech-born backliner.
McKenzie is among the most reliable hockey reporters/sources in Canada, giving credence to Boston's alleged offer. Burke is also a former TSN employee, having worked there in a number of roles over the years.
Kessel, who potted 36 goal this past season, is an unrestricted free agent and is able to sign with any club he prefers as of July 1. The Bruins, per CBA rule, have the right to match that offer and retain his services.
Kessel is recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and could miss the first month of the regular season.
The Bruins hold the No. 25 pick in tonight's draft. Based on the tsn.ca report, the Bruins would not flip the No. 25 for the No. 7, but acquire it outright and have two picks for tonight's draft. Chiarelli reiterated yesterday that he has solicited offers to move up higher in the draft with the No. 25 pick.
If the Bruins were to acquire the No. 7 pick, they likely would use it on one of the draft's high-end defensive prospects, perhaps Oliver Ekman-Larsson or the towering Jared Cowen, a 6-5 blueliner from Spokane who is billed as a Zdeno Chara type.