Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Kessel Offer

Faithful Remnant! Can you feel the cool breeze of lady hockey around the corner? Did you flip on TSN the other day to see our beloved Blue and White smuf-babies taking to the ice for their masterful beat down of the Baby Pens and the barn-burner against the Baby Bruins (Cubs?) We did, and it warmed the cockles of our hearts. Did you catch that Stalberg-Bozak-Hanson line? Sure they are 23 year old's playing against 18 year old's but...well..actually, that kinda makes it less impressive. Regardless! I bet they are feeling pretty confident going into camp. Oh! And Kadri too. Sweet hands. And don't forget the Monster. Looks like a serious and focused kid. Kinda the anti-Pogge. We're pumped.

Since our last installment there was a minor Leafs trade, namely the 2011 2nd and 3rd rounder for 2010's 2nd rounder back. Faithful readers of the blog may have wondered why there was no installment of From the Oracle after this trade. We apologize if it left you feeling lost, frightened and alone. We also regret that you didn't have the opportunity to turn to our professional insight so that you, the emotional Leafs fan, did not have to suffer in the barrenness of your own opinions on the matter. Who can you turn to for stoic, rational insight into all things Leafs if TOV is not on the ball!? Well, we decided we didn't want to make the trip all the way to the secret cave of the Oracle to ask her mystical opinion on the Leafs latest trade because, cmon son, obviously the Leafs got their 2nd round pick back so that they can have a weapon of math instruction for their ongoing talks with the cap-strapped Bruins and their feisty, 36-goal scoring, Mr. Bags-Under-Eyes
. And what precisely would that math instruction be? Well, St Brian says, "trade us Kessel for a decent return or we'll use our picks to sign Gollum to an offer sheet that you can't match."

(For those of you out of the loop at this point: Team A wants to sign their Restricted Free Agent (RFA) to a contract but the kid refuses. Team B--provided they have their 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick for the next year--can swoop in and offer the kid a contract and, depending on the size of the contract, Team A will be compensated with a number of the picks. The Leafs traded to get their own 2nd rounder back so that they can be in this position.)

So Ahab, the great white prize is within your sights. Will St Brian be a fisher-of-men? Or will this be a big ol fail-whale. Let's break it on down.

Full Steam Ahead!

Sign him! Dude scored 36 goals in 70 some games. He can easily pot 40. Him on Micky Grabs wing (and one day Kadri's) would be magical. And speedy. And we've got enough goons now to allow him to work his lil patchy-beard magic. Plus he's got a pretty wicked Northern American accent. Have you ever heard him say "Haackey." I can almost hear him saying "great jarb on dat pass der, Meekhail. We scored a gash-darn graet goal."

At this point, the only deterrent is the compensation. Around the draft the deal was rumored to involve Kaberle and some sort of pick (a 1st) going from one team to another...except neither team seemed to know which one was going to give it.

Needless to say,



(Yeah, I've always found that a weird saying too). Needless to say, the deal didn't go through and Kessel is still contractless and Kaberle is still shining up his baby-face for the new season.

But what of the potential of a 1st rounder and 3rd rounder or a 1st, 2nd and 3rd going to the Bruins? Can we stomach 3 high-potential players for 1 sure thing? A 20-something 40g man doesn't come along often. We..*shudder*...lost our last shot at one in the Nolan trade and he's been potting goals with other Leaf sendoffs (Alex "Not worth it for Pronger" Steen and Carlo "Splodybones" Colaiacovo.) Surely we can sacrifice one draft year for a bona fide star in Kessel. Besides, this draft coming up is apparently going to be pretty brutal after the first few picks. Like...brutal.

So the option is: Phil Kessel or 3 players who are probably going to be projects or like good 2nd line guys. Or Phil Kessel.

So, should we land this fish? What say ye, Herman?

"All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in [Phil Kessel]. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it."

Agreed. Pull the harpoon trigger, Burkie!


Save the Whales, man

To be honest, the only reason I can see us not wanting to do this is if we are convinced that Phil Kessel doesn't want to be in Toronto and will bolt at the end of a contract or demand a trade later on. I personally love Boston. Great place to live, especially as a 20-something. Regardless, for some reason Phil has decided that he wants to get out. Is that the kind of player we want in the room?

I suppose another reason is if we really think the Leafs are in a lottery pick spot again this season. But with Ottawa's regress and Montreal's journey to the Lollipop Guild (adorable lil forwards; we actually have footage of a dust-up at their practice the other day)...well, we honestly don't see the Leafs in that 13th-15th spot this year.

To be honest, I think Kessel is the perfect player for this team and for this coach and GM and if we can get him without giving up Kaberle, than we throw the picks overboard and not look back.

What do you think, faithful remnant?


Anonymous said...

Kessel had Marc Savard setting him up in Beantown.

Also(and his has been discused a lot on PPP.com when the Kabs-Kessel trade rumours first started making noise) there's a chance that this season may have been flash in a pan and that Kessel is only a 25-30 goal scorer. And that might not be worth the 3 picks. Virtually all Bruins players' stats this past season have been extraordinary and they're all likely to drop. Great point that Kessel might bolt at the end of the contract. Hopefully Burke will make the right move.

Leaf in Habland said...

Agreed TOV. This is not Nolan or Leetch, this is a young star we are talking about. If Burke makes this move, he will have to hear about how he's broken from the plan, mortgaged the future, etc. But this guy has scored at every level. Bring him on.

Chemmy said...

