All indications are that disgruntled winger Phil Kessel will be traded by Saturday to either Toronto or Nashville. The (in)famous Eklund, rumor spreader extraordinaire, is reporting that Nashville is “closing in” on a deal tonight. I’ll believe it when I see it. Even with the questionable validity of the Nashville rumor, multiple sources are confirming that he will be moved sometime this week.
If you have lived in New England for any period of time, you know that the fans and media won’t let this situation die after Kessel leaves town; they will question the move — much more than they questioned Patriots coach Bill Belichick for trading Richard Seymour — and admonish the ownership for reverting to the all-too-farmiliar Jeremy Jacobs style of team management: trading away stars in order to save money.
Kessel is great player, but he’s soft, which is why he will never achieve true elite status. Players like Ovechkin and Crosby will not only score 40 goals per year, but they will hit you. They will fight you. Kessel on the other hand, needs protection. He just doesn’t fit into Head Coach Claude Julien’s gameplan of tight checking and body-sacrificing.
Peter Chiarelli, Boston’s general manager, has made enough good personel decisions to warrant the trust of the Garden faithful. I’m sure that whomever (or whatever) he recieves in return for Kessel will be more than adequate.
Now we wait…