Well, the rumors turned out to be true. Phil Kessel was dealt yesterday to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who subsequently signed him to a 5-year, 27 million dollar contract extension. I think this was actually a great trade for both parties involved. Kessel proved himself to be one of the league's top young scorers last year, netting a team-leading 36 goals for the B's, despite missing some action. It was clear that the Bruins did not have the cap room to sign him, and Kessel had grown frustrated with the situation in recent weeks.
In return for Kessel, the Bruins received the Leafs' first round pick for the next 2 drafts, as well as a second round pick. It became apparent as last season progressed that the Bruins would be unable to sign both Kessel and David Krejci in the off-season, and I'm glad the Bruins decided to keep Krejci. While Kessel is a natural scorer, the knock on him is that he doesn't always do the right thing without the puck. David Krejci, on the other hand, is one of the best all around players in the league (led the league in +/- last year) and makes everyone on the ice with him a better player.
I'm happy Kessel got his payday, it must be nice to rake in 27 million dollars before you turn 22 years old. In the end though, I have to think that two first round draft picks could yield more talent than they lost in Kessel and will allow the team to stay competitive for years to come. If nothing else, it will certainly add some appeal to the Leafs/Bruins games this year. Who do you think got the better deal here?
By the way, for those of you who don't care about hockey, there will be a baseball related post going up tonight.
Jose Mesa, 1992 Fleer Ultra #305 - In my first blog post of the year, I may have been a little harsh in my criticisms of the Orioles' somnolent winter. After all, Dan Duquette claimed not o...