Kessel To Toronto, Classic Jerseys Revealed, Phaneuf lays out Okposo

Phil Kessel

Alright, I know, the Loge has been slacking for the past summer. But for good reason, we’ve all been super busy with our respective jobs. But, I, thekiiiiid, promises that we will be back in full swing along with the regular season. It’s been a busy few weeks for all of us. So, lets get to it. Kessel goes to the Leafs for 2 first round draft picks. Yea Burke? Dude, in all honesty take him. I was blown back by this acquisition for about 2 minutes, then I thought, whatevs….Kessel didn’t buy into Julien’s system, nor will he buy into Burkes. I know, he’ll score atleast 6 goals against the B’s this year….but if I learned one thing during the first round playoff series against the Canadiens last year, f*** ’em. Tonight people were telling me, “Yo, he got a long-term contract for a lot of money.” Wow, cool, I hope his loonies and toonies keep him warm at night while the Cup is passed around the Garden or UC. Money only makes sense in the NFL or NBA, championships mean more in the NHL. What does Brian Burke, Toronto GM have to say? Well if you can decipher what he has to articulate between bourbon shots, listen here.  So, what does this mean for the B’s? Nothing, Sturm is back, we picked up Begin, Krejci is will be ready in November and hopefully at that point Rask is ready to rock if Thomas is tired. For Toronto? Who cares? Komisarek will yuckie his pants like he did with the mediocre Habs, and their goalie situation is still questionable. This has little impact on the Northeast division except that Kessel has more buying power when he plays Boston or Buffalo. I’m over it.

NHL.com with the story:

It was a difficult deal to get done, butToronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke stuck with it, and on Friday night he got his man.

Burke continued his revamping of a franchise that hasn’t made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2003-04 season, acquiring 21-year-old center Phil Kessel from theBoston Bruins in exchange for a pair of first-round draft picks and a second-rounder.

The trade was contingent on Kessel signing a contract with his new team, which he did by agreeing to a deal TSN was reporting is worth $27 million over five years.

“Phil’s a dynamic player,” Burke told reporters following the trade. “I’ve had him with the U.S. National Team. He’s got great food speed, he’s a good power-play specialist, he’s good in the shootout and he’s a solid kid, so for us, it’s an important day for the Leafs and we’re very pleased
Phil Kessel’s coming to Toronto (on Saturday).”

Kessel, who turns 22 on Oct. 2, has already overcome testicular cancer and emerged as a future star in just three NHL seasons. The fifth pick in the 2006 Entry Draft debuted with the Bruins the following season and had his breakthrough year in 2008-09, scoring 36 goals as Boston finished first in the Eastern Conference.

A restricted free agent, Kessel was looking for the sort of contract the Bruins, already up against the salary cap, couldn’t afford.Toronto’s interest in Kessel dates as far back as this summer’s draft, when the Leafs were reportedly set to send defensemanTomas Kaberle to the Bruins in return. Miscommunication over a draft pick to be included in the trade was blamed for it eventually falling apart, but Burke remained dogged in his pursuit. On Friday, he praised the job done by his counterpart in Boston, Peter Chiarelli, in getting the most he could in the deal.

“I think Peter Chiarelli’s done as good a job as any general manager in our League the last two years,” Burke said. “He was very patient and drove a very hard bargain on this. It’s a very high price, but it’s one we feel makes sense for us.”

In the end, the Leafs will give up first- and second-round picks in the 2010 Entry Draft and another first-round pick the following year. The return for a team coming off four straight non-playoff seasons could be enormous.

Kessel has registered 66 goals and 126 points in 222 regular-season games.

His new coach, Ron Wilson, addressed the trade following Toronto’s 4-3 preseason win at Pittsburgh.

“I just talked to Phil and he’s very excited,” Wilson said. “He was bubbling on the telephone.”

The Leafs didn’t have a 30-goal scorer last season. Jason Blake led the team with 25 goals.

