Kessel ill-suited as Leafs’ frontman ... Leaf must keep 1st.
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01-28-2013, 06:58 AM
Join Date: May 2008
The Canadian Press: New Leaf Phil Kessel meets Toronto media (September 19, 2009)
Leafs general manager Brian Burke and his latest recruit, former Bruin Phil Kessel, meet media at the Air Canada Centre on Sept. 19, 2009.
Phil Kessel is excited about playing hockey-mad Toronto.
The 21-year-old forward met the media for the first time Saturday, a day after being acquired by the Maple Leafs for three draft picks.
"Toronto is the best hockey city in the world, the fans are great and the Leafs are a first-class organization," said Kessel during a press conference at Air Canada Centre prior to Toronto's pre-season game with the Philadelphia Flyers.
"They just know their hockey here in Toronto. I want to be a part of it and be a part of this organization."
The Leafs sent their first-round picks in 2010 and 2011, plus a second-round pick in 2010 to the Bruins after Boston was unable to re-sign the speedy winger. After the trade, Kessel signed a $27-million (U.S.), five-year contract with Toronto.
"Obviously there's going to be pressure, but I'm going to work as hard as I can and try to help get this team into the playoffs," said Kessel, who scored 36 goals in 70 games last season. "I want to be considered a great player in this league, and I'm going to work as hard as I can. I'm here to help this team win."
Leafs GM Brian Burke added the Leafs have high hopes for their new sniper.
"We look at the 36 goals he scored last year as a platform to what he can accomplish, not a peak," Burke said. "The way we play, it's like someone wrote a script that this is the team he'd want to be on."
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