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Maple Leafs News and Views => Main Leafs Hockey Talk => Topic started by: CarltonTheBear on March 27, 2015, 09:48:29 AM

Title: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on March 27, 2015, 09:48:29 AM
It's been almost 24 hours since we've all argued about Phil Kessel, so I figured I'd throw some more wood into the fire (and actually have the discussion in a proper thread for a change :))).

Darryl Belfry posted some very interesting thoughts on Kessel this morning. For those of you who don't know, Belfry is one of the most well-known performance coaches in the league. His camp, Pro Playmakers, has worked with Crosby, MacKinnon, Kane, Tavares, Duchene, and even David Clarkson! Full disclosure, he was also hired by the Leafs as a Skill Development Consultant in December. You could consider him biased if you'd like, but he breaks down and discusses loads of NHL-related stuff on his twitter account so it's not like the Leafs have a muzzle on him. His handle is @belfryhockey for anyone wishing to follow him. Anyway, this is what he said about Kessel:

Quote
The sustained losing phenomenon I find as fascinating as sustained winning. I meant to post this when TOR81 was embattled with the Toronto media with respect to challenges to his/and the teams collective perception of a lack of effort/work ethic.

As sustained losing elongates through the season the effect on your top players is most fascinating. If you take a player like TOR81, who is among the elite snipers of his class and has made a living scoring goals because of perfect reads of the timing of the pass and when to engage his blistering speed down the right side and snapping a rocket instride ... what happens to him when the team struggles is fascinating.

The fascinating part is his compensations to get the puck. When you are in sustained losing, your team has the puck significantly less than when you are winning, same with chains of successful passes and sustained individual possession times. A skilled scorer like TOR81 goes shift after shift defending in his own end and not getting the puck at all. The coaches are exploring him to play with more structure, the fans want to see him chase down loose pucks or force turnovers, but his instinct is manufacture a chance in direct alignment with his instinct and asset base. He reads the game from a different perspective. However, when the team is in prolonged losing, the collective trust and confidence of the group bottoms out and the game all of a sudden feels faster and the plays are now rushed, the checking feels suffocating and the little passes that came so easy are now nearly impossible.

What does TOR81 do? Rather what should he do? Should he play with more structure and patiently await a chance to occur from a defensive posture? Does he chase some pucks down and look to force a turnover? Does he default to his instincts?

TOR81 tries desperately to default to his instincts, so he reads the game for chances to time a rush, but the collective group isn't capable - so pucks go off the glass, passes get lost & pucks get turned over. So now as he defaults to his instinct he misses chances to jump because he loses trust the puck is coming, so he hesitates and the chance is lost.

When the shift is over, he realizes that all he did was defend in his own end - or worse stand around waiting for a chance to jump that never came, and the chances he did have, he missed because he doesn't trust that the puck will get to him. In the back of his mind he hears whispers of staying instide the team structure, so now he worries if he jumps and doesn't get the puck he has blown the zone early.

What does he do? He must stay disciplined to executing the right play regardless of result. To feel the game from his instintual perspective. If he doesn't do that, he falls out of habit, loses his timing and further detaches himself from his habit base.

The inner conflict is fascinating as these players navigate their way through sustained losing, their character is actually revealed in their stubborness of their habit base. Therein lies the disconnect and why he is exacerbated when his work ethic is called into question. From the press box all you see is a player floating around ... from the bench, you see a guy distracted from his defensive responsibilities, but from the eyes of the player, you see over concentration and hesitations that manifests into frustration.

This is why players like TOR81 are at odds, he isn't the type of player who drives offense on his own, he specializes in timing which is dependent on certain recurring reads ... that have all of a sudden become less recurring.

For players lower on the depth chart, none of this really applies, they don't have to adjust their game in any way, but for an elite goal scorer - who relies on reading off others, this is one of the more fascinating studies of mental toughness and the number of variations that toughness is interpreted... depending on perspective and understanding.

For TOR81, I'm certain he can articulate all of this much more eloquently and with greater detail than I, but his willingness ... well that comes back to trust.

Now, I'm not excusing Kessel's play over the past couple of months, I just think that this provides a bit of insight into how a player like Phil thinks and sees the game when he's playing in this type of situation, and why in general it's difficult to properly assess/judge players (star players in particular) in a losing environment.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on March 27, 2015, 09:53:17 AM
Thanks for that.

*Grabs popcorn*
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TML fan on March 27, 2015, 10:12:27 AM
I give this thread two weeks to reach 90 pages.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 27, 2015, 10:23:11 AM

A ton of that went over my head but this bit stuck out to me:

Quote
For players lower on the depth chart, none of this really applies, they don't have to adjust their game in any way, but for an elite goal scorer - who relies on reading off others, this is one of the more fascinating studies of mental toughness and the number of variations that toughness is interpreted... depending on perspective and understanding.

This seems, and forgive me if I'm misreading this, to sort of connect to the Mike Brown joke I make in the MOTM thread. Leafs fans seem to fetishize a kind of hard work among their players. The hard work that looks like the hardest work or the kind that leaves the most bruises or whatever.

