Shanny Speaks: The Trade, New Leafs, and What’s Next

Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan just met with the media at the Air Canada to discuss today’s festivities… Here are the highlights…

On The Kessel Trade…

Talks heated up during the draft a little bit, and Jim Rutherford and I had been going back and forth a little bit before the draft and at the draft, so I had a sense something could happen today and it did.
I had said at the end of the season that there were going to be changes, and for whatever reason we had a lot of talented individuals on this team, but as a group it hadn’t worked. This is about winning, and Phil’s certainly a very talented player, but we knew changes had to come. 

I thank [Kessel] for his six years here – very productive years for him. And that’s why a guy like Jim Rutherford, with a team poised to take a run at the Stanley Cup, had such interest in him. I think it’s a good fit for Phil, but at the same time it stays n our messaging that what we were doing here as a group wasn’t working and we were setting a new direction for our club, building it different. In order to do that, sometimes you have to give up some very talented players to get some assets and picks. It’s our job now to turn those into things of value for this club moving forward.

We made the decision that we had to [retain salary], and that we weren’t going to be able to make that move without retaining some of his salary. So we’ve retained 15%… $1.2M. Would you like to not retain any? Or course, but some of the other people we were talking to were asking for more, and we thought this was the best deal we had.

On the New Leafs…

[Kapanen]’s one of the youngest players that was drafted two years ago. He came over this past year, and played a little bit in the American Hockey League and in the playoffs. Talented guy. Top six forward, we’re hoping. I think he adds to our stable. With a lot of work and a lot of patience and development, we hope that he becomes a productive Leaf at some point.

P.A. Parenteau is coming here on a one year deal with a lot to prove. He’s a motivated guy. I think he’s excited about coming here.

Harrington is somebody that Mark Hunter was very familiar with. A character player.

Hunwick, again, another guy that Mike Babcock was familiar with. A character guy, comes to work every day.

On the Future…

We’ve created a lot of cap space for ourselves, to give us some flexibility going forward. Some of the players we’ve picked up are young guys obviously just starting their careers. It’s our job to help them develop, it’s our jobs to turn the picks into prospects, and our job to turn those prospects into productive Leafs.

  • giproc

    I wrote before but it is finally nice for the leafs to have competent management like Shanny, Dubas and the stats fokls in place who employ a methodical process.

    The kessel trade demonstrates that the front office didn’t rush into anything and waited PATIENTLY until they received the offer they wanted for Kessel.

  • STAN

    The leafs and fan base wanted: Two very good prospects, a first round pick and a young roster player. The leafs got: 2 very good prospects in Kapanen and Harrington a first round pick and a young roster player in Spawling. Sucks they had theyto retain salary and give up a second rouder but they got decent value for Kessel. Not GREAT but decent. I don’t think its a bad trade as much as an underwhelming trade. The leafs were in a no win situation because this is the BEST offer they got and Shanny, Babs,Dubas,Hunter and ALL of Toronto wanted him gone. If they kept Kessel than people would accuse the leafs of going back on their word. And Kessel had TOO MUCH chances to be a better 2-way player Babs wasn’t and didn’t want to waste his energy on trying. If it was the best offer We could have gotten, I’ll TAKE IT

    • Jeremy Ian

      Not sure even Shanahan is as confident as you are. Here are his words about Kapanen:

      “Top six forward, we’re hoping. I think he adds to our stable. With a lot of work and a lot of patience and development, we hope that he becomes a productive Leaf at some point.”

      That’s two “hopes” in three sentences, the dominant noun in his discourse. Throw in the amount of work and patience that’s going to be involved and we might get “a productive Leaf at some point.”

      For Phil Kessel, who will play alongside Crosby on a line that will shred opponents.

      I think they dumped some salary more than picked up anything resembling a future Phil Kessel.

      It is a deeply disappointing trade. And I don’t even see Shanahan being excited about what he’s done.

        • Jeremy Ian

          I dunno Justin. I read your piece on his numbers, and as you say, the jury’s still out on Kapanen’s development. I think Shanahan is being realistic, not polite. I actually like that, instead of the blow-torches we’ve had to listen to in the past.

          But it is what it is. I think the Leafs had to close the chapter on Kessel’s part in the Leaf epic, so I’m not mourning his departure. It’s the return I am not thrilled about.

          What the Leafs now have is a lot of cap room. Makes me wonder if Jon Steitzer’s idea of being lavish on short-term contracts is part of the plan.

  • STAN

    Got to tke a middle road on this one.

