Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Kessel Deal, Part 2 - The Boston Side and Why Toronto Loses

Boston GM Peter Chiarelli says Phil Kessel wanted to be traded in July - he came away with an excellent trade for a number of reasons.

He Got More Than An Offer Sheet

2 1sts and a 2nd is significantly more than a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

According to TSN, 2010 is a 'strong draft'

We don't pay much attention to TSN grading a future NHL draft - after all, they air the draft. However, the Bruins now have 5 picks in the top 2 rounds - 2 of their own, 2 from Toronto, and 1 from the Lightning.

Boston doesn't 'need' a player back

Boston's got some solid prospects all the way around the organization - that is why they felt confident enough to deal someone like Martins Karsums to the Lightning. Mikko Lehtonen could be on the Bruins in October, and he's got 20 goal potential. The Bruins have lots of right wing depth - while Kessel is an outstanding player, and he will be missed, they can do without him.

Marc Savard can now be retained

This is far from a guarantee, but Savard is deserving of a large pay raise commensurate with players like Daniel Briere. The Bruins owe 38 million to 10 players next season, so it may be a stretch to fit him in, but with Kessel on board, there was literally no chance of them retaining both players.

Boston has assets with which to rid themselves of bad contracts

Maybe Boston gets rid of Michael Ryder to make room for Marc Savard - but who wants Michael Ryder at that salary? Why of course no one - but with a 1st round pick bundled along with it, maybe Boston gets back a decent prospect.

Boston sells Kessel at the peak of his value

While Kessel is exceptionally talented, and the Boston Bruins as well, we are skeptical they could maintain their prodigious even-strength scoring ability. If Kessel scored 30 goals in 82 games next season, his trade value would certainly diminish.

Boston has the ability to deal for Ilya Kovalchuk

Outlandish idea, but if both sides saw fit to do this, Boston could certainly make it happen. It would happen at the trade deadline, but it would give Boston the most dynamic scorer outside of Alexander Ovechkin.

Why Toronto Loses

Brian Burke may be overplaying his hand - by loading up on salaries now, he may be losing out on opportunities to raid the Chicago Blackhawks next off-season, as well as all the teams that are going to be dumping legitimate NHL talent to get under the salary cap. By not offer-sheeting Kessel, Burke drops a 2011 1st round pick, something which is no doubt valuable. While Burke may think he can sign undrafted free agents to make up for that, there are only so many of those players around. If Kessel is only a 30 goal scorer in Toronto, it seems this gambit is a massive failure.

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