Phil Kessel Traded to Pittsburgh Penguins for Kapanen, Harrington, Spaling and Picks (UPDATED AGAIN)


Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

There it is – the big one. According to Bob McKenzie on TSN, the Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a multi-player trade.

The full details… 

More past the jump…

At first glance, this is a bit of an underwhelming return for Kessel, but I’m not sure the Leafs were every going to get that much more anyways. I’m not sure why Toronto would have to give up a second round pick, but here we are.

Kasperi Kapenen, 18, is a top prospect – let’s make no mistake about that. The 6’0, 181lb right winger scored 21 points in 41 games KalPa in Finland’s top league, as well as two points in four games for Wilkes-Barre Scranton in the AHL to close out the season. Kapanen was the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 Draft.

Scott Harrington, 22, is a nice piece, but lacks high-end potential. Last year, Harrington scored 12 points in 48 games for Wilkes-Barre Scranton, and went pointless in 10 games with the NHL Penguins. He’ll be very familiar to Leafs executive Mark Hunter, who had Harrington in London.

Nick Spaling arrived in Pittsburgh as part of the James Neal trade with the Nashville Predators. Spaling scored 27 points in 82 games for the Penguins this past season, and is under contract for one more season at $2.2M.

Adding another first round pick to the cupboard is also nice, even if it will likely be somewhere in the 20-to-30 range. Toronto now has two first round picks, one second round pick, and two third round picks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, and 11 picks in total.

In retaining salary, $1.2M will count against the Leafs’ cap number for the next seven years. This might be the most disappointing part of the deal, but it could be worse. Deep down, I find it annoying more than anything… I doubt it will actually become a hinderance for Toronto in the future.


It appears that the first round pick that Pittsburgh sent to Toronto is conditional and lottery protected, meaning that the picks exchanged by both teams could change if the Penguins don’t make the playoffs. Here’s the full details from the Penguins’ official site

*If Pittsburgh qualifies for the 2016 postseason, Toronto will receive the Penguins’ 2016 first-round draft pick; and the Penguins will receive Toronto’s 2016 second-round selection. The second-round pick would be the one Toronto originally acquired from Pittsburgh for Daniel Winnik earlier this year.
*Should Pittsburgh miss the 2016 playoffs, Toronto will INSTEAD receive the Penguins’ 2017 first-round pick; with Pittsburgh getting Toronto’s 2017 second-round selection in return.
*If the Penguins were to miss the postseason the next two years, Toronto would receive Pittsburgh’s 2017 second-round draft pick and Pittsburgh would not receive a draft pick.

More to come!

  • CMpuck

    Intelligent leaf fans knew last year’s season would be an extremely long and frustrating one when former assisant coach Spott let the beans out of the can with the infamous Kessel quote, I paraphrase here, “I’m Phil Kessel, I have a long leash from the coach, I play my style, it is just the way it is” Translated I’m one dimensional, to hell with the defensive end of the game to hell with my teammates working their asses off in their own zone, I’ll just float at the blue line and avoid contact so I don’t get hurt. Yep chip along the puck to the boards and if a guy is setting me up for a hard check, I’ll gladly cough up the puck to avoid the check.

    I’ll delight the leaf fans at the beginning of the season that to quote a truly great hall of famer, Alan Iverson, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, I’ll let the media know I enjoyed my summer in fact I was on my skates less than 10 times. Toronto fans and media just understand I’m Phil Kessel and you are not.

    If only a guy like John Ferguson had been his teammate, he would have kicked Kessel’s ass and attitude to set a new record for longest field goal in the N.F.L. Bottom line is that when Carlyle was gone and Horacheck tried to implement a more defensive style, Kessel simply quit on the team with 3 goals in 25 games. So good riddance to the floater and similar to Clarkson the ownership which contrary to the dreamers would not get much more for Kessel than what they got have dumped a hell of a lot salary. If even one of the young players has a half decent N.H.L. career it is a win win win for the leafs.

