Friday, June 26, 2009

Kessel For Kaberle - I don't think so...

The hot rumor today is Kessel for Kaberle. First, the Leafs were going to give up Kaberle AND their 7th overall draft selection for the rights to Kessel?!?! Bob McKenzie, I expect better from you. Later he recanted and said the Bruins offered Kessel and one of THEIR picks. This makes more sense, but i still think it’s bogus.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume Tuukka and Sobotka are on the roster to start the season. That leaves the Bruins with 10 forwards, 5 d-men, and 2 goalies for a total of nearly $50M on the nose – if you don’t count bonuses (go here for that info). That means they have $6.8M to spend on Kessel, Hunwick, and Bitz. For this to work, Kessel would have to accept what Krejci got, which is what the B’s are probably offering. Goal-scorers are hard to come by and Kessel’s people probably want him to test the market so he is planning to enter the restricted free agency period as a Bruin. The Bruins may be shopping him and leaking this stuff to the press as a bargaining chip to try and get him signed before July 1. That’s all I see today’s reports as – a PR stunt and maybe a diversionary tactic.

Now, Chuck Kobasew has two years remaining on a deal that comes with a cap hit of $2.33M. This is cap-friendly and makes him a very tradeable asset. If the Bruins were to replace Chucky with Mikko Lehtonen (cap hit $600K with $200K bonus) for example, this would free up $1.5M. Now all of the sudden you have over $8M to sign Kessel, Hunwick, and Bitz. This should be enough and you have your 2009-10 Bruins. There is also the possibility of going out and making a Yelle-type signing like they did last year to fill that 4th line instead of Mikko.

I think they would trade Chucky to a team in the West to move up in the first round and snag a D-man.

That’s my speculation today – we’ll see how it pans out. This has the potential to be a very exciting draft because of the deals that might be made involving established NHLers.

“Deke, Deke, Deke!!!” will officially never be heard from 311 again if these rumors are true. No one wants that to happen.

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