Kessel, Boston/Toronto Trade; Burke the new Milbury?

Keeping in mind that this is an Islanders Blog this is an interesting trade that can be looked at from an Islanders perspective. I know this is not "Breaking News" to anyone at this point but is something to be looked at given what the Leafs are trying to do vs what we are trying to do.

Here's how the trade shakes out.

Toronto gets; Phil Kessel

Boston Gets; Toronto's first round pick and second round pick 2010. Toronto's first round pick 2011.


Looking at this trade from an Islander's perspective this is horrible. Kessel being a potential superstar (Key word here being potential still at this point) has 11 gs, 19 gs and 36 gs in his first three seasons. Impressive numbers for a guy only three years in but hardly enough to justify giving up those two first rounders and the second. Especially when you consider Toronto at best can hope for a eighth seed this season if they are to get into the post season. Even with Kessel I have a hard time believing that they have enough to get the job done.  


Toronto is also coming off an era where they grossly overpaid for players way past their prime or never lived up to their billing once they got their money. With no first rounders these next two years they have no immediate impact players coming through the draft and are going to rely on unrestricted free agency to fill their holes. Granted, Toronto is an attractive market for UFAs but big July 1st signings rarely translate to the regular season impact everyone makes it out to be. In hockey, the best teams are the ones that have a core of players that have been playing together for a long period of time. By the time those new additions are even remotley used to their new surroundings and linemates, it's alreads late November or Early December.


Another thing about this deal which is stupid on Burke's side of the deal. Boston is a cap tight team and also a contending team. These picks over the next two years gives them assetts to move not to mention two potential players that will be on entry level deals. Should I also say, BOSTON IS A DIVISION RIVAL!!!!!! I would be pissed to see Snow give away two first rounders and a second to Philly, Pittsburgh, Devils or the Rags. I don't care what player they can pick off those rosters either. I don't care if that player is Parise, Crosby, Malkin, Dubisnky, Lundqvist, Carter or Richards.


OTOH, I would also agree that the salary cap is a joke. It's pretty much non existent and contains too many loop holes. You can throw a massive offer sheet for 12 years, front load it, and the average yearly hit only come out to three million a year. Not to mention that these long contracts are being issued with the expectation that the next lock out is going to be even uglier and nastier than the last.


That still doesn't remove the fact that the draft, salary cap or not, is the life blood of your franchise. There's just no escaping or getting around.


As a Toronto fan I might like this deal for it's instant gratification. I really can't can't say or know what these fans are feeling or thinking right now. All's I know is that the expectation in that city was that the Leafs were gonna build young and work their way through the draft. Calling in Brian Burke to do the job was supposed to be Mr Fix it Exraordinary. Instead, I gotta say that Burke got fleeced in this deal worse than the Daniel Plainview fleeced that preacher in "There Will be Blood".


If Snow ever pulled a deal like this I can imagine the fanbase gathering up the pitchforks and torches for a nice roast in the New York Islanders front office. Mainly, cause we've reaped the rewards of such lousy draft pick giveaways and have learned a hard lesson from it. Unfortunatly for Toronto, they are gonna learn that lesson with the most unsuspecting GMs in the games, Brian Burke.


I'm all the more happy for it. Boston will be a team we will probably be doing business with at the trade deadline. Toronto will more than likely stink this year as even with Kessle they don't have enough scoring, quality young D outside of Schenn and the goaltending situation there is a joke. Toronto, having not assets to give up for picks and prospects leaves us with one less team to compete with for those.


All the more better for Garth as Burke really can't offer anything to drive up the price on our end. Also, if Boston winds up contending once again this season that leaves us with another late first round pick we can pick up. We have assets in Witt, Weight and Sutton that can be moved in a simialar Comrie/Campolli deal. Boston will more likely sit on Toronto' pick, which will be in the top ten, heading into the draft.


Dipietro finally recovers this season we also have an extra goalie to deal.


This is why dropping those offer sheets for RFAs are not worth it. Folks sometimes forget that there are 30 other teams out there competing for picks and prospects. You make a deal like this it makes it much harder to;

1) Deal from a position of strength.

2) Work anything at the trade deadline

3) Gather the best young players in the game to compete as you've already sacraficed a potential three, as Toronto did in the case, for one that's still a bit of a question mark. Kessel had 36 Gs last year on the best team in the eastern conference during the regular season. He's not going to a simialer situation in Toronto.

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