Phil Kessel has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins along with Tyler Biggs and Tim Erixon and a second round pick in 2016 for Kasperi Kappanen, Scott Harrington, Nick Spaling and the Penguins first and third picks in 2016.
The Maple Leafs will retain some salary, rumored to be in the $1.25 million range for the next seven seasons. This is a huge acquisition for the Pens as Kessel will slot in alongside either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin and could score 40-50 goals provided he comes to Pittsburgh with the right attitude. The Maple Leafs were desperate to rid themselves of Kessel as he was rumored to be a cancer in the Buds’ dressing room. We suspect Kessel will be on his best behaviour when he reports to the Pens and we love the potential for him to bounce-back. Given that he has been one of the highest scoring wingers in the NHL over the last five seasons, Kessel is now a legitimate early second-round pick in hockey pools regardless of format. Source: Rotoworld
The HockeyFanLand Insight:
This trade clearly created the biggest splash, on a day where 48 NHL players signed new contracts. If you are asking me my initial impressions of the deal are that the Maple Leafs did not get enough return. However, when you dive deeper into the details, The did not do so bad. Let’s face it, the organization called Kessel’s attitude a “Dressing Room Cancer, ” Suggesting that he was the reason for the late-season collapses of the team. They could not go forward in a rebuild with this player on the roster. Statements such as these suggest desperation. Very few teams were willing to take on Kessel’s cap-hit. So with all my mind, the return is not back at all.
I would consider the two prospects blue-chip, they will not make an immediate impact. However, in the long term they will be a solid NHL assets. Kasperi Kappanen, Is the future second or third line winger with offensive upside. Scott Harrington, Is one of the most intelligent young defenseman around. future top-4 for capabilities. The most exciting part, is draft picks, and salary-cap relief. This trade signals the rebuild Is officially underway in Toronto.
On the flip side, the Pittsburgh Penguins are all-in it Stanley Cup or bust. The Phil Kessel could put up All-Star numbers with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the sky is the limit for him in the Steel City. Phil Kessel will have the best year of his career !!!