It's over guys. You can't undo the Kessel trade. You either accept it and move on or just cheer for another team.
It's been 3 and a half years.
Kessel is a superstar. I'm very happy with him.
Worrying about what could have been? Nah. I'm moving on with my life and I'm choosing to continue to cheer for the Leafs.
I'm a Leaf fan and always have been. The fact we are discussing Burke is the reason why Keesel is brought into the discussion as it was a major error in judgment and as a our GM he owns that decision. That along with many other errors and failure to do as promised leads me to believe that Burke has failed in his tenure thus far as the GM.
If Burke had signed Kessel to an offersheet there is no way in hell Chiarelli does the Kaberle deal.
You almost have to look at them together. You don't have to but I'll guarantee you that if Burke had pissed of Chiarelli by using an offersheet, Kabs would have went somewhere else for half the return.
And this isn't close to being one of the worst trades in history. As a Sittler fan you should know that.
Why does everyone overlook the highly likely possibility they would have matched ?
Burke is the GM of Toronto not Boston.His job was to get the best deal for us.If we had just signed Kessel the compensation would have been a first,a 2nd and a 3rd rounder.He paid more than he had to,is that loyalty to the fans? Secondly,the trade had no impact as we finished 2nd last.If we hadn't made that trade we may have just finished last but who knows? Thirdly,you don't build a cup team around a high flying winger.I have never seen this model. Fourthly, if we had kept the picks and not traded we would have inevitably had higher picks in 3 drafts.It is not that I don't like Kessel but he may walk away as a free agent soon.If he does,this will go down as one of the worst trades ever,in that it helped a rival and had no impact on us then or in the future.See 5th last.The trade had no impact on us,where as those picks(Seguin,Hamilton/Courturier) could easily land a number one center or turn into one.The center being the critical piece and not a winger.
The fact that Burke didnt leverage the offer sheet option served him well later, when he parlayed an average asset in Tomas Kaberle for a first, a former 16th overall in Joe Colborne, and a conditional 2nd. Bear in mind that the player had all the leverage, in that he was able to dictate where he would accept a trade to. He said Boston was his preferred destination, and a favourable deal was reached. Kaba has played for 3 teams since leaving Toronto, and has underwhelmed in every instance. We drafted Biggs at 22 with those picks. Biggs, Colborne for Kaba...not a bad haul. "loyalty to the fans" is secondary to ethical, amicable trade relations. Burke was prepared to go the offer sheet route as a last resort, and secured the Leafs' 2nd, which had been traded, in order to create necessary leverage. There's a reason offer sheets don't get tossed around more, and that is because once you do it, you send the message to not only one club, but an additional 28 clubs that predatory tactics aren't off-limits, and that is very much a two-edged sword.
When a 21-year old "high-flying winger" becomes attainable, you act. Is it a preferred way to initiate a retooling? No. Is it better than the alternative, being letting him get away? Hell yes. You dont re-tool, as was the mandate, by building around draft picks which either get ruined due to piss poor development, or sit in junior longer than they need to because your team sucks and you cant risk exposing them to your losing culture. Higher picks in three drafts on a team with no front line of talent means three more victims of Toronto's ineptitude...no thanks, I'd rather have highly skilled pieces with the mentality needed to survive and thrive in the biggest, most volatile market in the game.
Kessel isn't walking for free, and anyone spinning that yarn is nothing more than an alarmist. If he doesn't re-sign, I'm pretty sure Burke will make a favourable deal. Look what he got for Beauchemin...
Burke's approach was aggressive, and in-line with the mandate of becoming competitive sooner than later. Arguments to the contrary based on hindsight are meaningless. Despite the hiccups, what the Leafs now have is a solid hockey program trending in the right direction. One or two pieces could be all it takes to build something we haven't seen in decades: a deep organization capable of playing sustainable, competitive hockey.
So you are sucking and blowing in less than 3 pages.....it was a horrible decision then and would be again now.
High end Prospects/players are what is needed to make your team better.....the more the merrier! Has that concept eluded you?
Sucking and blowing. Yeah, not so much...high end prospects in a volatile market like Toronto with no front line of quality NHL level talent means that your prospects are almost certainly being rushed. And, subsequently thrown under the bus. Now that we have a decent group, I agree: the more the merrier, but when your organization has been stripped of talent at every level, you need a front line of capable young assets with game-breaker potential, not a bunch of kids who are expected to do a job men have failed to do.
Clearly, we have opposing philosophies on the matter. I contend that you need a relatively healthy group to begin with to allow prospects time to develop to their potential. See: DET. Burke didnt have that in Toronto. Therefore, he found high end help that could withstand the stupidity that comes with life in Toronto for pro athletes. Pretty simple...