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?