So after hearing about Dany Heatley all offseason, trade fanatics were treated to another gift when the Boston Bruins, unable to sign restricted free agent Phil Kessel to a new deal, shipped him to division and Original Six rival Toronto. While the Bruins lost a good young goal scorer, they bulked up their prospect potential by acquiring two first round picks and a second round pick.
To be honest, I love what the Toronto Maple Leafs did this offseason. Orr, Exelby, Komisarek, Beauchemin, Primeau, Gustavsson in net, and now Kessel? If you've been watching my videos at hockeytube.com/us/ or at Youtube, you would have seen that I considered the Maple Leafs a bubble team, and possible playoff contenders. You'll find out in a few days if I have them in the postseason or not; but I know this, adding Kessel only promotes my thinking that they could make the top eight in the East.
Brian Burke has put a physical stamp on the team and isn't "rebuilding." He's setting the team up for success now. He improved their defense and sured up the backup goalie spot in the offseason, but despite those moves, the offense still was quite shaky.
But now he goes out and adds young Kessel. Young, goal scoring Kessel. One player certainly won't elevate 17 other skaters offensively night in night out, but it can help. Kessel is going to have a lot of pressure on his shoulders now to deal with, but I don't think he'll have a problem.
An offensive player was added to a team that needed offensive help. When presented that way, it sounds like a good move. But it's the details that may not make this such a great trade, but we won't know for several years.
Three picks for one player? Two first round picks for one player? Kessel has a lot of untapped potential, and many years ahead of him in the league. But he isn't anywhere near the level of an Ovechkin or Malkin, yet that didn't stop Burke from throwing three picks over to Boston for him.
That's a lot to give up for one player. Toronto is one of only four teams not to make the postsesason in the last four years since the lockout (along with the Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, and Phoenix? Coyotes). So for a team that hasn't had recent success to give up that many draft picks may make you scratch your head.
Will chemistry be a problem with a lot of new faces on this team? Maybe. And the offense, even with Kessel, still likely isn't going to light it up each night. It looks like Burke has thrown together a roster that can compete and be quite physical this year, but if they don't make the playoffs, there's going to be problems.
Toronto gave up a lot to get Phil Kessel, and if he doesn't pay off, and Boston drafts good youngs players with Toronto's picks into that division, then this trade is going to haunt Maple Leaf fans for years to come.
Toronto's last regular season game is Saturday, April 10th. And if they don't have a playoff series starting the following week, Brian Burke better leave town April 9th, and not come back until July 1st to try again.no comments
If you've ever Checked out Bloguin's hockey blog section you might have noticed the same thing i did. Many of the great hockey blogs on this network cover Atlantic Division teams and i am utilizing this unique situation. In the 82 game regular season the Islanders face Atlantic Division teams 23 times this season, 12 of which will be played at the Coliseum. Thanks to the help of the geat bloggers at Pensblog, Running with the Devils, Flyers Goal Scored By..., and The Manic Ranger, we will be able to give you a preview of what to expect when the Islanders face each of these teams during the season. Each blogger does outstanding work and their sites are work checking out all year long to keep up on all the teams in the Atlantic Division
As much as we should hate the Islanders, out of all the teams in the Atlantic, they are the team we want to see return to dominance. Just the thought of some big-time playoff series on Long Island gets us going.
As far as the Pens go, their nucleus of star players is growing together exactly how everyone envisioned. Malkin and Crosby, in their early 20s, have been compared head-to-head the last two post-seasons with Zetterberg and Datsyuk, both of which are in their late 20s, early 30s. Malkin and Crosby will be scary-good this season, and we don't even want to know what they're gonna be like in two, three years. The Isles are trying to get their legs under them, and it's actually good for them to be in the same division as the defending champs. The Isles will be treating the six games with the Pens this season as their Stanley Cup Finals.
We're not even saying this to be nice, but the Pens and Isles will split the season series 3-3 this season. The Islanders always steal some joke game away from us, and even the mystique of the Nassau alone will leave the Penguins powerless in another game.
-Courtesy of the Pensblog
So for my first town hearing i came away with this immpression, people can become extreamly nasty while expressing their opinion or when they disapaprove of yours. It started off with further questioning of some Lighthouse consultents folllowed up by comments, questions, concerns and support of the Lighthouse Project. That 2 hour period went pretty much like this, supporters went up there got thunderus applouse and cheers while opponents were greeted by boos and jeers including a 16 year girl who had the guts to go up and express her concerns. People from all walks of life spoke including a few high school juniors and seniors who were mostly in support of the Project. Anyway for more in depth coverage check out Let There Be Light(house) and here are pics from tonights meeting.
Tonight the Islanders take on the Los Angelas Kings in Kansas City. The game, which was speculated to be a threat to the Town of Hempstead as a wake up call is said to have struggled selling tickets only managing an estimated crowd of 10,000 people.
Here is tonigts lineup (according to Newsday):
Forwards: Sim, Bailey, Moore, Romano, Hunter, Joensuu, Jackman, Haley, Martin, Thompson, Tambellini, Haskins
Defenseman: Sutton, Hillen, Meyer, Gervais, Westgarth, Kohn
Goalies: Roloson, Lawson
Last night the Islanders made several cuts, sending Jyri Niemi and Kevin Poulin were sent back to juniors and Robin Figren and Mikko Koskinen were sent down to Bridgeport.
Finaly the Zoning hear for the Lighthouse Project is going on as i type this, the days events have been an up and down for supporters and hockey fans alike. I will hopefully be making the trip out their for the 6:00 session. Check back later for the developments from the hearing.