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03-08-2013, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 416Leafer View Post
I feel like Leafs management will do everything to avoid that scenario, including trading him now while they're in the playoff race.

They simply cannot have made the trade they made, and then lose him for nothing. That would be completely irrevocably unacceptable to the fanbase.

Dreger, whose inside information I actually trust, especially with the Leafs since he's Nonis' cousin, has come out and said something along the lines of (paraphrased) "Leafs management isn't fooled by their current position in the standings. They know there are several key holes on the roster that need to be filled, that teams are calling about Kessel, and that Nonis is listening, even if he's not actively shopping him". There are also the rumours that Nonis initially was strongly against the trade to acquire him, and didn't think he was a guy to build around.

Now do I think he'll be traded this season? Probably not. But I don't think it's off the table either. IMO Nonis is willing to move him, just has to see the right deal. And that doesn't mean the equivalent of what the Leafs gave up, because that's obviously not going to happen.
Pretty much.

Regardless of the Leafs' position in the standings, Kessel really needs to go now, especially if it's true that he's begun to demand $7 million/year (or more) for his next contract.

Another good reason to trade him by this season's deadline is avoid the hassle of having to deal with him after his modified/limited NTC comes into effect for next season. By then, Kessel will hold alll the cards and could easily decide to walk at the end of next season for nothing if he feels like testing the FA market. There's no sense to take that risk, especially if he's not in the Leafs' long-term plans.

A third good reason for moving Kessel now is to take better advantage of this summer's draft to stock the prospect pool with some high-end draftees (of which the Leafs are in desperate need).

Kessel's trade value is still relatively high, so Nonis should take full advantage of it, regardless of the consequences.

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