In a double-dose of Leafs news in his rumblings blogs, Pierre LeBrun unveiled where the Leafs are at in regards to dealing Phil
Kessel, and what kind of deal they are looking for with Jonathan
Kessel’s name will be bandied about as much as anyone’s in the next
week, in part because any trade the Toronto Maple Leafs make would preferably land them a pick or two in next week’s draft. Not necessarily, but preferably.
isn’t that big of a surprise. This draft class is loaded, and the Leafs
have said they want to add more picks. Moving Kessel is a way to add a
couple picks this year and/or next.
hockey executives from rival teams said that over the past several
weeks the Leafs have a price for Kessel that is way, way too high. So
the executives are staying away until it comes down. Can’t blame Toronto
for starting high. Why wouldn’t you?
all know that the Leafs are shopping Kessel, but this is a good sign.
It shows that the Leafs aren’t going to trade him just to do so – they
want a premium return, which they should get. If you don’t get that
magic combination in a return, you don’t have to move him. Kessel is
only 27, and is still an elite scorer.
“They’re going to have to eat more of his salary than they think right now,” said one of the rival executives.
The Leafs shouldn’t have to eat any of his salary. Take back salary to
make a deal work? Sure. But eating Phil’s salary shouldn’t even be in
the cards. Not only is it a miscalculation of his value by both teams,
but they need to save their ability to eat salary for the Phaneuf trade
and keep one in the backpocket when they decide to move Joffrey Lupul,
or another veteran.
of note, players with partial no-trade clauses have their agents
resubmit their lists before July 1 every year. Sometimes the list stays
the same, but I believe Kessel’s new list has already been submitted and
might have been tweaked slightly in terms of how it’s going look
starting July 1.
note here – if Phil’s list has changed, that could make things a lot
different. Most notably – if there is a new list, has Phil changed his
mind on wanting to stay here? Maybe he opens up to teams with cap space,
or finally going to Minnesota.
and his agent, Pat Brisson, have no problem with the Leafs’ filing;
it’s all part of the business and, in fact, Brisson and the Leafs’ front
office continue to have good dialogue about a new contract, which would
make the arbitration filing a moot point.
My sense is both sides are looking at a two- or three-year contract.
is great news on two fronts – the two sides are negotiating pleasantly,
and the deal that they both want is shorter term. Smart for both sides –
that way the Leafs can see what they really have in Bernier without
committing too long, and Bernier can prove himself to be in line for a
bigger payday when he becomes a UFA, if he so deserves.
news sure is interesting this time of year, and with only a week left
until the draft, it’s bound to get even moreso every day.