Elliotte Friedman was on Hockey Central at Noon Monday discussing trade destinations for Phil Kessel.
On moving the 4th overall pick:
Kyle Dubas was the one who talked about, if they got the right offer, they would consider moving out of the four spot. Don Maloney said the same thing on the same day; he said they had three calls about number three, but they weren’t sure what they were going to do. I mean, that’s normal. Everybody listens.
On the Phil Kessel sweepstakes:
The thing about Kessel is, I just get the sense that now we’re getting to a serious point where if teams out there are going to do it, they’re calling the Maple Leafs and saying, “okay, if we want to do Phil Kessel, what is it going to take?” And the reason I don’t think it’s very far along yet is because, from what I can tell, no one has gone to Kessel yet and said, “what do you think about this?”
He has a no-trade list, there’s eight teams he can go to, but you never know. Sometimes I think those lists aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, things change in people’s lives, they might look at situations differently now than maybe they did then. If he’s going to be traded, you know he’s going to have to be on board.
Possible teams interested in Phil Kessel:
The way I look at it is this – he hasn’t missed a game either in five years, and that in this League is not easy. Last year was a down year for him, he scored 25 goals. To me (it has to be) a team that thinks it can win in the next 3-4 years. If you look at the numbers, statistically – he’s 27 now – once a scorer hits 31 years old the numbers tend to drop. I think you’re looking at a team that thinks he can make a difference for them in the next 3-4 years.
The first team that jumped into my head was Nashville because they’ve had interest in him in the past. When Toronto got him, Nashville was the other team looking at getting him, but I’m not convinced that Nashville is the place now for a couple reasons. Number one, they have contracts in the next year that they’ve got to do for Seth Jones and Filip Forsberg. And I’m not sure Nashville is the kind of fit that I thought they might’ve been when I first researched it.
The other team I might wonder about would be – and I’m not saying they’re in, please know I’m not saying that they’re in – but I wonder if a team like St. Louis; if you look at St. Louis, they’ve got Brett Hull working for them. Do you not see any kind of similarities between the way Brett Hull was perceived and the way that Phil Kessel is perceived? So I wonder about that kind of institutional knowledge in the organization. The other thing, too, is that St. Louis is a budget team. Can they do Tarasenko and Kessel and everything that comes with that? That would be my question.
I think he’d love to go [to Florida]. The other team I kind of wonder, just with Burke there – and I don’t think Burke is as day-to-day invested, I think Brad Treliving really has a strong handle on that team – but I wonder if a team like Calgary would have any interest just with Burke’s history with him.