Toronto Media Starting to call on the Leafs to move Kessel

There’s only one untouchable on the Maple Leafs.

The man with no name.

Not Clint Eastwood, or his empty chair.

The 2013 first-round draft choice.

It is to be protected, retained and cherished, although other teams covet it and have already started suggesting it should be included in proposed trades.

At least when Kessel was acquired it could be imagined that one day he would be an untouchable. But it hasn’t happened, and worse, in the early days of the shortened 2012-13 season it appears he may be poised to struggle through his most difficult season in a Leaf uniform yet.

Kessel appears ill-conditioned, isolated, troubled or simply massively unlucky, or some combination of those.

Whatever the case, it is becoming difficult to imagine a scenario in which Kessel remains a Leaf beyond the end of this season.

Now, given the state of the team and the 25-year-old Kessel’s contractual status going forward, the April 3 trade deadline looms as the unofficial deadline to move this player, and there will be takers.

The kind of deal the Leafs should be looking for will be similar to that made by Columbus at last year’s deadline when Jeff Carter, then 27, was moved to the L.A. Kings for 25-year-old defenceman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick.–kessel-ill-suited-as-leafs-frontman-contract-could-be-headache-if-he-stays

75 Responses to Toronto Media Starting to call on the Leafs to move Kessel

  1. nordiques100 says:

    The only way i move Kessel is if I know for a fact Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are going to sign here.

    Perry is an elite goal scoring winger so kessel’s goals would not be missed if he was replaced by Perry.

    But moving him now, without an idea of what to do going forward, risky imo.

  2. doorman says:

    Rumor has it that perry will not sign in a media frenzy market, as he is not a spotlight kinda guy.I am thinking Getzlaf resigns with the Ducks. But I would think that there coming here would be the reason to kepp him, not trade him?

  3. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Kessel hasn’t scored in a couple games blow up the core, typical Toronto media.

    Trade Kessel for parts would set this franchise backs for years especially considering what we gave up for him.

    Jack Johnson and the 30th overall pick? No thanks.

    • nordiques100 says:

      yes agree, that would be stupid. if Perry/Getzlaf were Leafs, then the option of trading Kessel mades some sense. Right now, that’s not an option b/c that leaves the team’s best winger to be Nik Kulemin. wow, that’s bad.

      This is why waiting is best option.

      getting a Bernier say wont disrupt the core as it wont cost one of Toronto’s main assets.

      that’s really the kind of trades Toronto can afford to make right now.

      not throw in the towel after 2 losses.

      Kessel will have one full year left on his deal after this season. We will see how the summer plays out. If they can’t/don’t make any headway in landing a front line player, then Kessel will be kept. Then comes negotiating a long term deal.

      Lets let things play out.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        If I have Perry/Gezlaf then I want Kessel that much more to compliment each other.

        Trade Lupul for spare parts, trade Kulemin for spare parts. I don’t care if we over pay Kessel.

        • nordiques100 says:

          again, i will say, lets wait to see things play out.

          I am not really keen on paying whatever Kessel wants. I think things need to play itself out to see where the team stands and where he stands.

          He could very easily be a leaf for life as he could be the next Dany Heatley, a player who wants out of the big microscope.

          And to sign or trade him? Well again, i’ve said this before too, lets know for sure if Nonis will be the man in charge for years to come. If not, well lets not have him make these all world decisions.

          • doorman says:

            i think this deadline will tell us a lot about what kinda time frame Nonis ahas been given. While I imagine MLSE is wanting to make to the playoffs, the parent companies know the long term benefit of a consitant playoff team. While i am not beating the trade kessel drum, I do believe Nonis has to do hid due diligence in finding out kessel’s intentions. If he doesn’t want to resign, Nonis has no choice but to shop him, IMO. However if he can be resigned at a reasonable cost, then keep him and move forward.

  4. doorman says:

    I have proposed dealing Kessel last season IF he is NOT willing to sign a new contract. And, just to be clear I have bnever bashed the kessel trade. My reasoning is solely based on that he has a NTC after this season, so he could leave bringing nothing. So I ask you this, would that not set us further back? I think Nonis has to do his homework here, and if it is dealing kessel that is determined, I hope it is sooner as the return would be larger.

