Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Doc Hock on Phil Kessel and the Leafs

Phil Kessel coming to Toronto would be an awesome thing for the Leafs. I'm not going to go into all the details of what's going on in regards to Burke re-acquiring his own 2nd round pick etc. You can look that up if your lost right now.

Now, there are still rumours that to trade for Kessel, the Leafs would need to include Tomas Kaberle and he'd have to waive his NTC. I want to keep Kaberle. There was a suggestion that the Leafs could flip Luke Schenn in a deal for Kessel. Both guys are 5th overall picks in the last couple years and are really valuable and it would be the cheaper player going to Boston. I want to keep Schenn.

Best route is the offer sheet. The risk of course is that Chiarelli would just match the Leafs offer and deal with his cap situation when he has to. A lot of people have suggested that Burke could make an offer sheet to Kessel on September 30, because on October 1st all teams MUST be under the cap, making it impossible (in theory) for Boston to match.

Here's the problem with that theory. Kessel is injured right now and could be placed on LTIR since he's out until November or possibly December. His salary would not go on the books until then and it would give the Bruins an extra month to move salaries around by trade or demoting players to the minors.

So the bottom line is, Chiarelli has got some options and keeping Kessel is completely up to him right now. Which is why Burke may have to make a trade. Although, if he offers up enough $ (and stays within the 1st, 2nd, 3rd round draft pick compensation) he could make life really difficult for the Bruins.

Go Leafs Go! And read my predictions for the season below.

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