In years past, I considered buying a Leafs jersey. The player I would have picked on the back would be Kessel, because I thought he would be a Leaf the longest – maybe not his entire career, but like Iginla, he would be on the team for a significant amount of time that his career would be identified as being with the Toronto Maple Leafs. When Kessel signed his 8-year contract extension, even amidst worries and criticisms about his defense and training regime, it seemed like this would happen.
Alas, I never bought a jersey, and that actually might be good news. Kessel is on the trading block, not because of his ability or his contract (which while large is worthy of his talents), but because his prime hockey years don’t align with Toronto’s rebuilding process.
I think our rebuild is important, overdue, and should be done right. Unfortunately it looks like Kessel’s career with Toronto might be a casualty. It’s sad, but hopefully we will get some picks & prospects for him. Let’s see what happens in the next week or so!