  5. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I like Kessel, but the fact is, he is not the player T.O can build around. We don’t have the players to compliment him and it would cost too much to acquire such players. Kessel is the type of player who needs others to make him better, not the type who makes others around him better as the likes of Crosby,Malkin,Richards-both,etc do. Kessel is talented and would be great playing alognside the Sedin’s or with front-end talent laden teams like, Pitt, NYR, Boston, SJ, LA for examples.
    I thought we should have moved Kessel last year when stock was high and we could have returned some size and talent in return. Unfortunately Kessel’s stock is a little low, so trading him now, unless we could get full value, does not make sense. Let him pick up the pace and for reasons doorman mentioned and reasons I am stating, move him and get players in return that better suit the make-up of the current Leafs.
    We need different things then what Kessel brings IMO. I am not a fan of bringing in Luongo but if a package that included things we need could be worked out…Van needs a back-up, a centre and scoring. We need talented size, grit, a veteran goalie with Reimer.
    If something like

    To Toronto
    To Vancouver
    Kessel,Bozak,Scrivens,2013 2nd

    I would do it.

    Some will say “Vancouver will never do that” and some will say “Toronto is overpaying”. it’s just an example of a trade that trade helps both teams IMO and Kassian and Higgins better suit Toronto’s lineup. Kessel and Bozak help bring Vancouver scoring and centre ice help.


    Defense stays the same


    I like that much better than the current roster.

    • doorman says:

      Oh, I think we get hosed from the Nucks in that deal, lol. If we are trading kessel that way I want more then bobby lou and spare parts. I am not as sold on kassian being an impact player as some other are. Higgins and Bozak are a wash really.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      I would never watch the Leafs again if they made that deal.

      Damian Cox stirring the pot doesn’t make trading Kessel absolutely necessary…

  6. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Like I said doorman…some will say “Toronto overpaid”.lol It seems like a lot to pay from a Leafs fan prospective, but I believe Kessel is worth more to Toronto fans than the rest of the NHL. Higgin’s is a gritty player and great playoff guy. Kassian is Big, strong with 3 goals in 5 games so far. Lou still puts up good numbers (although I don’t think he is as good as others do). I would love Vancouver to throw in Gaunce lol.
    I get your reasoning but Bozak and Scriven’s could easily be considered spare parts by many as well. lol

    • Gambo says:

      You’re completely basing this trade off of the first 5 games, this would be completely idiotic for Toronto to do.

      You traded their only 1st line forward and in return got two 3rd line forwards and an over payed goalie. If anything this is a sideways step at best for the present(I think the trade makes the team worse), but a massive step back for the future.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Kessel finished 6th in league scoring and you’re taking back a salary dump in Luongo who has maybe three good years left, a journeyman in Chris Higgins who is essentially worthless and Kassian who is an average young player….

      Take Kessel’s name out of that deal and it’s still questionable to give up Scrivens, Bozak and a 2nd for them.

      Kadri has three goals in five games let’s just trade him straight up for Ovechkin because Ovie is worth more to Caps fans than to the rest of the league.

      Though I’m totally taking the bait on this proposal I guess.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Get Vancouver to throw in Gaunce My point was that is probably the return on Kessel right now. Is it great…no. I still say we are a better team after, then before the trade.

  7. nordiques100 says:

    You can build a winning team with Phil Kessel, but not around Phil Kessel. Until the media and fans realize that, then accept him for what he is and accept the fact the Leafs are not quite there yet. And he isnt the guy alone to take him there.

    He is not a franchise player. He is an excellent goal scorer, but he isn’t an top player you can build a team around. He is a player you add to a strong core and build with.

    The Crosby like stars are hard to find. Don’t expect Kessel to be like that.

    I think that is how you have to accept Phil as. Blaming him is wrong, but considering him an elite top dozen NHL player who can carry a team is also wrong. He’ll never meet those expectations.

    He is a complimentary offensive guy. A guy who can consistently give you 35-40 goals a year. but really, that is it.

    He does not check, he wont hit, he will not win fitness tests, he will not be a media darling, he wont defend well, he will not stick up for teammates, he will not block shots, he cannot beat a team on his own with 3 guys hanging on his back like Sundin use to. He will not get up in the room and be rah rah. He is not a leader. He won’t lead by example.

    I think the return Boston got set these unrealistic expectations on him. He will not be like Clark, like Gilmour, Like Mats who can do more than one thing.

    I believe strongly that if Seguin and Hamilton were not Toronto natives and were from Finland, the Kessel trade wouldn’t be as bad as some have made it out to be. The comparisons would be moot.