If Kessel's ONLY a 25 goal scorer (which would have been good for 60th in the league last year) he's still worth a 1st because of his age.

Think of it this way: if we could somehow guarantee our first round pick would be a 25-30 goal guy by including a 2nd and a 3rd we'd make that trade in a second.

Phil Kessel is 21 and has shown that he's a legitimate scorer. Consider him a 25 goal guy with the potential for 40 and it's more than worth our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd because of how young he is. This isn't sacrificing the future for the now, this is bringing in elite talent that will develop in our system with our players.

Naveed said...

Think about the net transaction in this case

Toronto receives: Kessel
Toronto Gives up: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Toronto then trades Kaberle at some point during the year/off season

Toronto Receives: ~1st, 2nd, 3rd
Toronto gives up: Kaberle

Net = Kessel for Kaberle

GBDonaldson said...

If we get Kessel we wont be trading Kaberle at the deadline. We'll be buying kegs for our playoff run.

Anonymous said...

I'd personally be a lot more worried about the Leafs if they had Kessel. Without him, it dosen't look like they have any real scoring threat up front. But, Burke did say yesterday that "at this time" he's not going to send an offer sheet, which means that they're probably still trying to work out a trade; it'll be interesting to see what Burke can do.

GBDonaldson said...

I really think getting the pick was more for intimidation and a back door way to get Kessel. He's still trying to trade for him, but the trade now cannot be worth more than a 1st + 3rd equivalent. White, Stajan and a third? Bruins would be pissed to get that back, but it may be better than a 1st and 3rd in a crappy draft.
Bottom line is that Burke is in the drivers seat. Kessel will be a Leaf unless the Bruins go to cap suicide

Anonymous said...

Kessel's injury-prone and played around good players in Boston which took pressure off him. In Toronto he'd be asked to be a top dog and I doubt he can play that role.

GBDonaldson said...

What reason do you have for doubting that?

Kleric said...

It's the second rounder that bothers me. I can't see Burke giving up on selecting one of thee first 100 players in the draft, regardless of how bad it is. A 1st and a 3rd is plenty if a trade is no more than this.

Personally, I believe the trade will be bigger than anticipated. Boston has a couple of 'bad' contracts that they would like to move. If someone like Mike Ryder was included for someone like Jason Blake, or Jason Blake or even Jason Blake I would be elated. (Ugh. He bothers me like clowns on a Friday. Alwasy mocking me with their red noses...)

I think any potential trade is going to be bigger than just Kessel. Who the specifics are I have no idea, but can anyone guess who I would choose from the Leaf roster?

Redonred said...

I suspect 2nd,3rd, and 4th rounders aplenty at the trade deadline if this years buyers are interested in supporting cast players. We have too many defencemen, but we also have too many supporting forwards. Considering most are ufas after this season, and a lot of them are not going to be resigned, Burke will probably move em for picks.

Anonymous said...

What reason do you have for doubting that?

He played with Chara, Wideman, Krejci, Savard, Wheeler, Lucic, Bergeron and Ryder.

He won't have nearly the same amount of help in Toronto and the defenses will focus on stopping him first therefore minimizing his impact.

Anonymous said...

How about the fact that he has reportedly stopped negotiating with Boston, where, let's face it, he has a much better chance of winning than with the Leafs? Does Toronto need a prima donna? I still think he makes the Leafs a better team; he's young, fast, and can score. But, he's also a fairly one dimensional player, admittedly it's a really good dimension, but will Wilson like a forward who seems dead set against playing defense?
Actually if Boston took Blake off your hands, it might be worth the three draft picks....

GBDonaldson said...

Well, I suppose the rebuttal to this is that Kessel would be playing on the Bruins for a whole heck of a lot less than he is worth. Even though the numbers seem astronomical to us, would you work for 75% less than someone else of equal work ethic, production and training? I think he's just seeking out fairness, which is fine by me--even tho it is in the millions of dollars.

Secondly, he has a good chance to win with the leafs, just not this year.

Also--and I'm not trying to sound snarky even tho it comes off that way in text--I'd be interested in seeing some sort of written proof or example of his lack of defensive play AFTER he was benched in the playoffs.

Lastly, it is very ok if he is a one-dimensional player as he is the dimension we are lacking.

Anonymous said...

Savard contributed to 60% of Kessel's goals. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Problem is that Wilson will eat him alive if he doesn't get in line.

Defensively, he's a +5 for his career (222 games); he was a +23 last year, playing with Chara, Savard, et al. The two previous years he's been a minus. The upside is he's still young and can improve his defensive game.

I almost laughed when I read "Secondly, he has a good chance to win with the leafs, just not this year." Actually, to be honest, I did laugh a little. Komisarek going to get the Leafs over the hump and into the playoffs for a dream run to the Cup?

Still, Kessel would be a huge addition to the Leafs forward corps.

GBDonaldson said...

Komisarek is my favorite signing of the off season. I know Beauchemin will probably fare better, but Komi and Kabby makes me happy.

Kleric said...

Rumour mills have it that Two first's and a second round pick are being offered by St. Burke.

Personally I believe this to be too steep a price. Kessel is great and all, but is he really worth 2 (possibly) Kadri's plus?

I can wait. One first rounder is fair. Two is being bent over a table with your pants around you ankles and being told by someone who is not your doctor that this will be a little uncomfortable.

Just say no, a walk away if that is the price the Leafs are to pay.

GBDonaldson said...

Well, if that is true (2x1st + 2nd) you might as well just sign the kid to an offer sheet instead and give a 1+2+3 package.