Is Brian Burke planning to send an offersheet out to Phil Kessel? It’s starting to seem that way. The Leafs have reportedly traded a 2nd and 3rd round pick in the 2011 draft to Chicago for their own 2nd round pick in 2010. The Leafs now own their 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks. Now I’m no genius here, but there’s absolutely no reason for them to make this trade other than to send an offersheet to someone.
Why else would he:
a) trade for a 2nd round pick next year and give up a 2nd and 3rd round pick to do it
b) trade for his OWN 2nd rounder
c) do it now
The question now isn’t “IS he going to send an offersheet?”, but “WHO is he going to send it to?”.
All reports have been pointing to the Bruins trading Phil Kessel, as talks have not gone well. But Kessel looks like the type of player worth taking a chance on via offersheet, and well, the Leafs and Bruins have discussed Kessel in the past. Plus, if we had the opportunity to screw the Flames over and benefit our team, wouldn’t we? The B’s and Leafs are division opponents, so that fuels this possibility a bit more.
So what salary range will a 1st, 2nd and 3rd rounder land you? Well, anywhere between ~$4.5M and $6.0M (note: he could also be preparing to offer 2 1sts, 1 2nd, 1 3rd also which would be a ~$6M – $7.5M range, or just a 2nd rounder which is a $1.5M to $3M range, but I think both are unlikely scenarios). That’s a lot of cheddar for a guy who has only had the one good year. But would you do it?
I’d say yes, if we had the cash. Kessel will be a premiere player in this league one day, and it’s hard not to compare the guy to Mike Modano. I would definitely have to say that there is a good chance that there will be less regret from Burke than their was from Lowe when he sent out his offersheet. But one thing to note is Kessel is still recovering from shoulder surgery. But I’m sure that won’t stop the Leafs, as I would have to assume they will throw out a multi-year deal.
So will the Bruins match? I’m sure they’d love to, but currently they only have 22 men on their NHL roster signed, and about $1.13M cap space. If the Leafs are willing to throw out that level of an offer to Kessel, I’m pretty sure there is a good chance they’ll get their man.
But question is, why would Burke want to run his team into the sewer like that?
RFA Compensation Table
|$994,433 or below||None|
|Over $994,433 to $1,506,716||Third-round choice|
|Over $1,506,716 to $3,013,434||Second-round choice|
|Over $3,013,434 to $4,520,150||First-round and third-round choice|
|Over $4,520,150 to $6,026,867||First-round, second-round and third-round choice|
|Over $6,026,867 to $7,533,584||Two first-round choices, one second- and one third-round choice|
|Over $7,533,584||Four first-round choices|