OK. I think it is universally accepted that the Phil Kessel trade was a bummer. Do we have to keep talking about? I don’t think there is anyone left on the planet who disagrees. I’m sure even the guy who pulled the trade, Brian Burke would agree although you never get him to admit it. So can’t we just move on and agree never to raise it again?
When you think about it what further analysis is even required? It was a straight forward deal involving one young skilled player in exchange for two first round draft picks and one second draft picks that turned out higher than anyone ever expected, including Boston GM Peter Chiarelli. In hindsight everyone realizes the trade appears to be one-sided. It doesn’t take a Nobel prize winner to figure this one out. In fact, there were plenty of people stating the Leafs had overpaid for Kessel when the deal was made. And those people didn’t know the Leafs would be handing over two lottery picks.
Was it the worst trade in the history of the Maple Leafs? Probably not because there have been so many bad trades. Remember – Andrew Raycroft, Vesa Toskala, Tom Kurvers, Dave Burrows, John Kordic. The combination of Kessel’s age and skills mean that he should have a positive contribution to the Leafs over the next 5 to 7 years. That is unless cranky fans drive him out of town.
Best advice is to forget about ‘The Trade’ and take that weight off Kessel’s shoulders. It’s in our best interest to allow him to thrive in Toronto so that the deal isn’t added to the list of the worst Maple Leaf trades.