    He scores goals. He does that well. That’s it. That’s not a knock against Kessel. That’s just fact, that will be taken as criticism unfortunately.

    Therein lies the problem IMO. There are people who expect greatness out of him, there are others who have him on a pedestal, there are other who think he is garbage.

    He is simply a guy who scores goals. that’s it. Don’t expect more, don’t expect less.

    Goal scorers will go through stretches like this. He started last year with scoring at a more than a goal a game pace. this year he didnt score in 5.

    Unfortunately for Kessel no goals mean no anything from him. You definitely like him to produce, but the fault is not all his. Its the guy who was fired who’s at most fault. Toronto has no one to pick him up. No one like Lundqvist in goal to shut the door when the stars are struggling to score. No one like Chara to dominate on D and take over games like that that are close checking to keep teams in it. No one like Staal to step in and go from a 3rd line centre to a top line centre when Malkin/Crosby are out.

    Sedin has Sedin, Getzlaf has Perry, Crosby has Malkin, Ovy has Backstrom, Toews has Hossa, Kessel has…..that’s right. nadda.

    Kessel is not in a position to succeed as he should because he doesnt have the talent to help him. To be clear, he isn’t in a position to allow him to put the puck in the net and leave it at that. He is expected to do so much more. He isn’t capable of that.

    Put Kopitar on this team and can he do it alone with Lupul out and Kulemin your best winger? Doubtful.

    Put Bergeron on this team, without Lucic, Seguin, Krejci, Horton, Marchand around him. How well will that work? Not great i dont think.

    The last 2 champs proved you don’t need the all world guys up front to win. You need though a collection of complimentary stars. Toronto maybe has 2, Kessel with Lupul. JVR maybe but still vastly unproven. Add 3 more and you may have something here.

    And thats all not including all world goaltending and strong D. that’s another Leaf sad story for another time.

    bottom line is, take Kessel for what he is, nothing more, nothing less. He’ll get his 35 goals. just accept that.

    • doorman says:

      I have no issues with the player Kessel is a 35-40 goal scorer does not grow on trees. I base my opinion soley on his desire to remain a Leaf. If he wants to sign an extention before his NTC kicks in, great, if not i respect his choice. That being siad if the later is the case Nonis is not doing his job by considering getting something for an asset that may choose to walk for nothing. I also never had a problem with the trade as he is still currently the best player in it, though that may change soon. Add that to a team that dradfted 7th overall and adding a player of his talent should not have gone backwards.

  8. doorman says:

    Newsflash, I need to learn to proof read my typo filled responses, lol

  9. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I agree with you 100% Nords. Kessel is what he is(my basis for trading him if the price is right) We cannot build a team that will compliment him without getting first overall pics or trading all our assets to try and get there.IMO We have tried to build a team around kessel for three years…it hasn’t worked.

    For the others…I am not basing the trade off of the first five games. As I said, I thought we should have traded him last year. It is about needs. We should have learned by now that Kessel is not going to carry this team…we’ve tried it. Bozak is a 2nd to third liner who won’t go to the net, he’d rather pass instead of shoot even when he is in the best scoring position. Scrivens is most likely a career back-up. Kassian could be a beast. Higgins is a good third liner who can play on the second line and is great in the playoffs. Lou is an overpaid goalie who may still be capable of carrying a team. It’s a risk, yes, but continuing to try and build around Kessel is a bigger risk.

  10. LN91 says:

    I don’t think it’s far fetched or stupid if Nonis wants to trade Kessel or Phaneuf.

    It’s his team now and he can create any vision he wants…Including to start from the ground up. If he wants to do the one a previous GM has never had the balls to do, he might do it.

    And no one should really oppose it, if he want’s to pull a Tallon or even a Holmgren…Let him do it for once.

  11. lafleur10 says:


  12. TimTheBone says:

    Kassian is just a flash inthe pan beneficiary of a terrible sitiation in van city…. Hes a product of his line mates…… He won’t be the “answer to Milan lucic” as.some media has said….

    That is a garbage trade for the leafs based on the simple fact that you’re removing 35 goals from your lineup and replacing it with grit…. You lose a huge goal scoring dynamic to the team… It’s a big step backwards….. Lou is an upgrade in goal but he can only do so much…

  13. mojo19 says:

    I actually wouldn’t mind moving Kessel. If we could trade him for say Ryan O’Reilly and Colorado’s 1st that would be okay. We’ll be worse off right now, which suits me fine.

