After years of back and forth, the Toronto Maple Leafs have roared back from behind to win the Phil Kessel trade over the Boston Bruins.
As you might remember, former Leafs GM Brian Burke wasn’t at all that fond of the long rebuild. That’s why, in 2009, Burke sent a 2010 first round pick, a 2010 second round pick and another 2011 first round pick to the Boston Bruins for a 21-year old Phil Kessel.
At the time, it looked suspicious. Toronto didn’t have any prospects of note, and could have really used those three picks. A year later, it looked even worse. The Leafs would finish second last that season, and the Bruins would draft an absolute stud in Tyler Seguin (and Jared Knight in the second round). Two years later, when Boston selected Dougie Hamilton with that other first round pick, well… Yeah, it was bad.
And today? Oh man… Not bad at all.
It’s true that the Boston Bruins won a Stanley Cup shortly after the Kessel deal, but really, who cares? These days success is all about building real dynasties, like the Chicago Blackhawks, or something. I can’t even remember the Bruins winning the Cup. All I remember is, like, Vancouver in flames and Brad Marchand getting a crappy tattoo. These days, the Bruins aren’t even making the playoffs.
The Stanley Cup victory doesn’t matter. What matters is that Boston squandered that Kessel trade in hilarious fashion. First, Tyler Seguin didn’t play “Bruins Hockey”, and was traded to the Dallas Stars a collection of players that, let’s face it, are not even close to being as talented as Tyler Seguin. Second, Jared Knight (a disappointment) was flipped to Minnesota for Zack Phillips (another disappointment), so that’s fun.
And lastly, today, the trifecta has been completed with Dougie Hamilton – another stud that will be worth every penny his new team pays him – dealt to the Calgary Flames for a collection of picks. By all means, those picks could turn out to be good players down the road, but what exactly is Boston doing here anyways?
Suddenly, the Phil Kessel trade becomes very clear. Sure, Toronto may trade Kessel tonight, and Seguin may very well be better than him already, and Hamilton may very well be an excellent young blueliner. The point is, Boston juggled and mismanaged their young talent so poorly (and obnoxiously! “Bruins Hockey” my butt) that there’s no way we can call them anything but losers in this deal.
Congratulations, Toronto. You won the Kessel trade.