Saturday, September 19, 2009

Whoa!

And ... Canada's Team finally traded for Phil Kessel, which is cool. There has been some scuttlebutt around whether trading 2 first round picks while you're trying to rebuild - but Leafs GM Brian Burke basically said that the team made some significant off-season additions that are just as good as first round picks, so it was a move that they were comfortable with making.
While Burke admitted that the price-tag to acquire a player like Kessel was high, it was feasible for several reasons.

"It's a very high price but it's one we feel makes sense for us and I think what's made it possible to expend those picks is two focuses: one is that he's a young player, he's not even 22 yet," Burke said.

"And second, we think with some of the players we acquired without giving up picks like Tyler Bozak, (Robert) Slaney, (Christian) Hanson and (Jonas) Gustavsson, these are players that were they available on the draft would command a high price like that. We feel by stocking the cupboard we can take some of the cans off the shelf for the future."
Now, it's going to be a while before they can actually use Kessel, because he's just had surgery and won't be ready to play until November, but that's alright, because the Leafs locked him up long-term: five-years for $27 million.

All in all, the Leafs have done a great job drumming up enthusiasm for the new season. They're hope again that they could be something fun to watch after all. I can't wait.

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