Rumors persist in Toronto that general manager Dave Nonis may unload Kessel

Meanwhile, rumors persist in Toronto that general manager Dave Nonis may unload Kessel (4-12—16 in his first 22 games) prior to the April 3 trade deadline. In three-plus seasons, the ex-Bruin has convinced many up there that he’s neither a leader nor core performer. Add him to a deep lineup with a coach who emphasizes offense (say, the Blackhawks, or maybe Canucks or Ducks), and he could be that 60-, 70-, or even 80-point guy who helps deliver a Stanley Cup.

Ideally, a Kessel swap would bring the Leafs a franchise center. Of course, if they had a franchise center, perhaps they wouldn’t consider dealing Kessel. Such is life in the salary cap world.

42 Responses to Rumors persist in Toronto that general manager Dave Nonis may unload Kessel

  1. Lucci_101 says:

    They wont trade kessel for a center if they go after a center they gonna want kesssel on the wing

    • LN91 says:

      Don’t be too confident about that logic. The Leafs can easily replace Kessel in UFA.

      How many Centers have hit UFA since the lockout? Brad Richards?

      How many wingers? Gaborik? Kovalchuk? Hossa? Semin?

      Even in 2012-2013 UFA:

      How many Centers? Only Getzlaf.

      How many wingers? Iginla. Perry. Semin. Horton. Morrow.

      Actually, I think Burke SHOULD dangle Kessel for a Center. Still have JVR and a good all-around winger in Lupul returning.

      • blaze says:

        Don’t say Kessel is easily replaced because that’s just not true. There are simply by amount twice as many wingers as centers to begin with yes and few top botch center hit the market but it’s still a long shot.

        There’s generally only one stud winter available a year that could qualify as a Kessel replacement and they are rewarded with mind boggling contracts in the 100 mil range.

        Only Perry on your list is a Kessel replacement and he is very likely to be re-signed along with Getzlaf, leaving you pinning your hopes on Semin or the likes.

        Anaheim can afford both. Hell sign both and move Ryan for depth elsewhere Perry is the better of the two anyways.

        As for top line centers anyways who is willing to move one even for Kessel? You say this over and over and yet your only proposal was for O’Reilly. Pathetic.

        We’re not getting a Staal, Toews, Kopitar etc so who are we willing to move him for Stastny now?

        • mojo19 says:

          Again, Kessel did finish 6th in league scoring last year.

        • LN91 says:

          Most important amongst the forwards by a mile. Don’t ever believe Toronto can contend with Kessel and whoever on the wings and some band aid in the middle…Will not happen.

          I suggest O’Reilly because he was the closest thing available. Why? Because they are most important position in hockey and no team will give it up.

          If Toronto would bring in a high calibre Center with Kessel as bait then yes…Do it. I’ll take an actual first-line center and a Hossa or Semin any day of the weel.

          And say what you want about Semin…But their is no difference between him and Kessel.

      • mojo19 says:

        LN91 is right

        The best centres in the last three years to switch teams are Richards, Jokinen, and I don’t know how to finish this thought.

        • LN91 says:

          Wingers will always come in free agency because they are replacable.

          Center makes players better…Not wingers.

          Erik Staal is making Jiri Tlusty look like a top-line winger. On the contrary, Phil Kessel cannot make Tyler Bozak look like a top-line center.

          It’s just the reality of hockey.

          • mojo19 says:

            Over simplification to say that wingers don’t make players better, but you’ve made your point.

            • LN91 says:

              It is…It could be argued, but we’ve seen what Crosby/Malkin have down with Kunitz/Dupuis.

              Meanwhile, in Calgary, the issue with Flames was always finding a Center for Iginla.

              Or what about Nash in Columbus? Same issue and Columbus could not find one.

              I actually view Toronto heading the same path as Calgary (a few years back with Iginla) in terms of production.

              Might make the playoffs, be a lower seed, might have one super run…But probably won’t ever have enough to win.

              So, it’s up to Nonis to decide what the path is going forward and I think he knows he needs to somehow find a better top-line center in Toronto.

          • blaze says:

            Kessel hasn’t made players better?? Wow Bozak became an NHLer and Lupul an All-Star playing with him and JVR exploded on the scene with him.

