Silly article. OK, so Burke would likely not get the value that he gave up for Kessel. Yeah, so what if Kessel is not a big hitter, a great leader, or a defensive whiz? He's doing what he's being asked to do - generate offense. His contract is not out of line... not a smoking deal, but not a ripoff, just fair market value. Maybe in his contract year, consider a trade, but why now?
How is it that when the Red Wings make a player wait to make the big team, its genius and the player is just growing and getting better. When another team does it, the player can't make the team and is trending towards bust territory?
Red Wings have a stacked lineup and have been in the playoffs for 20 years. And don't get me started on how every 22 year old Red Wings prospect is going to be "65-75 points every year, next Datsyuk/Zetterberg/Lidstrom..."
Leafs aren't a playoff team and their prospects can't crack their rosters not because the team is too good but because the player isn't good enough yet. Kadri and Colborne are both virtual locks to make the NHL at this point and they'll likely have productive careers. However, most hockey insiders would quietly tell you that any player who plays more than 1 season in the AHL likely isn't going to become anything special. There are exceptions to this rule but more often than not it's the case.
The same reason the Jays traded Marcum for Lawrie. Sometimes you need to get worse before you get better. The Leafs are not going to be competitive for a few years, and by that time Kessel will be signing a $7-8M contract. The question is whether you want someone like that to build around.
I don't think Cox makes ANY good points. He says he doesn't want to blame Kessel for the Leafs "collapse" and yet that is exactly what he's doing. He says that he's not blaming Kessel for not being certain things (a great two-way player, a vocal leader, etc.), but that is exactly what's he's doing. Kessel is just a convienant scapegoat for what ails the Leafs. The problem isn't him though. He is an elite offensive talent on an average team that suffers from porous defense and erratic goaltending. Nothing Kessel does or doesn't do addresses those things. He just goes about his business piling up goals/points regardless of who he plays with. He's been more consistent this year than he's ever been.
It's nice to look outside the Leafs fanbase for sensibility.