Offers heat up for Kaberle; Souray update

June, 24, 2010
06/24/10
8:34
PM ET

LOS ANGELES -- Another day, another round of Tomas Kaberle trade talks for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

How many teams are interested?

"It's double-digits," Leafs GM Brian Burke told assembled media Thursday afternoon. "We have four hard offers, concrete offers, and we expect two more today from teams that said they would step up.

"Right now, nothing is imminent. That could change in one phone call or one e-mail."

It is believed the Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres are among the teams interested in Kaberle, but it's not guaranteed the talented blueliner will be moved during draft weekend.

"This is not a transaction that's draft specific -- one of our priorities is not to get draft picks if we move Tomas Kaberle," Burke said.

The goal is to get a top-six forward.

"That's our top priority: to find a top-six forward who can score," Burke said. "If he comes with some size, all the better. If draft picks come as part of another deal, fine. It's not a priority. But people should figure out ... we're trying to get better right now. Draft picks don't help me right now."

Burke declined to answer when asked about Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza and Boston Bruins center Marc Savard -- both available on the trade market. But a Leafs source told ESPN.com the team has no interest in either player.

Kaberle, meanwhile, has one year left on his deal at $4.25 million. Burke said it's possible, if and when he gets a trade offer he really likes, he'll allow that team to talk to Kaberle's camp about an extension. But, then again, Burke said he might not, depending on timing and circumstances.

Kaberle might not be the only Leaf to move. Almost any player on the roster is in play.

"When you finish 29th, your list of untouchables should be pretty goddamned short, and it is," Burke said.

Elsewhere Thursday evening ...

• Penguins GM Ray Shero told ESPN.com on Thursday he's hoping to meet with Sergei Gonchar's agent, J.P. Barry, on Friday. While Shero would not discuss details from the ongoing negotiation, it's believed the sticking point remains term. Gonchar's camp wants three years, while the Penguins want to do only two years, given that the defenseman falls in the 35-and-over rule in the collective bargaining agreement, which stipulates the entire deal counts against a team's cap even if he retires.

• The Edmonton Oilers might be busy, and not just because they have the No. 1 overall pick. Veteran defenseman Sheldon Souray asked for a trade, and GM Steve Tambellini is trying to accommodate him.

"It probably doesn't help [that he asked publicly for a trade]," Tambellini told a group of reporters Thursday. "But it's more of an issue for teams: 'OK, how does this fit within my overall salary grid? Do I need that spot? What can I move to acquire a player like that?' He's a defenseman that's scored 20 goals and arguably the toughest player that we've had in some time. I think the people know what they're getting."

Souray has two years left on his deal, which pays him $4.5 million in salary but comes with a $5.4 million cap hit. Another player definitely on the block is forward Robert Nilsson, who has a year left on his deal at $2.5 million. If they can't trade him, they'll likely buy him out.

• The Columbus Blue Jackets were thought to be willing to move their fourth overall pick, but as of Thursday night, that didn't seem likely.

"There have been no substantive talks at all," Jackets GM Scott Howson said. "A lot can happen between now and tomorrow night, but there's nothing significant going on now. We plan to use the fourth pick."

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