Bruins: Rumored Trade With Toronto Involves Kessel, Kaberle
According to a report by Bob McKenzie of TSN.ca, the Boston Bruins have offered potential restricted free agent winger Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Tomas Kaberle and the seventh overall pick in Friday’s NHL Entry Draft.
Kessel does carry a couple of red flags, most notably the surgery on his shoulder that could sideline him for the start of the 2009-10 season. Another is his aforementioned impending free agency, which means any team can present Kessel with an offer sheet, which the Bruins or Maple Leafs could match or let him go for conditional draft picks.
This trade does not make much sense for the Maple Leafs and GM Brian Burke, unless the Bruins are also sending additional draft picks and/or prospects. Kaberle is a premier puck-moving defenseman who could be a No. 1 on many teams.
It’s unlikely Burke would let Kaberle, along with a top-10 draft pick, go for a player who might not play a full season for his team, or might not play for them at all. Even with this offer, the most likely scenario is that Kessel re-signs with the Bruins with a deal similar to the one David Krejci signed not too long ago.
Kessel, 21, enjoyed a breakout season for the Bruins in 2008-09, scoring 36 goals in just 70 games and compiling a +23 rating. He survived testicular cancer in 2007, which earned him the Masterton Trophy for perseverance, and battled mononucleosis this past season.
Clearly, the kid is no stranger to adversity. Playing under the bright lights and intense scrutiny of Toronto likely wouldn’t faze him much. But considering the package the Bruins are asking for- and that Kessel isn’t exactly Burke’s type of player- it seems unlikely that this exact trade would take place.
But if it does, the Bruins will be in a position to own two top-tier defensemen and add another high draft pick to their deep, young squad.
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