Bob McKenzie was on Toronto’s TSN 1050 on Monday afternoon.
On if we’re getting much trade buzz on Phil Kessel headed into the draft and what’s up with interest on Kessel around the league:
“I think there will be some and the Leafs are going to try to trade him. There’s no doubt about that. This is not – ‘Oh, wow, I heard a Phil trade rumor the other day.‘ Well, get ready for them because in a perfect world, the Toronto Maple Leafs would like to trade Phil Kessel. Simple as that. So it’s how many teams are interested, what’s the price and all of those details will start to filter out over time. Whether they can get a deal remains to be seen.
“But there will be some interest. I think the Florida Panthers are a team that in the past – and again, I’m not suggesting they’ve called and said, ‘We’re interested right now.’ I’m saying possible good fits where the sense is there may have been interest in the past, either at the deadline or previously.
“If you listen to Dale Tallon toward the end of the season talk about his Florida Panthers they need a veteran goal scoring winger who has speed and a real good shot and somebody to complement our young centers. Again, money is always an issue and Phil Kessel makes a lot of it and Florida is not a moneybags team, but we’ll see.
“The problem the Leafs are going to run into with most of these teams, whether it’s the Florida Panthers or the Nashville Predators or the St. Louis Blues if they’re looking to re-jig and add speed to their lineup – and that’s been Ken Hitchcock’s mantra since he’s been brought back, is to try and get more offense into the lineup and compete against the Chicago Blackhawks better on a more even footing – the problem the Leafs will run into is everybody is going to want to try to get him for a deep, deep discount. At the end of the day, that’s what the Leafs are always going to have to weigh. What’s the price, what’s our return, and how valuable is the cap space if we’re not getting back as many tangible assets as we would like because we are unloading a contract that a lot of people think is onerous.”
Source: TSN 1050/ Transcript: Nichols
Related TSS Reading: Friedman: Kessel Trade Talks Getting Serious