I'd say that is comparable to what Kessel could fetch.
Mike Richards has had an 80 point season recently, was good in the Flyers run and is a center.
Kessel isn't going to fetch what we gave up, but he'd fetch a great return.
Kessel would absolutely return 2 1sts and a 2nd round pick ... Kessel is still better than Richards, who was surrounded by good talent and producing well.
Kessel should start with a top prospect (Schenn, 5th overall), a top-6 potential young forward (Simmonds, Voracek, etc), plus either another 1st, or a legit prospect, or roster player, or both, depending on the quality of each.
IMO the only reason why Howsen didn't get more for Nash is because he had to trade him, he screwed himself. Not to mention Nash's declining statistics.
If we trade Kessel, we do it this season, while he still has at least a year left on contract, and we do it behind the curtain, so when it is announced it is unexpected. This way Nonis won't screw himself by souring a relationship with a player and being forced into moving him, and we get a good return for him.
The Richards trade was a perfect example of a win/win - Philly's happy with Schenn and Simmonds, and LA won a cup.
The Leafs do have a lot of pieces going forward are in need of only 3 real pieces to be a complete team. YES, a couple of pieces are BIG and are hard to get, but it is a process. It may take a couple of years to accomplish those goals. Since most of our team is young, then taking a couple of years is fine.
Going Forward into next year
Joffery Lupul-Hole #1-Phil Kessel
James van Reimsdyk-Nazem Kadri-Matt Frattin
Nikolai Kulemin-Hole #2-Leo Komarov
Mike Brown-Jay McClement-Colton Orr
Morgan Rielly-Dion Phaneuf
Jake Gardiner-Carl Gunnarsson
Jonh Micheal Liles-Korbinian Holzer
Hole #3-James Reimer
That leaves as the chips to fill these 3 holes going forward.
Mikhail Grabovski- I don't think he fits on this team. He is good defensivly, but not big enough to be superior shutdown #3 center that Carlyle needs. I also think that Nazem Kadri is gonna need to get minutes and it will be as the 2nd line center that gets sheltered minutes and powerplay time. That leaves Grabovski with no real spot in the line-up since he can't play with Kessel.
Tyler Bozak- Pretty much the exact same thing as Grabovski. Has a spot on the team as long as the Leafs have no #1 center but once they do, he is gone.
Clarke Macarther- Is a decent player but I am not sold on him being on the team longterm. Can gain an asset at the trade deadline. Don't know why he got an "A" though, if I am almost sure they are gonna trade him.
Cody Franson- Doesn't get any respect. Will flourish somewhere elseafter he gets traded and we will all regret it. Can get another asset once teams in the race start losing defenceman.
Carter Ashton- I have never been sold on him and was really upset when we lost Keith Aulie for him. I am guessing he will be an add on to another player as part of a package for someone else.
Joe Colborne- Similar to Ashton, I don't know if he has it to make it to the bigs. He could be a #3 shutdown center if he was more physical, cuz he is big and skates alright. I hope he does make it but he will probably be a throw-in in a package for someone else.
I also think that at least 1 piece can be picked up in this draft, whether it is a #1 center or a shutdown #3 center. That would leave 2 pieces to get going forward.
Free agency could also net us a piece.
These 2 players that could change the whole team if they were traded. The assets they also would bring back, would set us up nicely for the future.
Phil Kessel- Game changing player and don't want to see him go. Unless Carlyle thinks he isn't a fit, should stay with the team and see what he can do once Nonis gets him a #1 center and take away some of the pressure on him. I think though, he could be in play around the deadline if the Leafs are bottoming out and he is giving Nonis reasons to think he won't re-sign.
Dion Phaneuf- Another player I don't want to see go, but he would also bring in a nice package, especially this year when defenceman are dropping like flies. Trading Dion would change the culture of the team and the team would be relying on a lot of young defenceman, we would also lose a 6.5 cap hit which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.