    For those fools who insist that you totally judge a player on all the latest analytic stats whether it be Corsi or Fenwick or what ever, your pretty boy Kessel was a failure. So I praise Shanahan , Babcock and Dubas for recognizing Kessel’s tremendous weaknesses and dumping that Albatross contract that Burkie’s flunky Nonis stuck on the leaf fans.

    There are idiot Canucklehead fans who I have had to listen to all week telling their brethen that Eddie Lack was a future hall of fame goalie. They rightfully got a third round pick. They just dealt a coach killer in Zack Kassian who at his young age has all kinds of back problems to the Canadians for the referee loving Prust, plus the Canuckleheads had to give up a fifth round pick to get this knucklehead for the Canadians to unload Kassian.

    Give your heads a shake and get in the real world leaf fans.

  • TGT23

    I love this. All of the “trade Kessel for ANYTHING” have suddenly become “WE DIDN’T GET ENOUGH!!!”…

    It’s almost as if they had no intention of liking anything Shanny/Dubas/Hunter did… It’s almost as if they only ever intended to complain about any move made.

    Suddenly, after months of being called a fat, underproducing, bad attitude shiv we overpaid and need to get rid of, he’s not an elite winger we deserved the Sun and Moon for.

    We see you for what you are, now.

    We traded Phil Kessel. The one move every Leaf fan and critic demanded they make, they made.

    Welcome to the Rebuild.

  • TGT23

    pretty disappointing haul. especially with the fact we have to pay part of his salary, and give back a 2nd for their 1st. they could win the cup, we could have a bottom 10 pick. they’ll likely only be moving back 10-20 spots with that swap of picks. 3rd round pick isnt great at all. the defenseman is borderline 3rd line pairing. spaling is decent, but best case scenario is if he had a winnick type year and we can get a pick for him. kaspiri is only thing to get excited about and he wasnt even a top 10 pick, hes regarded as a top prospect but he wasn’t drafted highly for a reason.

    should’ve waited a season and rebuild kessel’s trade value cause hes way better then what we’re getting

  • silentbob

    Just a question for everyone who thinks they didn’t get enough

    If there was a market for kessel that would have produced a better return, do you not think they would have taken advantage of it?

    Sadly the market for kessel doesn’t appear have been what some thought it would have been.

    • CMpuck

      If they waited until trade deadline or next offseason they would’ve got a better return. He’s coming off possibly the worst season of his career. If this is the best they could get then IMO they should’ve waited to see if he can rebuild his value next season.

      I think they could’ve got close to the same haul next offseason if he had another down year. But if he had a good or great year (like his previous seasons) we would’ve had a much better return

      • silentbob

        They might have gotten a better return, they might have gotten a worse one, or here might have been no takers.

        And it would appear that shanahan and Babcock just did not want him on this team during the rebuild and there is an element of addition by subtraction here. Not unlike when the raptors moved Gay.

  • Bob's Hockey Stick

    If everyone feels the Kessel return was horrible, How many gonna end up on suicide watch after Phaneuf gets traded and the return just as brutal ?.

  • jasken

    If history repeats itself for the Leafs they will be paying 1.25 mil of Kessel’s contract for him not to play. Of the games he plays against the Leafs will average 2.4 points the rest of the league .34 ppg.

  • MatsSundin#13

    I feel like Marty St.Louis got a better return at 39 when Tampa traded him. Just lost all hope for this franchise. At the very least you keep phil to help insulate the minutes from your younger core even if your not going to be competitive in the next few year.

  • MatsSundin#13

    horrific. baffling. did dave nonis get rehired?! who set this deal up steve simmons?! pouliot should have been included otherwise wait. no reason why kessel was the #1 priority to leave when phaneuf is looking worse every day, bozak is going be worse thank humanely imaginable, lupul is on permanent ir along with robidas… we couldn’t at least move one of these big anchor contracts too !?!? retained salary for an elite scorer?! this is a rookie mistake. I’m watching the marlies until those prospects develop. this team has officially become unwatchable. I can’t support this trade or that management decisions. goodbye.