Jan 28, 2013, 12:27 PM EST
Toronto Star columnist Damien Cox thinks the Maple Leafs should trade their “ill-conditioned, isolated, troubled or simply massively unlucky” sniper, Phil Kessel.
The column’s timing is no surprise. Kessel doesn’t have a goal in his first five games. And while the 25-year-old’s dry streak isn’t for a lack of chances, it’s still a major topic of conversation in Toronto.
The column also comes just weeks after general manager Brian Burke – the man who acquired Kessel from Boston in a much-criticized trade – was fired.
Here’s how Cox sees it:
Kessel cost the Leafs a great deal, as much, perhaps, in prestige as in actual assets. Indeed, that deal may ultimately have cost Burke his job.
That’s not to blame Kessel for the state of the team, although as the star forward, he has to shoulder his fair share.
Personality-wise, this just hasn’t been a fit. Like Andrea Bargnani, he could be a nice secondary piece on a good team.
On a young, struggling team, however, he can’t be the front man.
Beyond that, if you’re the Leafs, you don’t want to be the team that has to figure out what to pay Kessel once his current deal ends at the conclusion of next season.
At a $5.4 million cap hit ($5.1 million in real money this season), he’s affordable given his stats and goal-scoring ability.
At $7 million, or $8 million, it will be much different. And that’s what he’ll be able to demand.
Agree or disagree with Cox’s take, don’t expect the debate to go away anytime soon. That is, unless new GM Dave Nonis comes out and says a trade isn’t going to happen. (And even then, is Nonis telling the truth?)
Of course, it should be noted Nonis just signed Kessel’s line mate, Joffrey Lupul, to a five-year, $26.25 million contract extension – a move the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle called a “clear indication” that Nonis wants to keep Kessel.
Mar 6, 2015, 11:14 PM EST
Minny has lost only three times since start of February.
Mar 6, 2015, 10:24 PM EST
They had 37 shot attempts all game.
Mar 6, 2015, 9:49 PM EST
Ottawa hosting Buffalo.
Mar 6, 2015, 9:08 PM EST
Mar 6, 2015, 8:22 PM EST
More reaction to what transpired earlier this week.
Mar 6, 2015, 7:37 PM EST
Yeah, not a very good effort in Arizona on Thursday.
Mar 6, 2015, 6:39 PM EST
Those contract extensions were announced Friday.
Mar 6, 2015, 5:00 PM EST
Meaning Anders Lindback looks to play against Ottawa tonight.
Mar 6, 2015, 4:00 PM EST
“There’s no such thing as a ‘must-win.’ Nobody gets locked up or thrown in the ocean or anything like that.”
Mar 6, 2015, 3:13 PM EST
Gritty forward will miss most of the remainder of the regular season.
Mar 6, 2015, 2:19 PM EST
“There’s no question Chiarelli would have a chance to work as soon as he wanted to.”
Mar 6, 2015, 2:03 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Mar 6, 2015, 1:43 PM EST
Not the best timing for Winnipeg.
Mar 6, 2015, 1:13 PM EST
Making it virtually impossible for him to play again this season.
Mar 6, 2015, 1:10 PM EST
However, “We’re not hearing that from fans. Fans like the way the game is.”
Mar 6, 2015, 12:41 PM EST
The Scotiabank Saddledome opened in 1983.
Mar 6, 2015, 12:38 PM EST
It’s likely he’ll take the morning skate on Saturday.
Mar 6, 2015, 12:08 PM EST
“It was a mutual agreement between both parties.”
Mar 6, 2015, 11:50 AM EST
Hence, all the trades.
Mar 6, 2015, 11:43 AM EST
Huge blow to Colorado’s already slim playoff chances.
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