Closing the Book on the Kessel Trade

The book is officially closed on the Phil Kessel trade.

When the Boston Bruins drafted Dougie Hamilton Friday night, we all knew the parts involved. Boston would get Hamilton, Jared Knight and Tyler Seguin in the deal that sent Kessel to Toronto.

It has long been debated who won the trade, and we certainly still do not know enough, but this is a milestone moment to look back.

Kessel did not want to stay in Boston. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said as much before he was traded. Only two teams were really in the race to acquire the sniper, and they were the Maple Leafs and Nashville Predators. The Leafs, a struggling team, gave up two first rounders and a second for the young goal scorer.

This is why I have always felt that the Leafs may have lost this trade. Yes, Kessel is a young scorer, but a bottom of the pack team giving up those kind of picks? I never fully understood it. Certainly they could have given up a little less?

It’s not like the Bruins exactly screwed Toronto either. They were 29th in the league in scoring in 2010 and had that historical collapse against the Flyers. Boston fans continued to say the pockets of the Leafs were picked, but if they just gave up their best goal scorer, how did Boston win it? The only thing to give the Bruins an outright win in the trade would be them capitalizing on the picks.

Tyler Seguin ended up being chosen as the second overall pick after the Maple Leafs faltered all season. Seguin did not have a huge impact on the Bruins’ 2010-11 season, though he did get to raise the Cup, something Kessel and the Maple Leafs are a ways away from.

Hamilton and Knight are a year away from the NHL at the least, so we still do not know how the trade worked out as a whole. I don’t think Boston has won as much as Toronto has lost. Yes, they got a young goal scorer, but they gave up three top draft picks vital to rebuilding.

We will know more when Hamilton and Knight are in the NHL.

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