A Kessel Rumour Round-Up


    -The Leafs have to compensate for their lack of roster depth and the fact that Chiarelli is reticent to trade within the division by offering up a substantial package.
    -As reported there are variations on the deal-including two #1s plus. Names have also been bandied about – White, Poni, Tlusty, Stalberg, Kulemin.
    -There is not an overwhelming consensus within the organization that this is a good move – Nonis is notorious for holding onto picks and believes in building through the draft.
    -Burke believes he can replenish the picks, to a certain extent, through trade

    -This is not a love fest between Chiarelli and Burke.. they had their problems at the draft, and while it has since cooled to the point where the pair are amicable, there is still no love lost.
    -Kessel wants to be a Leaf. This isn’t done, but it’s getting close.
    -The rumored contract to fit Kessel’s demands would be in the neighbourhood of $4-$4.5m per.
    -There is no official deadline at this point but Burke wants an answer soon or he will file an offer sheet. Burke does believe Chiarelli will match, thus the effort to try to swing a trade.
    -Dubinski is still a possibility… if Burke tabled $3m plus per in an offer sheet, the Rangers would walk
    -Back to Kessel… lots of talk of Chiarelli wanting roster player(s) in return for Kessel but consider the following: he has Savard, Lucic, Wheeler, Rask and Stewart to sign next summer.  If he gets a significant player who can help them win now, they would have to be on an expiring contract or it doesn’t make “cents.”  Similarly, if say Tlusty or Kulemin were included in any deal and they match what Grabovski totaled last year, then they’re in for a significant raise and Chiarelli is back in cap hell again.  If he can add a prospect or two whom the Leafs have on an entry level deal it’s far more feasible cap-wise. The pick package might work best due to the stated factors and to add to the stable, but obviously if Chiarelli can get Burke to take back some salary (i.e. Ryder, Kobasew) that would change the game.  At this point, and it should be noted only as of this point as there is a lot flying around here and anything can change, Burke is reticent to do that, thus he would rather entice with picks.


    Tonight’s lineup in Philadelphia via Barts Bytes:

    Forwards: Hagman, Stempniak, Hanson, Ponikarovsky, Ondrus, Rosehill, Kulemin, Bozak, Kadri, Stalberg, Wallin, Grabovski

    Defence: Schenn, Komisarek, Kaberle, Gunnarsson, Rogers, Blacker

    Starter/Reliever: MacDonald, Reimer

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    Alec Brownscombe is the founder and editor of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He's published five magazines on the team entitled "The Maple Leafs Annual" with distribution in Chapters and newsstands across the country. He also co-hosts "The Battle of the Atlantic," a weekly show on TSN1200 that covers the Leafs and the NHL in-depth. Alec is a graduate of Trent University and Algonquin College with his diploma in Journalism. In 2014, he was awarded Canada's Best Hockey Blogger honours by Molson Canadian. You can contact him at alec.brownscombe@mapleleafshotstove.com.