BOSTON – During today’s press conference regarding the Phil Kessel trade to Toronto, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke about the details regarding the negotiations, and the final decision that came down last night.
While it might be difficult for the Black and Gold to replace the 36 goals recorded by Kessel last year, the Bruins felt like the offer that the Maple Leafs put out in the trade, was too good to pass up (two first round picks in 2010 and 2011, and a second round pick in 2010). It was still difficult for Chiarelli and company however, to deal the fifth overall pick of the 2006 draft.
“A trade of this nature is obviously difficult,” Chiarelli noted. “When you trade a good young player who could score goals and has a lot of speed, it’s a difficult thing.”
Chiarelli also noted that Kessel did not want to play in Beantown for the foreseeable future, thus making it clear that he had to pull the trigger at some point. The threat of Leafs GM Brian Burke trying to sign Kessel to an offer sheet also had an effect on the trade.
“This trade was really about two things. One is a player who did not want to play in Boston and two is a threat or a perceived threat of an offer sheet,” said Chiarelli. “In essence this player did not want to play here and that puts a different dynamic on the whole series of events.”
Chiarelli even went out of his way, to talk about more details in the Kessel saga. Something, he told the media he wouldn’t normally do.
“It’s normally what I do to talk about trades or trade speculation, or negotiations,” Chiarelli said. “But this thing has been so public, so I’ll make an exception,”
From the trade talk with the Leafs in this years draft – which had speculation of the Leafs potentially offering their first round pick, No. 7 overall, to Boston – up until last night, Chiarelli talked about it all.
“For whatever reason it didn’t work,” Chiarelli said about that particular deal on draft day in Montreal.
“It’s important to know that our prime target was that seventh pick, for a couple of good reasons. One is your going to get a good player with that pick but secondly, in this system, a player now at that early age is going to come in and play more. You saw it with Phil and you’re going to see it more and more with the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.”
While Chiarelli certainly wanted Kessel to return in a Black and Gold uniform, Kessel had made up his mind during the free agency period that he did not want to return according to the GM.
Now that the trade is done, and that the Bruins have five draft picks in the first two rounds of the 2010 draft, the Bruins can certainly use one or more of those picks if they decide to make future acquisitions between now and June.
“This gives us an option to bolster our team now, or for the future (whenever that is) for that pick,” said Chiarelli. “At the end of the day, there wasn’t a team, but for one, that was willing to make a firm offer, and willing to make a firm offer that the player was requesting.”