We see this all the time, when the team is good or bad. Tie Domi, thrower of bodychecks and knuckles, is a hero while Robert Reichel, almost certainly a better player in all aspects of the game, was "soft". We have a rosy view of Mats Sundin now but there were an awful lot of people who would call into the radio and say, seriously, that they thought Gary Roberts would be a better captain. How many times did people say Tomas Kaberle should be moved off of D because of his lack of physical play?

For a fan base that as far as these things go is pretty smart I think this is the collective blind spot. I understand it, when the Leafs won their cups it wasn't because they had the Hulls or Howes or Beliveau's or the best players of their day. They had gritty players and won with toughness.

So I understand the impulse and everything but boy does it manifest itself in some stupid ways.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on March 27, 2015, 10:33:56 AM

A ton of that went over my head but this bit stuck out to me:

Quote
For players lower on the depth chart, none of this really applies, they don't have to adjust their game in any way, but for an elite goal scorer - who relies on reading off others, this is one of the more fascinating studies of mental toughness and the number of variations that toughness is interpreted... depending on perspective and understanding.

This seems, and forgive me if I'm misreading this, to sort of connect to the Mike Brown joke I make in the MOTM thread. Leafs fans seem to fetishize a kind of hard work among their players. The hard work that looks like the hardest work or the kind that leaves the most bruises or whatever.

We see this all the time, when the team is good or bad. Tie Domi, thrower of bodychecks and knuckles, is a hero while Robert Reichel, almost certainly a better player in all aspects of the game, was "soft". We have a rosy view of Mats Sundin now but there were an awful lot of people who would call into the radio and say, seriously, that they thought Gary Roberts would be a better captain. How many times did people say Tomas Kaberle should be moved off of D because of his lack of physical play?

For a fan base that as far as these things go is pretty smart I think this is the collective blind spot. I understand it, when the Leafs won their cups it wasn't because they had the Hulls or Howes or Beliveau's or the best players of their day. They had gritty players and won with toughness.

So I understand the impulse and everything but boy does it manifest itself in some stupid ways.

I think it's a Canadian hockey fan in general type thing - I hear it all the time when I go to watch the Soo Greyhounds play (you know, the #1 ranked team in the country).  Every couple minutes someone from the crowd yells for a player to "hit him!"  Every player has to have that physical edge or they get some criticism - you can hear in the crowd the unease if they team circles back to reload a play rather than dump it in and be safe.  There's like a deep-rooted belief in this prototypical Canadian hockey player who scores goals by basically willing them into the net - with hard work, hitting, grinding, dumping and chasing.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Frank E on March 27, 2015, 10:43:26 AM
I think most successful teams have different contributions from different kinds of players.  Fans can get behind the Kessels and Reichels of the game if they're scoring goals.  If they're not scoring goals, but they're playing a more gritty game that's entertaining from a physical perspective, they get a pass.  If they're doing neither, then fans get on them.  A guy that scores goals and plays a gritty game is a fan favourite.

People appreciated Mike Brown because he'd go out there and throw himself around hitting people, and that was entertainment.   
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 27, 2015, 10:43:58 AM
I think it's a Canadian hockey fan in general type thing - I hear it all the time when I go to watch the Soo Greyhounds play (you know, the #1 ranked team in the country).  Every couple minutes someone from the crowd yells for a player to "hit him!"  Every player has to have that physical edge or they get some criticism - you can hear in the crowd the unease if they team circles back to reload a play rather than dump it in and be safe.  There's like a deep-rooted belief in this prototypical Canadian hockey player who scores goals by basically willing them into the net - with hard work, hitting, grinding, dumping and chasing.

I think you're probably right that it's not as limited to Toronto as I put it there. I don't live in Ottawa or Vancouver or Montreal so I don't know if, say, fans  in those cities had similar issues with Alfredsson, Naslund or Koivu. Montreal, which is probably the fanbase I'm most familiar with, seems to have less of that(and a history of winning with skill) but I couldn't say for sure.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 27, 2015, 10:49:55 AM
I think most successful teams have different contributions from different kinds of players.  Fans can get behind the Kessels and Reichels of the game if they're scoring goals.  If they're not scoring goals, but they're playing a more gritty game that's entertaining from a physical perspective, they get a pass.  If they're doing neither, then fans get on them.  A guy that scores goals and plays a gritty game is a fan favourite.

I think the point I'm making though, and this applies probably the least to Kessel out of all of these guys to be fair, is that hitting and physical play tends to "get a pass" despite it not really being a reflection on the contributions being made. Take Reichel for instance. He wasn't just a goal scorer. He was a really good defensive centre but did it through smarts and positioning rather than hitting people. So even if he wasn't scoring goals he was doing more to help the team win than someone like Domi.

