Free Agent Fizzle & Selling Kessel Cheap by Jamie Gilcig – JULY 2, 2015 #NHL #leafs

This seems to be the season the NHL cap really kicks in.   In a normal world trading Phil Kessel for a bag of pucks wouldn’t make any sense.  In the cap age….well.

Brendan Shanahan and his team wanted to make a point and they traded away the team’s best player.  Nobody is irreplaceable, but in this age goal scorers with a pedigree are rare commodities even at Phil’s salary.

Will the team be able to replace him?  Not easily and none of the youngun’s they traded for have a chance of replacing his production.

Free Agent Frenzy in the NHL was all about value.    There were no strange Benoit Pouliot or David Clarkson type signings except for maybe Michael Frolik, but that might work out for Calgary in the end?

The Habs have been very very quiet.   I’m not sure the Petry signing was still their best play, but it’s not horrible.   The Prust for Kassian deal gave fans something to talk about.   I think Montreal will miss Prust as much as the Rangers did.   As intriguing as Kassian is, he is a wild card. If it comes down to something as simple as not wanting to be used purely as a goon then the upside may work out as well as the other Canuck the Habs picked up in Dale Weise.

Montreal still hasn’t addressed its major needs and still hasn’t recalibrated its roster.

Toronto hasn’t done much better.  It’s signed PA Parenteau, Daniel Winnik, and Mark Arcobello.  Shades of Harold Ballard what kind of team are they trying to build?   Did they really spend all that coin on hiring Mike Babcock just to tank another season?

Of all the players on the Toronto squad the hardest to replace would be Phil Kessel and that’s the only player of value they’ve sent packing.

Ottawa has been cap efficient and is looking better for next season.  No real surprises although there certainly are some value free agents available that would help the Sens.

Calgary has made a big splash.  First the Hamilton trade and signing up, and then signing Frolik for term.   The Ramo signing for one season is good insurance.

Edmonton made some sexy moves.  Andrej Sekera may not be “the guy” on D, but he certainly will help the team.  Edmonton has helped themselves without trading one of their key stars…yet.   Would be interesting to see Cody Franson join this squad.   Mr. Chiarelli has stars, cap space, and depth.  This team won’t be finishing at the bottom of the standings next season.

Vancouver seems to be shifting and readjusting.   Bieksa was dumped for a draft pick.  Kassian for Prust.  Eddie Lack’s being shifted out gives Markstrom the nod.

The Jets only splash so far was the resigning of Drew Stafford for two years.

What do you think Canadian hockey fans?  You can post your comments below.




  1. Phil fizzled in Toronto. Will he sizzle in Pittsburgh?

  2. Author

    Hugger Phil did pretty darn well for the Leafs. 5 years of 280+ shots on goal aren’t easy. 🙂

  3. Well….a player’s success is also measured in the success of his team. That is what I based my opinion on..

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