Phil Kessel: Anatomy Of A Leafs Trade

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John Tavares and Phil Kessel playing side by side may finally happen… in New York.

Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NY Islanders’ Level Of Interest In Kessel: 3/5 Interested But Not Desperate

Cap/Roster Situation:

Over 16M in cap room means the Islanders don’t have to shed any salary in a trade, but do have an internal cap. They do have to resign Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, and have Kyle Okposo, Frans Neilsen and Ryan Strome as the big guys needing contract extensions next season.

Assets the Leafs would want:

Who wouldn’t the Leafs want? The Islanders have an embarrassment of riches in the prospect and young player department. Specifically Ryan Strome, Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Pulock, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Michael Dal Colle, Ilya Sorokin, Joshua Ho-Sang and Casey Cizikas.

Proposed Islanders Trade:

Why it would work:

Islanders had the depth to tango with big boys, but outside of John Tavares, lack truly game breaking talent. Islanders are moving to Brooklyn and want to make a big splash to take some of the attention away from the resident New York Rangers, they of the recent Cup Final trip – albeit a loss.

Kessel instantly becomes a ticket selling star in Brooklyn, something that they really need to have success. Leafs get a massive head start to their rebuild with future No.1 center Ryan Strome, top 6 power winger Angers Lee, a 2016 1st that will most likely be a later pick and another potential top pairing Dman in Reinhart. Adding in the rarely used, “salary dump” of Michael Grabner and the Leafs get a big head start on their rebuild.

Why it wouldn’t work:

Islanders don’t want to add all of Strome, Lee, Reinhart/Pulock and a 2016 1st for just Kessel. The Leafs decide that they need a top 2015 pick to trade Kessel. There really aren’t many reasons this deal can’t happen except for differences in player evaluation.

Next: Kessel; Prey or Predator?