    I think take a step backwards, take two steps forward. We need to bottom out for the next two years and take two more top 5 picks to build around. Not that keeping Kessel would hurt, but hey let’s do this right. Strip it down and start from scratch.

    • leafy says:

      Mojo, this is 100% EXACTLY what I was saying years ago…and you and others gave me a hard time!!!

      You are absolutely right. This team must build through the draft. We need to suck for a couple of years for sure. It’s that simple.

    • leafy says:

      And regarding the Kessel trade, you just do NOT trade your 1st round draft pick when you are finishing near the basement!!!

      I hope now people have learned their lesson and ALL agree on this.

  14. mojo19 says:

    I would do this:

    Kessel, Scrivens
    O’Reilly, Varlamov, Col 1st.

    • mojo19 says:

      Things would be bleak for a couple years, then we’ll be the Blackhawks.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      O’Reilly could be a nightmare to sign but those names are of the ilk I could swallow if we had to give up Kessel.

    • blaze says:

      I just don’t see how Colorado could do that deal and that deal is the only way I’d consider moving Kessel. If Kessel is willing to re-sign, which I’m sure he is, you keep him we could get a top pick easily while keeping Kessel.

      O’Reilly is a nice starting piece that I’m sure they would willing to part with. As for Varlamov what’s the point of losing your starting goalie and any ability to compete for a playoff spot to get Kessel.

      Can’t protect that 1st without Varlamov and they wouldn’t want to lose a top 5 pick. Without Varlamov I’m not even close to interested. And any team trading for Kessel is going to want to be sure they can re-sign him. The Leafs will never get value for him so unless he can’t be re-signed why on earth move him.

      It drives me nuts seeing some of the post saying it will never work with Kessel, I can’t believe people follow shitty Toronto media. We can never win surrounding Kessel so let’s trade him for mediocre parts and that somehow brings us closer to winning??

      • blaze says:

        Here’s some food for thought. Say Colorado trade O’Reilly,Varlamov and a 1st for Kessel. Varlamov alone propels us out of the basement. So say goodbye to a top pick. If he doesn’t come say O’Reilly and a 1st.

        We get O’Reilly who is only a marginal upgrade over Bozak, who walks as UFA ,”
        because the team has 3 capable centers.

        Grab a first for Colorado which would be likely no lower then 10 with Varlamov and Kessel. So say you grab Max Domi. Best case scenario in 4-5 years he produces similar to Kessel but likely never puts up goals or points like Kessel did. Worst case scenario he’s a bust under Toronto pressure and the Leafs marginal improved over Bozak at the cost of Kessel and extra cap space.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        I have not said it won’t work with Kessel, nor have others from what I’ve read. I said it is time to realize that Kessel is not going to be the guy to build a team around. It does not mean he is not useful, it means he can’t carry a team. He is more or less as Nords describes him. Leaf fans have insisted that we find a centre for Kessel, at what cost? and then what? we still wouldn’t be a contender, there are still too many pieces missing.Forget the trade I suggested if you all hate it. It’s the idea behind the trade. We would get a big, mean prospect who can score, a quality goalie and proven experience that is good for 10-15 goals a year. I used Vancouver because they are willing to make a trade and based it on the fact they want a top six forward and a first for Luongo, which is about the value of Kessel(a top six and a first). Kassian (a former 13th overall pick) for Bozak and a second. Scrivens for Higgins.

        • blaze says:

          What would be the benefit of that trade? We lose our only player who has game breaking talent and ice team that could maybe but not likely make the playoffs for the next few years.

          No good draft picks and we gave away our best player and most valuable bargaining chip.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            Even though I am not a Luongo fan…a tandem of Luongo and Reimer could put this team in the playoffs. I mentioned the benefits of the trade and values of players given up. As far as making the playoffs…right now, I don’t see the current roster making it either. A great goaltending duo could change that…Kessel on his own, will not.IMO

  15. mojo19 says:

    I would also shop Phaneuf. Take a big package including – young roster player, prospect, and maybe a pick. I think there would be legitimate interest for Dion.

    The truth is, this current Leaf squad has not won me over at all. I watched some Jets hockey the other day and got nostalgic for Antropov and Poni’s hard-nosed play along the boards down low.

    • leafy says:

      Agreed again. Phaneuf’s trade value is pretty good right now I would think.

