Friday, September 18, 2009

Breaking news-Kessell Traded


Bruins receive two first round picks, one second round selection from Toronto

Friday, 09.18.2009 / 10:06 PM / News
Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has acquired first round picks in 2010 and 2011 and a second round pick in 2010 from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Phil Kessel. All three picks will be Toronto’s natural selections in the respective round and draft year. Chiarelli will host a press conference on Saturday, September 19 at 11:00 a.m. in the Will McDonough Press Room at the TD Garden to discuss the transaction. Members of the media can enter the TD Garden as they would on a normal gameday through the Media/Back Security Entrance. Take the elevator to the third floor and proceed straight down the corridor until you reach the end. The Will McDonough Press Room will be on your left at the end of the corridor. Kessel has appeared in 222 regular season games in the NHL, all with the Bruins, and posted 66-60=126 totals. The 21-year-old was originally selected by the Bruins in the first round (5th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
So, the thrill is gone.... My take on this deal? Chiarelli had no choice. Kessel and his agent have already stated that they were done negotiating with Boston. They have also made it clear that Toronto was the desired destination. This pretty much forced Chilly's hand, and frankly, I'm surprised he got as good a deal for him as he did. While I am a big fan of Kessell's game, I just couldn't justify the reported demands for $5.5M per year, for a minimum of five years. Bluntly out, he just hadn't earned that yet. He's a young kid who has scored a grand total of 66 NHL goals. That isn't to say he isn't a terrific player, or to suggest that he won't continue to progress. But it's just frankly too much money, considering the Cap situation. And to complicate matters more, the Bruins have several important players reaching RFA status next season (including cult hero Milan Lucic). Committing that kind of dough to Kess now could seriously hamper Chilly's ability to ice a competitive team in years to come. Personally, I wish Phil no ill will. As much as he took criticism for being "soft", I've always said he showed toughness in other ways. Hell, he rebounded damn quick from cancer. he played through injuries in this years playoffs. I appreciate all the thrills he gave us in his regrettably short time in a B's uniform. But in the cold hard business that is pro sports, this is a good deal. With the likes of Wheeler progressing, Sturm back from injury, Bergeron finally 100% healthy and my projected emergence of a Byron Bitz, I think the B's will have more than enough players available to pick up the slack. Sure, you always miss a potential 40 goal scorer. They don't grow on trees. But this team has also showed that their depth is their greatest asset. Kessel, for all of his flash and dash was basically a one trick pony. He could score, but only in a very limited way. He wasn't going to crash the net like Sturm or Lucic. He wasn't going to camp out front for tips like Recchi. He was, and is, very very good at snapping off a hard wrister off the wing. But unless he gets the puck in open space, in stride...he is very limited. It will be interesting to see how he does in Toronto. Without a guy like Savard setting him up with "sweet Feeds" (thanks, Jack Edwards), I expect him to make less of a splash than some may think. Add the pressure of playing in Toronto, where he will be looked at as the savior of their offensive woes, and it could be a tough go for the kid. And lets be honest, he isn't exactly going to be playing with a lot of skilled guys. I mean...Jason Allison has a shot at making that team! Kess is too good to not score, but most will come in garbage time after his Leafs are long out of it I suspect. Draft picks in any sport are a roll of the dice, none more so than in hockey. But these picks, if nothing else, give Chiarelli and his staff a lot of flexibility. He can either keep them, and pray Toronto has a miserable season (a decent possibility), or he can use one or more of them as chips in a bigger trade down the road. Not sure who the leading draft prospects are now, but trust me, I'll be dialing into that as the season progresses. So bottom line is, hate to see you go Phil. You've been a great, entertaining player to watch (defensive lapses not withstanding). I wish you well, while at the same time hoping your new team goes 0-82 this year. The first overall pick next spring would be fantastic. Go B's-Kynch

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