Phil Kessel Traded to Pittsburgh Penguins for Kapanen, Harrington, Spaling and Picks (UPDATED AGAIN)


Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

There it is – the big one. According to Bob McKenzie on TSN, the Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a multi-player trade.

The full details… 

More past the jump…

At first glance, this is a bit of an underwhelming return for Kessel, but I’m not sure the Leafs were every going to get that much more anyways. I’m not sure why Toronto would have to give up a second round pick, but here we are.

Kasperi Kapenen, 18, is a top prospect – let’s make no mistake about that. The 6’0, 181lb right winger scored 21 points in 41 games KalPa in Finland’s top league, as well as two points in four games for Wilkes-Barre Scranton in the AHL to close out the season. Kapanen was the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 Draft.

Scott Harrington, 22, is a nice piece, but lacks high-end potential. Last year, Harrington scored 12 points in 48 games for Wilkes-Barre Scranton, and went pointless in 10 games with the NHL Penguins. He’ll be very familiar to Leafs executive Mark Hunter, who had Harrington in London.

Nick Spaling arrived in Pittsburgh as part of the James Neal trade with the Nashville Predators. Spaling scored 27 points in 82 games for the Penguins this past season, and is under contract for one more season at $2.2M.

Adding another first round pick to the cupboard is also nice, even if it will likely be somewhere in the 20-to-30 range. Toronto now has two first round picks, one second round pick, and two third round picks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, and 11 picks in total.

In retaining salary, $1.2M will count against the Leafs’ cap number for the next seven years. This might be the most disappointing part of the deal, but it could be worse. Deep down, I find it annoying more than anything… I doubt it will actually become a hinderance for Toronto in the future.


It appears that the first round pick that Pittsburgh sent to Toronto is conditional and lottery protected, meaning that the picks exchanged by both teams could change if the Penguins don’t make the playoffs. Here’s the full details from the Penguins’ official site

*If Pittsburgh qualifies for the 2016 postseason, Toronto will receive the Penguins’ 2016 first-round draft pick; and the Penguins will receive Toronto’s 2016 second-round selection. The second-round pick would be the one Toronto originally acquired from Pittsburgh for Daniel Winnik earlier this year.
*Should Pittsburgh miss the 2016 playoffs, Toronto will INSTEAD receive the Penguins’ 2017 first-round pick; with Pittsburgh getting Toronto’s 2017 second-round selection in return.
*If the Penguins were to miss the postseason the next two years, Toronto would receive Pittsburgh’s 2017 second-round draft pick and Pittsburgh would not receive a draft pick.

More to come!

  • TGT23

    Shanny, Dubas and the stats folks with another steal of a trade. Just like Hunter nailed all those draft picks last week, Shanny and co have continued to extract what is well above market value for Kessel.

    And I’m surprised they only had to retain 15% or so of salary on kessel given the big haul the leafs receive.

    I love the methodical process that has been applied by the team in the draft and now in the trades.

        • silentbob

          interesting that after th draft these guys are all brilliant and great and identifying talent, but now they suck and didn’t get good prospects in the trade.

          The penguins have 1 blue chip prospect and either he was not going to be included or including him would have cost the leafs more assets they didn’t want to give up. A lot of the talk seems to be that the market for kessel was the Penguins, that’s it. If that’s the case it becomes a buyers deal. And they still got a good return.

          Why do t we give this group the same benefit of the doubt today that we have them at the draft, and assume hey know something about the players they got in return.

          • CMpuck

            Said it was an ok, draft, I didn’t want Marner in my defense.

            So Kapanen, great another winger.

            I love the double standards, that the Nonis Carlyle regime were offered zero nuance, that’s not to say that I’m a fan of them either just pointing out that LFN crowd on the whole nailed them to the wall at the drop of a hat.

            Shanny & co are getting the white knight hall pass but I’m skeptical of the direction they taking with their picks and this deal.

  • MatsSundin#13

    Wish they would have listened to Babs on this one…I really think Phil would have gotten in shape for a coach with that kind of attitude, work ethic, and league-wide respect.

    EDIT: I really like this trade with the update – what we need to keep in mind is that in all the years of Kessel being here, how many times has he gone into the corner and won a puck battle? How many times has he glided back on defence? I really don’t think that it’s Babcock’s style to only play for offense, look at Chicago – every single one of their guys plays a full 200 foot game EVEN Patrick Kane.

  • FlareKnight

    The return sounds utterly terrible.

    Makes me think about the article saying we should give Dubas the GM job. This would now be my counter argument as to why that is a terrible idea.

  • Kanuunankuula

    Hope all you who wanted Phil gone quick got what you wanted. If the reports on the return are correct, that trade was AWFUL. I’d preferred to wait if that was the best offer they had.