    I agree with @Jeremy Ian that Babcock’s blunt assessment is tepid at best. But the key is he’s another prospect with potential. If he never becomes a Leaf, he can always be used in another deal.

    As for working the other 28 teams for a better deal… I doubt it was out there. It was no secret he was available, but Shanahan’s incoming phone calls of a serious nature could likely be counted on one hand.

    So make a deal and move on. I’m glad Kessel AND Tyler Biggs, two of Burkie’s biggest and boldest mistakes, are now history.

    Even IF Kessel is part of a Penguins Stanley Cup win (and my gut tells me it won’t happen), this had to be done.

  • jasken

    The Consortium did what needed to be done. Kapenan may or may not be a top 6 you dont say yes he will because you cant predicted the future. Shanny is saying what he should because he knows there are no guarantees. We seen Biggs come and go and Erixon was not impressive at all. Before you make judgements and pass on verdict on how bad a trade was on paper maybe you should be saying okay its a full rebuild lets see what this management can do.

    Burke thought he had a contender on paper we seen how that turned out. He got Kessel, Gustavsson and Phaneuf and assume they were the missing pieces of a puzzle before a game was played. They were to bad they belong to a different puzzle.

  • Gary Empey

    Leafs are stock piling prospects and draft picks. This is the way to build a power house team for the future.

    We have two #1’s already for next years draft and it’s only July 1st.

    Marlies are looking good. Get your season tickets now because it will be an entertaining team to watch. For those that do it should be fun to watch the young guys develop their game.

  • CLGPureMoist

    I was waiting for someone to mention that Kapanen was the #1 rated European (I think unwarranted over Nylander, after U18.)in 2014 draft. played great in the AHL after coming over when his Euro season ended.
    He and Nylander were rated a cut above other Europeans, and Nylander was the only player in 2014 that ISS rated ‘elite skills’ (reinhart and ekblad were ‘semi-elite’).
    leafs now have the two top-ranked europeans of 2014 draft, the top draft eligible scorer at U18 2015, the top european draft eligible scorer at U18 2015, and marner. also two 1st round picks in 2016.
    they could use the size and 2-way play of hanifin and dergachev, but there’s nothing to complain about regarding several young players with elite skating and puck skills that translate into production

  • FlareKnight

    Sounds like a guy who got played. Shanahan felt pressured that he had to move Kessel now no matter what and he caved to the best of the bad offers he had.

    Geeze what they had to give up just to make this trade work is amazing. Retained salary for 7 years and even a second round pick.

    The first they got is even lotto protected….that is truly spectacular.

    Great we got assets. Too bad we had to get owned by the Pens to get them.

    • silentbob

      who says that pressure wasnt real/warrented? From what I saw reported yesterday, neither Shanahan or Babcock wanted Kessel on this team or in the locker room next year.

      I don’t think what they got for him was a bad return, but even if it was, holding onto a player you don’t want on your team or around the young players you are going to start working into the line up with no guarente of that return increasing makes no sense.

      I don’t get why people are upset about the pick being lottery protected. Does anyone REALLY think the Penguins are going to end up with the 3rd overall pick?

  • Brooksterman

    I think the fact they got less than what most people feel that they could have gotten, suggests that they felt that they didn’t want him on the roster next year.

    • Gary Empey

      I think most of the people complaining about what we got in the trade were the same ones saying trade him for a bag of pucks.

      The team is in rebuild mode. We got picks and prospects. Just what we want.

      Re- the lotto protection. Next draft will cover the first three picks for lotto.

      It would be interesting to know the full details on that.

  • Verge66

    everybody is crying about kessel and its getting a bit too much

    you weren`t going to get everything for kessel and what the leafs have gotten back for him is pretty decent. A potential top 6 forward with speed skill and mittens dirtier then a hooker on Saturday night. He has a good size and weight at 6 feet 181 lbs(NHL size)

    So I mean he could crack the line up this year or next. Harrington is a solid Defenceman who will make his way to the top 4 D pairing, Maybe not a huge offensive upside but provides a good shut down role which comes in handy.

    Leafs also got a 1st round pick which is HUGE guys. Kapanen will show what hes got as will harrington as will waiting to see what that 1st rounder turns into. its a waiting game. we cant jump here and judge how affective a player will be or not before he suits up and plays.

    Leafs are getting some talent and depth in the young guys. Forwards- Brown, Nylander, Marner,Leipsic, Kapanen,Bailey, Hyman, Gauthier, Johnson.

    Defence- Finn, Rielly,Gardiner, Loov, Granberg, Percy, Dermott, Valiev.

    Im pretty excited for the future looking at these guys.