May 11 2016 02:08PM
Photo Credit: Charles LeClarie/USA TODAY SPORTS
With last night’s thrilling overtime victory over the Capitals, the Pittsburgh Penguins inched closer to hockey’s ultimate prize, while the Leafs reward for helping them get there diminished.
It’s turning into a very cruel punishment for Leafs fans. The value of the first round draft pick they obtained in exchange for Kessel is decaying at the same rate as his perceived value rises. With each big goal Kessel scores for a team on their way to a Stanley Cup, the trade looks worse and worse.
And it already looked pretty bad at the time.
In exchange for Kessel, the Leafs effectively moved up 30 spots in the draft, got a third and a couple of decent prospects. They also had to swallow $1.2 million of Kessel’s $8 million contract themselves for the next seven seasons. That’s not a great package for an elite first line winger, especially considering the Leafs sweetened the deal by retaining salary.
The Leafs sold short on an elite player essentially because of a poor reputation. Yes, it was probably necessary for the full rebuild to take shape – the Leafs wouldn't have finished last with Kessel on the team, that's for sure – but that doesn't make the return any less underwhelming given his talent level.
It was a culture change. Kessel was the poster boy of a failed regime. One that won three playoff games during his entire tenure as a Leaf and famously squandered a fourth in historic fashion. The Leafs simply couldn’t win with Phil Kessel.
May 11 2016 11:46AM
We all keep telling ourselves that the year that breaks the trend is upon us, but once again, the Washington Capitals have taken an early exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This means that, once again, 30-year-old Alex Ovechkin will have to wait at least another year before getting a significant shot at the Stanley Cup.
He'll surely get skewered in the media. The narratives have already started once again; especially now that he's keeping his skates on for a few more weeks to represent Russia at the World Championships. Honestly, it's not fair to him.
May 11 2016 11:04AM
No Andreas Johnson? No Stuart Percy? No mercy.
May 10 2016 10:04PM
On this episode, the guys duke it out over Stamkos, scream about WHL names, and discover Hot Take Mountain.
May 10 2016 08:24PM
There's a difference between "setting the tone" and "crossing the line". The Albany Devils have spent the bulk of this series riding the grey areas in this regard, escalating pushing and shoving to attempts to injure on more than a few occasions. That became most apparent in tonight's game, but rather than losing control, the Toronto Marlies got their revenge where it hurts the most; the scoresheet. Thanks to a potent powerplay, the blue and white managed to run away with a commanding 7-2 victory to tie the series at two.