      The Leafs can certainly use a young Antropov. Right now, even the so-so 2006 Leafs look like the ’88 Edmonton Oilers by comparison…Sundin, Allison, Lindros, Antropov, Tucker, Poni, O’Neill.

  16. leafy says:

    My NHL assessment so far (while totally ignoring the NHL standings):

    Carolina…far better than their record. Playing really well.

    Phoenix…look for them to turn it around…playing great, but LaBarbera and Smith can’t stop a beach ball.

    St. Louis is playing the best hockey in the NHL right now.

    Tampa is winning but not playing well at all. Power play is dynamite, but 5 on 5 it’s last year’s Tampa.

    Dallas…totally sucks. Even worse than their record.

  17. blaze says:

    Kessel is 24, if that’s not a long term piece I don’t know what the hell is. And I swear nothing drives me more nuts then hearing we need guys that make his lineages better not a guy to make Kessel better.

    Is that a joke?? The fact Bozak is a household name doesn’t ring a bell? Lupul getting a 5 year 26.5 million dollar deal? Yep Kessel can’t do anything but shoot replacing him with Kassian makes sense.

    • leafy says:

      Right now the Leafs have no choice but to hold on to Kessel until he starts scoring again and his value goes up.

      • blaze says:

        Even if it does go up well never get worthwhile value. Only teams that would give up lots are the ones convinced they can re-sign him long term.

        Odds are very good if we move Kessel we go backwards.

        • leafy says:

          That’s probably true.

          • doorman says:

            to be fair most have only mentioned trading kessel for either a premium package, or like i stated that he isn’t willing to sign an extention. If he isn’t and decides to test the market after next season, where are we then? Would you rather have what he briings back or him walk? If he is willing to sign, great i prefer to keep him, but he doesn’t extend it is more then likely he bolts, IMO.

    • mojo19 says:

      Kessel is 25, turns 26 this year.

      His NTC kicks in this summer and he’ll be completely in control next year, during the final year of his contract. I would start shopping him right now. We’re going to end up with nothing for Kessel when he walks away from the pressure cooker in a year and a half from now. This is a shy, timid, doughy little guy who I don’t think has much interest in staying here.

      Granted, that’s a lot of speculation, but I think its a logical theory.

  18. leafy says:

    If only the Leafs were patient. This excerp below is from today’s Star. Breaks my heart.

    “What would the Leafs look like with Tuukka Rask, Logan Couture, Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton?” says Craig Button, a former NHL general manager and now analyst for TSN. “You’d have a No. 1 and No. 2 centre, a top-three defenceman and a No. 1 goalie.”

    Imagine, everything the Leafs are looking for today, they could have had simply by being patient. Seguin at centre with Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul on the wings, a blueline built around youngsters Jake Gardiner, Dougie Hamilton and Morgan Rielly, all protecting Rask.

    • mojo19 says:

      Preach it, Leafy. I wrote the exact same thing a month ago. Of course, we’re doing just fine with Toskala, Raycroft, and Kessel….

      The other alternative also could have been trading Kaberle and a 1st (Kadri) for Kessel at the draft but Burke laughed at that.

      That would have equated to losing Liles, Colborne, Biggs, and Kadri for Seguin, Hamilton, and Kessel. Of course, its all moot anyway’s, because who knows, one little roster change starts the butterfly effect and we finish in 11th in the East and no one ever mentions Seguin’s name.

  19. blaze says:

    I honestly don’t think it’s possible to be patient in this market anymore. Espcially with the new owners. I liked Burkes Kessel gamble at the time but in hindsight it was very unfortunate.

    Regardless there is constant pressure on this team to do something. To listen to Leafs fans roast their own players we could never let a young team mature and develop properly. Kadri was crucified. If he had a slow start this year instead of poppin a few goals he would’ve been run out of town. And the media powerhouse idiots that run the team love selling us the news about it.

    • nordiques100 says:

      Well you know, Burke never needed to go the way of full rebuild.

      I mean if he wanted to move Kessel for 2 1sts, fine. But he also could have flexed the Leafs financial muscle putting money towards any one of Gaborik, Havlat, Hossa, Cammellari, who were available in 2009 as free agents, the same summer he acquired Kessel.

      He did go out and make the team “tougher” which he preferred, with Komi, Orr, Beauchemin. But maybe he should be talking to his best buddy about you know, the hockey team itself rather than good ol’ times at Providence because clearly those players were not in Wilson’s plans.

