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06-14-2011, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by LyleOdelein View Post
I'll elaborate on the trade to lay out why it's a bad example. The mythology surrounding the Kessel trade is starting to cloud memories as to what actually happened. At the time, it wasn't a deal that Chiarelli wanted to make.

The Bruins traded Kessel because he was an RFA and they had cap problems. They were bound to lose Kessel after assigning Lucic the contract they did and Burke gave Chiarelli a heads-up that an RFA offer sheet would go Kessel's way if the B's tried to wait out the situation. It certainly wasn't a trade where Chiarelli just felt like dealing a young, NHL established player for a couple picks just because he could. The salary cap completely forced the Bruins' hand in the situation.

The Leafs doing terribly the following season has spun a rosy light on Chiarelli's move, but it was more the result of poor foresight and luck on his part than anything else. Had the Bruins been able to fit Kessel under the cap, the trade would never have happened. Like many other aspects of managing a team, it's amazing how many great moves are the result of happenstance, more than shrewd planning and tactics.

The Habs don't have cap issues, thus they don't have to trade their first liners for prospects who just might turn out to be first liners.
I think it had a lot to do with Burke thinking he was stealing Kessel for the 30th pick in the next two drafts. Burke's ego is the only thing that gets in the way, he's a good negotiator.

The cap situation, while annoying, is not a "be all, end all". New Jersey and New York have proven that the cap doesn't really exist. They could have buried Sturm in the minors.

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