“He’s going to add some speed. He’s a sniper. Obviously, if there’s an area that might be lacking at the moment it would be a proven goal scorer, somebody who can make things out of nothing,” Wilson said. “And that’s not underestimating what I think a guy like Jason Blake can do this year or [Niklas] Hagman … we do have 20-goal scorers in the mix. But it’s nice to have somebody who’s really on the upside of things, scored 36 goals last year. He only averaged 16-and-a-half minutes a game. If I can get him up in the 20-minute neighborhood, always out on the power play, I think he can be quite successful.”

In 15 playoff games with the Bruins, Kessel recorded nine goals and 15 points. Boston coachClaude Julien scratched him from three games in a first-round loss to Montreal in 2008, but Kessel came back to score three goals in the series and his production took a big leap forward last season.

“Claude told me that if I play good two-way hockey, if I’m good in the defensive end, I’ll get good chances in the offensive end,” Kessel said midway through the season, addressing the benching and his relationship with his coach. “It was a tough situation. You never want to not play. I want to be out there, but it’s his decision.

“I don’t think it has changed my game, but he has distilled more good defensive awareness for myself and my line. Our whole team is playing good two-way hockey, and that’s creating chances for us. The big change is I’m not cheating on the defensive side. Claude explained that it’s important not to give up goals. I want to score, but we can’t be giving up goals.”

Rotator cuff surgery in the offseason has Kessel sidelined until at least November. He was previously awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey after returning to play in the 2006-07 season following the battle with cancer.

“I’ve never, ever wanted to miss a game,” Kessel said last season. “I love it so much, even the bumps and bruises. I’m fortunate to not have any bad injuries so far. I just go out and play and hope nothing happens.

“You always love the game, but you don’t realize how much you miss it until it is gone. You don’t know what to do. I was so bored. When I look back, I couldn’t be someone who doesn’t play hockey. I love it so much and I missed it so much. I had to get back right away.

On that note, as most of you should know, most of the off season drama has ended. Kessel ends up in Toronto and Heatley is in San Jose. So, who ends up on top with their respective deals? In my opinion, Heatley. The Sharks have been pressing for a few years now and have a system set and built. Toronto is still trying to build and make a name since being moved to the Eastern Conference. Whatever Toronto gained this year, won’t last, and this isn’t from a B’s fan point of view. It’s going to take atleast a season for these kids to buy in to this system.

Thanks to NHL.com for the story

Dany Heatley officially put Ottawa in his rear-view mirror on Friday. The two-time 50-goal scorer took the ice for the first time as a San Jose Shark, then went before the assembled media to talk about how happy he was to have been traded to San Jose by the Senators six days earlier.

“I feel good. I feel ready to go right now,” Heatley said during the news conference at HP Pavilion following his first practice. “This is a very good team that has a great chance to win. I’m excited to be part of it.”

The Sharks acquired Heatley on Sept. 12 in a deal that sent forwards Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek to Ottawa. The 2008-09 Presidents’ Trophy winners hope he can be the missing piece that helps them convert their regular-season prowess into playoff success — after finishing first in the overall standings last season, the Sharks were bounced by Anaheim in the first round of the postseason.

In Heatley, the Sharks received a steady and prolific scorer who has 260 goals and 283 assists for 543 points in just 507 career games. He’s coming off a “down” year for him — Heatley scored 39 goals and 72 points in 82 games with the Senators in 2008-09, then asked to be traded, saying he felt he wasn’t being used properly under new coach Cory Clouston, who took over midway through the season.

Heatley declined to discuss any specifics about why he wanted to be traded.”There’s a lot of things — hockey-wise, personal-wise — that led to me asking to be traded,” he said. “I’m not going to get into that. I think that’s in the past. I’m ready to move on here.”

General Manager Doug Wilson, who pulled the trigger on the deal, said he’s not concerned with any problems in Heatley’s past. He’s more concerned about the future, and what Heatley can bring to the table.