            But you’re right Kessel never made anyone better he can’t even pass the puck.

            • LN91 says:

              Then why is Nonis and previously Burke are still looking for a #1 Center to play with Kessel if he makes all the players around him great?

              It’s just reality. Iginla is a good example, Calgary had to offer sheet O’Reilly to hopefully get a Center to play with him.

              Wingers need help to be great, Centers control the ice. Any hockey analyst can tell you that.

              It’s great that you love Kessel and all…But you can always find a winger in UFA if it came down to choosing one or another.

              I would take a top-line Center and a previous UFA like Hossa over Kessel any day of the week.

              • leafs_wallace93 says:

                Clearly Calgary didn’t put all that much thought into the O’Rielly offer sheet, I’d hardly point to Calgary for savvy GM.

  2. toronto77 says:

    After finally acquiring a centre you are going to ship out Kessel? This doesn’t make sense.

    Once we get that centre then the next player we will be looking for is a winger who can put the puck in the net, which is Kessel. On that top line you are just filling one hole by creating another one if you are planning to include Kessel.

    The leafs have an interesting situation at centre. Bozak who is not a no.1 centre but can be a really good no.2 or no.3. Grabo and Kadri are also very good no.2’s, even though Kadri is the no.3 right now, it is obvious he will be in the top 6 at some point. but no none of these 3 are true no.1’s.

    I think we should use either Bozak or Grabo in a package that would bring back that no.1 centre, There are MANY ways of acquiring a no.1 centre through the pieces we have on this team without using Kessel.

  3. Steven_Leafs0 says:

    Flipping Kessel for a franchise center…. ok I’ll play along. So lets break it down, no team is going to trade their only franchise center so guys like Getzlaf wont move (if you want to argue they may lose Getzlaf for nothing then the cost is going to be a Hossa/Kovalchuk level package not another franchise player).

    Next we look at teams with 2 or more centers. Carolina wont move a Staal, Pittsburgh wont move Crosby or Malkin, Tampa wont move Stamkos and Lecavalier is not worth a Kessel because of his contract. The Leafs also wont go after a 30+ year old so Thornton and the like are out.

    So who does that leave? Couture? Duchene? Never gonna happen. Besides if you are going to fill a hole with a trade you don’t make another one. You can argue that Kessel type players are easier to replace than Stamkos types all you want you don’t make a move assuming you will get that replacement.

  4. leafy says:

    As Kessel is having an off year, the Leafs are unlikely to get fair value right now and better off just giving a contract extension. I’d be shocked if the Leafs trade him.

  5. reinjosh says:

    I’d also be shocked to see Kessel move. I just don’t think it makes sense, especially now that his stats are down from last year.

    I think it makes more sense that Nonis goes after Perry at the deadline, without an extension, hoping to convince him to resign (and then extend Kessel).

    Having JVR/Kessel/Perry would be intense. Is it possible? I doubt it but a guy can dream.

    We’ve seen guys whose contracts are ending go at the deadline for less then people thought. Could Perry go for a Kovy/Hossa type price?

    Kulemin has apparently been offered around. Colborne might be enticing. We have a few defensive prospects that are sure to be interesting to Anaheim.

    Kulemin, Colborne, Finn/Percy and a 1st?

    • LN91 says:

      Eww. Would rather swap Kessel for Perry. Save assets for the middle.

      • reinjosh says:

        Or we use what we already have in Grabo/Kadri/Bozak and supersize our wings…

        • LN91 says:

          Josh, it does not work.

          Philly had to change their entire philosophy because of it.

          Proof? They dealt Carter and Richards to re-manage for the future and have Schenn/Coturier to eventually play behind Giroux. Small centers/super wingers was not working.

          • blaze says:

            Who was Boston’s big center? There’s few big centers out there.

            Your proof is Philly dealt Carter and Richards how does that make sense?

      • mojo19 says:

        disagree LN91

        I’d rather have Kessel than Kulemin, Colborne, Finn and a 1st.

  6. LN91 says:

    I guess we lost the Paradis for Tlusty trade.

    • mojo19 says:

      Didn’t we flip Paradis in the Versteeg deal with Stalberg and DiDomenico? So we still have Tyler Biggs to show for Tlusty in a round-about way.

