Thank You Kessel

I apologize before hand if this post is an extremely obvious post.  Faithful readers will understand what I am talking about. The Bruins aren’t exactly on my hierarchy of sports teams I am a fan of.  They are behind the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, PC Friars, and Texas Longhorns in my book.  I have recently gotten into the Bruins solely for the purpose of this blog to make it as well rounded as possible.  Be gentle in your criticisms.

On September 19, 2009 the Boston Bruins traded Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2010 first round pick, 2010 second round pick, and a 2011 first round pick.  The trade had been rumored for a long time before it actually it went down because Kessel was unhappy in Boston.  At the time of the trade I remember being upset with the Bruins for not ponying up the money Kessel wanted.  At the time I saw the Bruins trading away the only guy on the roster that could routinely light the lamp (He had 35 goals his last year in Boston).  At the time, I freely admit I didn’t understand hockey.

The knock on Kessel while he was in Boston was that he wasn’t tough, couldn’t play hurt, and wouldn’t dare check anyone.  It was widely reported that Kessel didn’t see eye to eye with head coach Claude Julien and his defense first approach.  Kessel went off to Toronto and promptly signed a 5 year deal worth $27 million.  A much better offer than Boston offered him at 4 years $16 million, a similar deal to what Jordan Staal signed at the time.

In 2009 Kessel scored 30 goals and had 25 assists for a Toronto team that finished with the second worst record in the NHL, giving the Bruins the 2nd highest shot at the number one pick in 2010. The Bruins eventually got the #2 overall pick in the draft that year and drafted 18 year old phenom Tyler Seguin, who has been labeled a can’t miss prospect. The Bruins took Jared Knight with the second round pick given to them by Toronto. Through 34 games in Juniors Knight has a 14-20-34 line. Seguin and Taylor Hall were the creme de la creme of the 2010 draft class and Boston had the chance at either one because of how bad the Leafs were.

Last year when the Bruins were struggling, some experts in the media were wondering if the Bruins would part with the pick to land Ilya Kovalchuk, the best goal scorer available at the time.  The Bruins held tight and now have another piece to add to their young, up and coming, roster.  This season Seguin has scored 6 goals and dished out 7 assists in 36 games. Not bad for a kid who turns 19 at the end of this month. (Hall has played in 37 games for Edmonton and scored 12 times with 10 assists).

Now fast forward to this season.  History is repeating itself.  I didn’t realize that the Bruins also have Toronto’s number pick this year as well.  At the time of this writing the Leafs are the fourth worst team in the NHL, thus giving the Bruins the number 4 pick in the 2011 draft.  Through 38 games Kessel has 14 goals and 11 assists helping the Leafs maintain their stay toward the basement of the NHL. It won’t be long before trade rumors start swirling about whether the Bruins will give up that pick or hold on to it, in order to keep building their franchise through the draft.

With the Bruins needing help on the blue line names like Adam Larsson and Ryan Murphy have been rumored to be in the Bruins sights.  I won’t pretend to know anything about either prospect because I don’t.  But it simply amazes me that this Phil Kessel trade has potentially netted the Bruins so much value.

Right now the Bruins would have the number 3 seed going into the Eastern Conference playoffs with a young team that has a very bright future. Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Tuukka Rask, are all under 25 years of age.  The Bruins have two first round picks next season as well.  The franchise is in a lot better shape than I previously thought.

Until last night, I had no idea the Bruins future was this bright.  What the Bruins will do with their valuable draft picks is anyone’s guess.  They are a great trade chip.  The NHL Draft has proven to be a can’t miss avenue to strengthen the franchise as well.  The last few years top 10 picks have all played prominent roles on their respective clubs.  Now the Bruins are in a prime position to be very good for a very long period of time.  This is mostly in part to the Kessel trade and how bad the Maple Leafs are.

Earlier in the season, in a game at the TD Garden, Tyler Seguin scored a goal against the Leafs giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead.  The chant that erupted from the crowd was one of the more priceless ones in recent memory.  A chant that would rival “Dar-yl”, or “Who’s you dealer?”  It was (and is) “Thank You Kes-sel!”

I can be followed on Twitter at ScottieNTCF

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3 Responses

  1. I said all of this last year, just like the Tim Thomas vs. Tuukka Rask argument. This is old news to a Bruins fan. I told you so, yet again Scotty. Kessel Sucks.

    P.S. Do not ask to fire Julien. They have no superstars, and will not respond to mid-season coaching changes. I will write again, to save this blog from hockey humiliation.

    P.P.S. Very good post.

  2. No one remembers when you are right. Everyone remembers when you are wrong. I admitted right off the bat I was wrong about Kessel.

    Sorry, Tazzi I will continue to cover the Bruins to the best of my ability, hoping to get better over the course of time to save NTCF from hockey humiliation!

    • I never said your postings have to get better. It was a “very good post”. It’s your opinions that need to improve.

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