      But those back diving contracts, long term deals, burying contracts to save cap space, offer sheets (though he could not at that time without 1st rounders), among many other LEGAL rules he refused to follow took him out of so many avenues to acquire players that it made going “all in” on Kessel all that more ridiculous.

      You don’t need to rebuild if you choose to throw money on the problem and try to win at all costs like the Wings tried. After Kessel, there was nothing. It was just waiting for the perfect move, the way he wanted it, to fall into his lap. For other GMs to bend at his whim. For players to crawl to his doorstep.

      you can say he did some good things, but the way he approached building the leafs was laughable. an embarrassment that was too much for the current owners to accept.

      but it didnt need to come to that. we could look back and say, if he only kept seguin/hamilton. for me, its more if he kept the going all in approach, he’d probably still be the leafs boss.

      • mojo19 says:

        That’s right Nords. Don’t forget that summer, he not only missed out on the aforementioned Cammalleri, Gaborik, Havlatt, to name a few, but he also traded Pavol Kubina to Atlanta for Garnett Exelby and to free up the space to sign Komisarek.

        Kubina has badly outplayed Komisarek and has been way more valuable to his team’s in the last few years than Komi has been. But thank God Burke got rid of Kubina because he was infected with “Blue and White disease” whatever that made up BS meant…

      • leafy says:

        That’s 100% bang on Nords. There is never a clear plan with the Leafs. Is it a rebuild or a reload? Pick one and do it. You cannot get partly pregnant.

  20. mojo19 says:

    I mean, more to Nords’ point from above. He could have gotten away with the two 1st’s for Kessel a lot better if he had built a good team, so that the draft picks weren’t still being discussed to this day as we see them blossom with the Bruins.

    Burke always said “I could easily just make the playoffs by signing a couple of free agents, but I want to build a team that can win and compete for a long time…”

    Well Brian, by not signing a couple free agents you totally built a team that can win and compete for a long time. The Boston Bruins. Ohhhhh, ya I went there. Old joke, but relevant as always.

    • nordiques100 says:

      We’ve had time to digest the firing and the more we look back, the more idiotic and wasteful his time was.

      The biggest homers will still point to how he got Gardiner, but that doesn’t outweigh what was done.

      He’d never sign the best free agents because he never ever wanted to do those contracts. i’ll go back to the homers who’ll say well those players didn’t want to play here, but the effort, sending Cliff Fletcher to the Richards presentation, was an embarrassment. Nothing against Cliff, but it was dismissive and ignorant by BB. Even if you had no chance to sign him, you go for it. Perception. The perception there was Burke doesn’t want to care about winning. He only cared about protecting his legacy of honor and integrity. Think Richards agents didnt find that kind of insulting? Word gets around.

      well you can be honorable and have tons of integrity and still be a cut throat b**tard. See Ken Holland.

      • mojo19 says:

        Well put. I mean, Burke took July 1st off on a few occasions to march in the parade. I’m sorry but that’s a very important day for an NHL GM. One of the most important days of the year and serious work needs to be done. The excuse of “I had my cell phone on the whole time” just doesn’t fly.

        It just goes to show about the effort you were talking about. He didn’t take Brad Richards seriously at all and had no interest in Gaborik. Meanwhile Cammalleri is at the ACC on July 1st and Burke decides $6 million is too much, then proceeds to put $7.5 million in cap space towards depth players like Armstrong and Komisarek. Terrible mismanagement.

        The top teams have cheap players like Abdelkaeder on their fourth line, plus a couple of bargain players on entry level deals tearing it up. Not 4th-5th d-men earning top dollar and $3 million dollars for a player like Armstrong to help “solidify the 3rd line. Now we have that vital piece, the third line right winger in place.”

        Give me a break.

      • doorman says:

        I don’t defend Burkes methods, but I won’t completely throw him under the bus here either. He made mistakes and too often didn’t fix them, however we have a better core of younger players then when he got here. For that i have to give him some props. Go ahead and call me homer, but that’s how I see it.

        • nordiques100 says:

          I don’t think that was too hard a job, to be better than JFJ. that’s the comparison. JFJ was atrocious. It was near impossible for Burke to do worse. He didn’t

          • doorman says:

            LOL, true enough, but you know the Aulie trade bothers me more then the kessel deal, if that makes any sense? Hopefully Ashton makes me wrong, but not holding my breathe.

