From Bobby Mac’s Friday afternoon segment on TSN Drive with Dave Naylor:
On moving Tyler Bozak:
Especially now, when you trade a player with term on his deal, the team almost inevitably wants you take a contract back. In the case of the Leafs, there are two considerations. One is they want to get younger and want prospects and draft picks, but this notion that Shanahan has the greenlight to burn it to the ground: I worked for Bell in a round about way, I don’t work for Rogers, but at the end of the day I think they have similar sensibilities. If anyone thinks Shanny said there’s going to be 5, 6 or 7 years of terrible, where they’re not going to win any games, that they can’t count playoff revenue… I don’t think so. This notion of a teardown or rebuild, while real on one level, is going be done step by step and probably a lot more measured than that. I’m not sure what the future holds for trading a Bozak and what you get coming back, but most teams when they trade for a contract with term and dollars there’s an expectation they’re going to ship something back the other way.
Which teams are interested in Dion Phaneuf:
I wonder about the Stars. They would be the team that has done some nice things and have a program in place, they have Seguin in place and have Benn; they committed to Spezza, they’ve got enough offensive weapons and they’ve got some good depth there with guys who are tough to play against with Eakins, Garbutt, Rouselle, and they’ve got Nichushkin coming. Goaltending and defense has been so suspect, and I think the defense has been suspect because it’s so young and lacks a veteran presence. I think there was some dialogue between Dallas and Toronto, but I’m not sure how far it went. All I’m saying is, and I have to be careful not to sound like this is a definitive rumour I’m reporting, but Dallas fits the profile of a team that could have some interest in Phaneuf and probably has had some dialogue with the Leafs.
The Kings’ level of interest:
That’s where the Voynov situation – we don’t know what’s going to happen, and can’t even guess. The LA Kings are saying at the end of this season we’ll have clarity. Voynov is either going to be in the NHL or he’s not. If he is in the NHL, I think that notion that they need Phaneuf is out the window. The Kings have some work to do. Williams is a UFA, Toffoli’s contract is up. One of the unspoken things I’m wondering if will come into play – with this cap and not knowing what is going to be, Chicago and LA being in distress having to sign good young players or lose them – I’m wondering about offer sheets. What if someone wanted Toffoli, and went in there with a monster offer sheet? Could the Kings match? Everyone says the automatic thing is yes, then you figure out how to do it, but they would have to throw bodies overboard if that’s the case.
If there’s more big moves to come before the deadline:
The whole salary cap thing for next year has chilled the marketplace. It’s been a huge wet blanket on the trade market to the point where I’m almost positive the only trades we’ll see are rentals. Hope I’m wrong, I want to see player for player and contract for contract like the Kane deal, but I’m not real convinced that that’s going to happen. Too big of a chill because of the economic uncertainty.
If Kessel, who looked dejected after the game last night, has been told of his standing by the organization:
I don’t think there’s been any direct correspondence. I don’t know that the Leafs know what his status is. The day Carlyle got fired and Shanahan talked to the group, the fact the group hasn’t performed at a level that would assure this group could stay together means they’ve got to be all ears on all players. It doesn’t automatically assume Kessel is first out the door. I don’t think they can tell Kessel what his status is if they don’t know themselves. If he looks indifferent, it’s more to do with a player who has hit a big bump in the road. This is probably his greatest amount of adversity ever. People say it wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops with the Bruins, but he was just a kid back then. It’s a different context when you are a teenage kid in the NHL who isn’t playing the way Claude Julien wants you to play, not fitting in with the Bruins the way you’re supposed to; it’s way different when you’re making 8 million, ostensibly the best player on the team, your game has gone south and team has collapsed around you. I’m not sure Kessel has had any experience like this to draw on. He strikes me as a guy who has lost his confidence, is obviously frustrated, and has to figure out a way to work his way through this. Really good players figure out how to deal with adversity, turn it in your favour and get on the right side of the ledger.
On Kessel’s No-Trade List parameters:
[It’s a list of] eight teams he wants to go to. I just glanced it quickly, so I stand to be corrected if wrong. I believe it is 8. Chris Neil has 15 he can’t go to, so my guess is when Phil negotiated his contract, he didn’t get only 8 exclusions.