      But ya, Burkie made a mistake there. Tlusty was always good for us too.

      • toronto77 says:

        it was percy that we got out of the versteeg trade to philly, Biggs was from the kaberle trade to boston.

        But either way we did lose the Tlusty trade, I am quite sure we could have thrown in another useless prospect in that deal to chicago if we didn’t have paradis.

  7. mojo19 says:

    “He might be that 60, 70, or even 80 point guy…” He put up over 80 last year, and finished 6th in NHL scoring. Dopey article.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      yea. he has had 60+ twice and over 80 once in the last 4
      I do agree he would more suit the Blackhawks, Ducks, Canucks or the Pens with current rosters though.

  8. leafy says:

    I read the Rangers might trade Gaborik to shake things up. There’s another possible deal for Kessel.

    • You don’t want Gabby, and I’m not sure we want Kessel. He’ll never fit in with our coach. Although, Gaborik might be better suited on the leafs. He’s streaky with us, but you can’t deny his talent. I think it comes down to not fitting in with our coach.

      RE: Not trading Kessel. I haven’t watched a lot of games involving the leafs, but the handful that I have seen, Kessel is not the motor carrying the train. So, for a team that seems to find ways to win games, if trading Kessel can get you solid pieces coming back that could provide, effort, heart, and production, wouldn’t that be worth giving up a guy who doesn’t seem to be giving that much back to the team? I’m sure Kessel will find his game again as far as point production in goals, but I don’t see him ever playing the way you guys want him to play.

      I get why it doesn’t make sense to trade your top skilled winger, and I only have seen a handful of games involving the leafs, but I think a few good pieces would provide more for the leafs than Kessel.

  9. leafy says:

    Nobody has commented on Chicago’s regulation time unbeaten streak, now 22 games.

    But streaks can be a jinx.

    I recall Philadelphia’s 35 game unbeaten streak in 1980 with Pat Quinn as coach. But they still lost to the Islanders in the Finals (the Isles gelled as a team after the all-star game).

    And New England Patriots going 16-0, but losing the Superbowl to the Giants.

    • LN91 says:

      I would have loved Chicago to offer O’Reilly, when it seemed like a smart idea.

      Imagine Toews/O’Reilly with Sharp, Hossa, and Kane…Ouch.

    • mojo19 says:

      Chicago has had 6 games go to shootout. Compared to the pre-shootout era their record would actually be 16-0-6 right now. Pretty damn impressive.

      Something else interesting is that they are doing it with a couple of average tender’s. Crawford has 10 wins and Emery has 9. Crazy.

      • doorman says:

        A buddy of mine is a huge Hawks fan, lol, I keep telling him he better hope the lose pretty soon, before once they do the wheels fall off for four straight games.

  10. doorman says:

    So Nonis, makes his first trade, Brown to the Oilers for a 4th rd pick. I can honestly say I will miss Browners energy, he is one of the few guys who played hard every shift of every game.

    • blaze says:

      Ya not a huge fan of the trade myself but decent value on the return atleast. Lost our middleweight who just broke someones orbital. Running with two heavies now I guess and middleweight duties fall to Fraser.

      • nordiques100 says:

        Well they had options. Lose centre depth by dropping Steckel. Demoting Komarov. Demoting Frattin.

        Also, waiving Liles or Komisarek and risk having them claimed with a cap hit being charged to the Leafs the next two seasons, or demoting Holzer just to keep Brown were options too.

        Their choice was Brown or Orr or McLaren. McLaren has played well enough to stay. Orr seems to have taken him under his wing and looks like a guy who can provide enough 4th line energy.

        I think it was a good move to get a 4th, maybe a 3rd if the Oil make the playoffs, for a 4th liner. I believe they originally acquired Brown for a 5th so they upgraded.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Internet logic would suggest Nonis is simply making a roster spot for blockbuster deal. Nonis isn’t done (E3) we’ll know about a major deal by three o’clock Thursday.

  11. leafs_wallace93 says:

    For all those people that think Phanuef sucks…..

    Imagine he was playing in Toronto, you’d all be calling for his head, somehow I think he’ll bounce back though.

    • mojo19 says:

      He did just win the Cup, and was a beast in those playoffs. Probably the best player on the ice after Kopitar and Quick. Brown debatable.

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