Phil Kessel: Anatomy Of A Leafs Trade

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Could Kessel to Montreal give the canadiens the scoring punch they’ve been missing? Would Carey Price finally get the support he has been dying for?

Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens’ Level Of Interest In Kessel: 4/5 Very Interested

Cap/Roster Situation:

The Habs sit at roughly 66.5M, giving them roughly 4.9 in cap space.

Only Alex Galchenyuk, Manny Malholtra, Bryan Flynn and Jared Tinordi need to be resigned, and Galchenyuk is the only one who could create a cap problem. Tom Gilbert, Tomas Plekanecs, Brandon Prust and Dale Weise are the only free agents of consequence next season.

Assets the Leafs would want:

Former No.3 OA pick Alex Galchenyuk.

Top goalie prospect and Team Canada hero Zach Fucale.

Gritty playmaking forward Jacob de la Rose.

Top prospects; scoring winger Nikita Scherbak, hulking winger Michael McCarron and nasty Dman Jared Tinordi.

Montreal’s 2015 1st Round Pick (26th OA), Montreal’s 1st Round Pick 2016

Proposed Habs Trade:

Why it would work:

It’s the Habs! I mean…. No, it’s the Montreal Canadiens… Argh, because they are on Kessel’s NTC I’ll humour this.

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The Habs were this close to having another deep run in the playoffs, they had the goaltending, they had the lock down defense… mostly. However, they could not score, and it was far to easy to load up on Max Pacioretty and shutdown their offense.

Phil Kessel gives them the best offensive player they’ve had in years and most likely the offensive push to go from playoff contender to legitimate cup contender. Leafs get a similar player to Kadri in Galchenyuk, except with higher upside. One of the main holes in the Leafs prospect pool in is net, Antoine Bibeau has risen out of the depths to possibly be something, but he hasn’t proven anything, yet, meanwhile Zach Fucale is the real deal.

The late place of Montreal’s 1st means the Leafs’ need further incentive so they get the Habs 2016 1st as well. Habs have to dump a little salary to absorb Kessel’s 8M so give the Leafs Parenteau’s 1Yr 4Mper and Emelin’s 3Yr 4.1Mper contracts. The Leafs can in turn flip both at the deadline for further assets.

Why it wouldn’t work:

Again, it’s the Habs… if somehow the teams can get over themselves and the wrath of both fan bases, hen maybe, but it is unlikely. The Habs don’t really have the value to pull this off if what Toronto expects to get for Kessel is as high as rumoured. Alex Galchenyuk is basically a less defensively responsible Nazem Kadri, who is going through the same consistency issues Kadri has.

It really depends on whether the Leafs are more interested in quantity or quality for Kessel. Two late 1sts, a top9 forward who hasn’t found his fit yet and a top-tier goalie prospect isn’t the best they can do, but it is the largest quantity in an offer.

Next: Brooklyn Bound?