By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON Things are reaching a fever pitch here in Boston with the Tomas Kaberle trade talks. Rumors, whispers and any kind of info are on the front burner for everyone in both the Hub and Toronto, but things arent that close to being a deal yet between the Leafs and Bs. CSNNE.com has checked with several hockey sources that indicated the All-Star Maple Leafs defenseman hasnt yet been asked to waive his no-trade clause despite the fact both Bruins President Cam Neely and Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke told 98.5 the Sports Hub that the two teams are talking trade.A hockey source also indicated to CSNNE.com that any potential deal with the Leafs is centered on a package of Blake Wheeler or Mark Stuart, a draft pick believed to be a third round draft pack and possibly a prospect from the Bs organization close to contributing at the NHL level.Burke was in Boston to watch Zach Hamill play last week, so it would be logical he could be a player that both sides are discussing, but sources couldnt confirm or deny Hamills involvement. Burke said he made a promise to Kaberle and agent Rick Curran that he wouldnt go public with any discussions pertaining to a trade of the four-time All-Star defender, so the general manager wouldnt confirm that talks with Boston involve Kaberle.Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet.ca reported earlier that Kaberle indicated to the Leafs hed only waive his no trade to go to Boston, and based on both need and salary cap space Kaberle is something of a perfect fit for the Bs needs. The soon-to-be 33-year-old would lead the Bruins with his 36 points on the season, and his 21 power play assists this season would be the salve that a struggling Bs PP unit desperately needs.A bogus Darren Dreger twitter account had the Bruins on the verge of dealing David Krejci to the Maple Leafs in exchange for Kaberle, but thats ridiculous on several levels. Its way too much to give up for a rental player only under contract for the rest of this season, and it would leave the Bs woefully short at center.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
The Bruins have three players headed to the IIHF Hockey World Championship, which begin this weekend in Russia.
Brad Marchand was invited to play for Team Canada early on in the process, coming off his 37-goal season for the Bruins. Last week the Czech Republic added 19-year-old right wing David Pastrnak to their squad with plans to skate on a line with the Montreal Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec.
And Frank Vatrano -- who scored a total of 44 goals between Boston and Providence in this, his first full professional season -- was added to the Team USA roster this week. Vatrano, 22, confirmed it on his own Twitter account on Tuesday night prior to hopping on a flight bound for Russia:
Torey Krug played for Team USA last season, but was unavailable this time around after undergoing right shoulder surgery just a couple of weeks ago that will have him sidelined until late October.
Vatrano is one of four Massachusetts players on this year's version of Team USA. The others are Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon, Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin and Devils D-man David Warsofsky.
Both Marchand and Pastrnak previously suited up for their countries in the World Junior championships, and Vatrano played in the U.S. National Team Development Program prior to playing college hockey at the University of Massachusetts. Vatrano also previously represented the U.S. at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Brno and Znojmo, Czech Republic, where he helped Team USA claim the gold medal.
The IIHF Men's World Championships will start Friday and run until May 22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. It features featuring many of the NHL players that aren’t participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Ahead of the expansion draft, teams may look to get something in return for players they’d otherwise lose for nothing.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving a warm May the Fourth Be With You to everybody out there.
*Mike Francesa has declared sports radio war on former New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, and it’s getting ugly folks.
*A humbled Bruce Boudreau, who really didn’t need to be humbled given what a nice man he is, will have a long line of NHL suitors interested in his services.
*The Northeastern University hockey team has gone to some extremes with their pregame wrestling matches.
*Pro Hockey Talk asks the question: if there’s an expansion draft, which goaltender should the Penguins protect given what’s going on in their playoff series?
*A really nice gesture within the PHT morning skate with Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper going to bat for a Lightning beat reporter that finds himself out of a job.
*Max Domi had a very memorable rookie season even if it didn’t end with any serious consideration for the Calder Trophy.
*The Nashville Predators got a little better this week with the decision to kick Mike Ribeiro up into the press box.
*For something completely different: these Han Solo uniform jerseys for the Durham Bulls’ Star Wars Night are the freakin’ truth.