The Toronto Maple Leafs have decided to finally pull the trigger on Phil Kessel by sending him to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Blockbuster trade Pittsburgh – Toronto
The Toronto Maple Leafs have put an end to the Phil Kessel saga in Toronto by trading him to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Along with Phil Kessel, the Leafs are also sending the contracts of Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon and a 2nd round draft pick in 2016. In exchange for Kessel, the Leafs are getting prospect forward Kasperi Kapanen, defenceman Scott Harrington, 3rd line centre Nick Spaling, a 1st and 3rd picks in 2016. In addition Toronto will retain $1.25M/year for the duration of Kessel’s contract.
For Kessel, it is somewhat a new beginning playing either alongside Malkin or Crosby and should be able to net more goals. Jim Rutherford has been kicking tires for quite a while on Kessel and finally proceeded the execution phase. Rutherford even declared to the media that they didn’t really have the salary space for Kessel but his feelings for the winger have obviously changed. Of note, Kessel was due a bonus of 4.0M today which was paid by the Toronto Maple Leafs and .
In obtaining Kasperi Kapanen, a Pittsburgh first round pick in 2014, the Leafs are replenishing their prospects’ bank and addressing needs for the future while freeing a considerable cap space in the order of $6.7M a season. One other note with regards to the Phil Kessel trade is that the 1st round draft pick is lottery protected should the Penguins not make the playoff and get a high draft pick in the lottery. The 27-years-old Kessel recorded 25 goals and 61 points in 82 games in 2014-2015.
According to Brendan Shanahan, trade talks shifted in higher gear at the draft and today they were able to conclude the mega-trade.
P-A Parenteau signs for one year
In other Toronto player movements, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed right winger P-A Parenteau, who was bought out on the weekend by the Montreal Canadiens. The terms of the deal were one year for $1.5M. Parenteau is projected to play on the third line with the Leafs. In 2014-2015, Parenteau played in 56 games recoding 8 goals and 14 assists for 22 points. He missed several games last season due to two concussions where he was never able to make his way back in the lineup for Montreal.
Panik resigns with Toronto
Richard Panik has resigned with the Leafs to a new contract for one year at $975,000. Panik played last season in 76 games netting 11 goals and six assists with the Leafs. He was drafted in the second round (52nd overall) by Tampa Bay at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. In 2014-2015, Panik recorded 11 goals and 6 assists for 17 points in 76 games played for the Leafs.
Marco Arcobello lands in Toronto
The Leafs also signed the well traveled journeyman forward Marco Arcobello for one year at $1.1M. Arcobello was a UFA after spending last season with four teams: Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Nashville Arizona. In 2014-2015, he scored 7 goals and 5 assist in 40 games played. Arcobello has played in 3 seasons and was originally signed by the Oilers in 2011, after spending some time in the ECHL with Stockton.
Matt Hunwick quits the Rangers for Toronto
The Maple Leafs have also signed defenceman Matt Hunwick after Hunwick became available on the free agency market. Hunwick played last season with the Rangers and scored 2 goals and 11 assists for 13 points in 55 games played with the “Blue Shirts”. At 30, and on a deep blue line in New York, Hunwick had limited ice-time last season.
Hunwick signed on for two years on a contract that will pay him 2.4M (1.2AAV). Originally drafted by the Boston bruins in 2004, in the seventh round (224th overall), Hunwick has played most of his 8 seasons with Boston and Colorado.
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