Phil Kessel: Anatomy Of A Leafs Trade

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Phil Kessel has reportedly submitted an 8 team NTC list as of last July.

Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Who Wants Phil Kessel?

News broke a few weeks ago that Kessel had submitted his list of 8 teams that he can be traded too, as per his limited No Trade Clause (NTC). That list included the Minnesota Wild, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers.

Bob McKenzie summed it up best:

"“I think the list was ostensibly put together probably to places that: A) He would be prepared to play if he had to, and B) places that are salary capped out… I think that the list – for the most part – was designed to make his modified no-trade as close to a full no-trade as possible.”"

A cursory glance of the teams on the list confirms Bob’s suspicions pretty quickly. Chicago is going to have to deal away several players just to get under the cap with Toews+Kane’s new extensions kicking in. LA and Boston are in the same boat as Chicago. The Wild aren’t much-better off, but are not hurting for scoring wingers and in fact may have too many as is.

The Rangers were recently reported to have considered trading away Rick Nash for cap reasons, so wouldn’t consider adding Kessel. With Malkin, Crosby, Letang and Fleury the Pens have far too much tied up in too few players already and although Kessel would instantly be the front-runner for the Rocket Richard Trophy riding shotgun to Crosby and Malkin… it just doesn’t make sense to deplete depth from an already top-heavy team.

That leaves us with the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota Wild from Kessel’s old NTC approved list. I say old, because he would’ve submitted it before last July 1st as required by his NTC and there is every chance his list has changed since then.

Phil Kessel has also been linked to the Nashville Predators who needed a scoring boost last season, add in the NY Islanders to push them into cup contender status and you have your window of teams with the best fits.

Most of the deals that we looked at tend to follow the same format;

1st Round Pick

Young NHL Roster Player

Top Young Prospect

So let’s base most of our potential Kessel trades on that assumption of a return.

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