            • nordiques100 says:

              Ya that was a bad trade looking back. Aulie with Dion would be a good shutdown pair.

              No offense to Kostka who has performed well considering he is a 27 year old journeyman rookie with 5 NHL games experience, but he unfortunately isnt a top shutdown guy. But who does Carlyle have? That’s again a burke issue.

              big 6’6 D who can skate are more rare than forward plugs. I think Ashton will be at best a plug. Dont know if he has the offence to do more

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              I hated that trade and most on here told me Ashton is worth Not so far. I wanted the twin towers to stay together and as Nords said and I said back then. 6’6″ D-men who can skate are a rare find.
              on Burke…I think he did better than some here feel. The “Team America” build and his loyalty to Wilson and players that he acquired that clearily did not work out, bothers me.
              I was a Burke fan for certain reasons but a Burke hater for others.

  21. doorman says:

    He was projected as a can’t miss I get wanting to take the chance but like you said big dmen who can skate are rare, not to mention he was phyisically capable.

  22. doorman says:

    So let’s say you are Nonis and you decide you have to shop Kessel. Who do you call and what do you realistically expect to get?

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      Sorry, I am wrong about Kassian’s stats, Kassian scored again last night, so that’s 4 goals in 6 games and is being talked about as a physically dominant force on the ice with better than expected hands. Nahhh Toronto couldn’t use that.LOL

  23. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I don’t think Kessel has as much value as most do.(clearily by the reaction to my trade sugestion)lol. Everyone is knocking Kassian…a 22 year old big kid who has 3 goals in 5 games. I find it funny since Kadri is expected to be given all the time in the world to grow and is a hero for his performance to date this No problem, I also remember everyone knocking me for wanting David Clarkson before he hit his stride as well:)

    I think only teams with tons of top end talent who could use Kessel’s extra goals will be interested, as long as the Leafs don’t want any of their top end talent in return. Sorry, that’s the way I see it.

    If the Leafs trade Kessel right now, most will be very disappointed in the return.IMO

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      What site are you reading, we’ve been bashing Kadri for well over a year. No one has him projected as a top six just like no projects Kassian as a top line player. Kessel is a young all star winger.

  24. toronto77 says:

    I seriously doubt Kessel will want to resign here, if we continue to struggle. Why the hell would he??

    In order to keep Kessel here and make the team better, we desperately need to make another Kessel type trade. For example, what would it take to get Grandlund out of Minnesota?

    maybe trade Kessel for Grandlund.

    Minnesota is on the cusp of becoming a playoff contender for years to come and I am sure Kessel would love to play close to his home town and Minnesota will be a really good team in a quiet market. Minnesota is almost perfect for Kessel right now.

    Then Kadri can replace Kessel on the top line. Obviously Kadri isn’t as good as Kessel, but he doesn’t have to be, if Grandlund is the no.1 centre.


    trade Kadri and Gardiner for Grandlund.

    JVR – Grandlund – Kessel would look amazing for years to come.

    Me thinks Grandlund is absolutely untouchable!

    Koivu will be 30 this year and you have to start to wonder where does he fit into their future. Grandlund will probably be way better than Koivu when he reaches his prime, and Minnesota would be drooling of a 1-2 punch at centre with Grandlund and Coyle.

    if minny does trade Grandlund for Kadri and Gardiner, they get a great top line paring with Kadri and Parise on the wings, and will be ABSOLUTELY set with defence for the future with Suter, Gardiner, Dumba and Brodin!

    even if Toronto over pays and Minnesota completely rips Toronto off, I still doubt Minnesota moves Grandlund. This guy is there future and the moment they trade him they will be trying to replace him, look how long Toronto has been trying to replace Sundin!!!

    Grandlund is just an example, but he is the type of player we need to acquire. Gardiner would be a huge loss but I think Rielly makes Gardinder expendable.

    at the deadline trade Kadri and Gardiner for Grandlund, trade grabovski for a 1st and draft a centremen in the 15th to 30th range in a deep centremen draft, and bottom out to select Monohan.

    next season

    Lupul – Grandlund – Kessel
    JVR – Monohan – Kulemin

    Top 6 problem solved!! grow some balls!

    • mojo19 says:

      Granlund hasn’t proven shit yet. He’s a good looking player, could become a star, but he might not, he might be like a Grabovski or something, which is still a nice player to have but not a franchise player.

      No guarantee’s with Granlund, Kessel more proven = need more of a return.

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