“He’s gone and played hard,” Wilson said. “His reputation as a player — and the most important people, his teammates, the people he’s played with, and the coaches he’s played for — they look at him as a hockey player that leaves it all out there. That’s what we’re getting. That’s what we’re doing from this day forward. He’s a San Jose Shark.

“There’s no question about him as a hockey player, and there’s no question about him as a man. We’re proud to have him here.”

Heatley is coming to an organization that’s familiar with him and his style of play. Wilson is from Ottawa, Assistant GM Wayne Thomas has known Heatley since he was a youngster, and Heatley said he likes the Sharks’ force-the-tempo style of play under coach Todd McLellan, who coached him at the World Junior Championships before he turned pro.

“I like shooting the puck,” he said. “I’m ready to go. I like the style of this team. I feel confident playing this style — an offensive, skating style. I’m anxious to get going.”

He also praised McLellan as “a great communicator” and someone “who will tell you exactly what he wants.”

Wilson said the Sharks did a lot of checking before he decided to make the deal, and that he was satisfied with what he found.

“He was probably the easiest guy that I ever had to do research on,” Wilson said. “He was playing in my hometown in Ottawa. When he represented the country of Canada, he was playing for Steve Yzerman and Bob Nicholson, two very good friends and two people I have as much respect for as anyone in hockey. Peter Chiarelli, who’s a good friend of mine, is the general manager of Boston and was in Ottawa when Dany was there.

“You look at people and say, ‘does this guy fit in as a hockey player?’ Absolutely. As a person? Absolutely,” he said. “When we sit here and say we go forward, we do it with great pride.”Wilson said Heatley’s international success also convinced him to make the deal. Heatley was among the invitees to Canada’s Olympic training camp last month and figures to be a prime candidate for the final squad that will try to win gold in Vancouver in February.

“Dany has represented his country more often and better than any other player in the history of international hockey,” Wilson said. “He is the leading scorer for the country of Canada, and that means a lot to me because it’s obviously in a forum of pressure and attention — an environment where you want to win. It’s an honor to play best-on-best. That’s another element to his game that makes us feel very fortunate to have him.”

Heatley was part of the Ottawa team that went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007 before losing to Ottawa. He’s eager to be part of a team that can take that last step to a title.

“There’s a lot of good teams on paper,” he said. “It takes a lot of different things to gel and do what you have to to win. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are four tough rounds. The bottom line is to win when you have to.

“Any time you don’t win, you haven’t done the best job. I think everyone is excited to get back on the ice and show what we can do.”

That’s all for now, hopefully the Commish will wake up tomorrow and give us his input. On that note, enjoy the rest of the weekend with Phaneuf’s hit on Kyle Okposo. This was huge and it earned Pascal Morency an indefinite suspension for jumping off the bench after the hit. The best part is that everyone got involved in this scrap. On that note, this is why I love the show…you’re responsible for your actions. Should Okposo jumped the bench to challenge Phaneuf? Probably not, but you have to love the kid’s spirit, stepping up for a teammate. More often than not you won’t see a bag of knuckles like this game gave us, but some of the youngsters are trying to get their nameplate in a pro locker room… Either way, I look forward to see these teams meet each other again in the regular season….

By the way, I love college football, but why are these not the top stories at ESPN? On that note, the first preseason home game for the B’s tomorrow. I know we’ve been soft on the previous games, which had a lot of action, but a full report tomorrow.

Finally, the B’s released the Winter Classic jersey officially, with an explanation on how it was designed.

Winter Classic Jersey

1 Response to “Kessel To Toronto, Classic Jerseys Revealed, Phaneuf lays out Okposo”

  1. September 19, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    Kessel was a nice player, and a legit goal scorer, but thats all he was and one dimensional players are not worth 27 over 5. So in the words of the kiiid…fuck em.

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