Phil and Sid? Phil and Geno? Bye Phil

The Leafs have traded Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins. THE LEAFS HAVE TRADED PHIL KESSEL TO THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS. the leafs have traded phil kessel to the pittsburgh penguins.

I’m disappointed he’s on a different team, excited for the return, and elated about the future.

Phil Kessel, Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon and a second round pick have been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenceman Scott Harrington, forward Kasperi Kapanen, a first round pick and a third round pick. The Leafs will retain 15%, exactly $1.2M of Kessel’s cap through Kessel’s contract.

Phil Kessel has been a perennial top scorer for the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring at least 50 points in the past seven seasons. Kessel, 27 has been a top forward who has been a potent scorer beside a second-line center Tyler Bozak. Kessel has shown that he can be a top scorer by himself, which has made many scratch heads about what he could be with a true first line center.

Queue the Pittsburgh Penguins. Phil Kessel will be playing alongside Sidney Crosby OR Evgeni Malkin in the 2015-16 season. Wow. Just think about the potency. Just think about the unpredictability. Just IMAGINE. Kessel and Crosby. Kessel and Malkin. As Joe Bowen would say, “Holy Mackinaw!”

Kessel definitely isn’t the solution to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ playoff woes. They definitely need defence as well. Tim Erixon might be the solution, but only as a sixth man in terms of depth.

Looking at the Kessel trade as a Leafs fan, I’m incredibly optimistic. Two young prospects in Kasperi Kapanen and Scott Harrington are part of the Leafs’ future, while Nick Spaling is a third-line addition for depth.

Kasperi Kapanen a top prospect who almost cracked the Pens’ lineup in his rookie season. He posted sub-par numbers with the Wilkes-Barre Penguins and Kalpa in Finland. Kapanen is a top prospect that will play on either the first or second line.

Scott Harrington is a gritty defenceman said to be a good 1-on-1 player, and can be a great penalty-killer. Harrington, 22 has won gold with Canada’s world junior team and captained the London Knights (ties with Assistant GM Mark Hunter). He is a left-handed defenceman that the Leafs have added who can be heavily depended on in defensive situations.

The Leafs wiped away the past with a blank slate immediately after the 2014-15 season ended. The Leafs have a strong prospect pool, including the likes of William Nylander, Connor Brown, Brendan Leipsic, Scott Harrington, and many more. There is an emphasis on developing the prospects patiently, which Leafs Nation are accepting throughout the current rebuild.

Who will the Leafs move next? Tyler Bozak to the Coyotes? Joffrey Lupul? So many possibilities. So much time.


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