Also I don't think we're just talking about entertainment value. My point was that what guys like Domi and Brown and the like do looks like it hurts more and we conflate that with effort and hard work whereas the guys who don't throw their body around get accused of not trying as hard.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Joe S. on March 27, 2015, 11:41:28 AM
I wonder if he thinks that this is fascinating.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bullfrog on March 27, 2015, 12:11:22 PM
or if he could really articulate it with more eloquence (though given the mess of that quote, it wouldn't be that difficult.)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: herman on March 27, 2015, 02:07:11 PM
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: princedpw on March 27, 2015, 03:05:03 PM
would have been interested to see that ... it is blacked out in the US.

Was there a serious fist fight?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on March 27, 2015, 03:05:49 PM
would have been interested to see that ... it is blacked out in the US.

Was there a serious fist fight?

No.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Chris on March 27, 2015, 03:09:31 PM
I'm in the U.S. and was able to see it here:

http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2015/3/27/8300569/phil-kessel-vs-david-booth-literally-maple-leafs-news

Looks like Booth took exception to Kessel being a little physical...which kind of makes sense, since Kessel is never physical against other teams.

Can anyone make out the audio, someone can be heard saying something about "again" (sounds like "tell me again") but maybe it's unrelated to the scuffle.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on March 27, 2015, 03:17:08 PM
I've seen Kessel do that with other teams tons and tons of times.  But nice try.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Chris on March 27, 2015, 03:25:44 PM
I've seen Kessel do that with other teams tons and tons of times.  But nice try.

Thank you.

We didn't see everything that led up to the altercation but it's pretty easy to imagine what set it off.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: pmrules on March 27, 2015, 03:34:21 PM
Getting back to the article for just a second.  I've never played hockey on an organized level, so appreciate those who have played and are familiary with the variuos systems, to chime in.

I'm not sure how this writer explains the fact that this guy scored in the top 5 in scoring the past few years - with primarily the same line mates?  What has changed? The only thing that has changed is the change in the system, where the Leafs, purposefully, moved away from run and gun (1 and done) rushing style to a more possession based (which based on results, they aren't very good at).  So is he saying that Kessel is a rusher, and that this new system is flawed specifically for Kessel?  If so, then wasn't Carlyle right, and Horachek wrong (from a strictly results perspective)?

The writer then blames Kessel's slump based on the fact that the leafs have the puck less...is this even true in the new system?  In fact, under carlyle, we had some of the worst possession numbers in the history of life, and yet he was scoring at a top 5 pace.  So that can't be it...can it?

The writer then blames linemates (or that "the collective group isn't capable")...but his linemates (TOR21 and TOR42), are for the most part...the same, aren't they?  How are they any less capable than last year?  Also, how does the writer explain's Kessel's last 15 games of the year from last year?

And a bit off topic, but why can't he just call him Kessel instead of TOR81? 
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Chris on March 27, 2015, 03:47:51 PM
Problem with some of this "reasoning" is that even before Carlyle was fired, the top line was often hemmed in their own end for entire shifts, multiple times per game. Their possession stats improved a lot (for a while, at least) under Horachek but the goals dried up. Now maybe part of that was because they were "cheating" under Carlyle, which led to more good offensive opportunities, so the scoring rate was higher. Less cheating now = fewer good scoring chances (I think that's obvious from the games) but they're still not good defensive players...so even though they are back in the defensive zone, opponents still tend to control the play there.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TML fan on March 27, 2015, 03:50:33 PM
The only difference between now and then is that now, nobody else on this team can score.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: herman on March 27, 2015, 05:25:24 PM
Getting back to the article for just a second.  I've never played hockey on an organized level, so appreciate those who have played and are familiary with the variuos systems, to chime in.

I'm not sure how this writer explains the fact that this guy scored in the top 5 in scoring the past few years - with primarily the same line mates?  What has changed? The only thing that has changed is the change in the system, where the Leafs, purposefully, moved away from run and gun (1 and done) rushing style to a more possession based (which based on results, they aren't very good at).  So is he saying that Kessel is a rusher, and that this new system is flawed specifically for Kessel?  If so, then wasn't Carlyle right, and Horachek wrong (from a strictly results perspective)?

The writer then blames Kessel's slump based on the fact that the leafs have the puck less...is this even true in the new system?  In fact, under carlyle, we had some of the worst possession numbers in the history of life, and yet he was scoring at a top 5 pace.  So that can't be it...can it?

The writer then blames linemates (or that "the collective group isn't capable")...but his linemates (TOR21 and TOR42), are for the most part...the same, aren't they?  How are they any less capable than last year?  Also, how does the writer explain's Kessel's last 15 games of the year from last year?

And a bit off topic, but why can't he just call him Kessel instead of TOR81?

The article was essentially saying that Kessel is tuned to a certain rhythm in the game (which appears to be blowing the zone early to catch defenders flatfooted). The new system, on top of making him think more (which slows him down), preaches a different approach that Kessel hasn't fully adjusted to. The timing is off and the puck isn't going where Kessel is used to it being.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on March 27, 2015, 05:30:51 PM
Getting back to the article for just a second.  I've never played hockey on an organized level, so appreciate those who have played and are familiary with the variuos systems, to chime in.

I'm not sure how this writer explains the fact that this guy scored in the top 5 in scoring the past few years - with primarily the same line mates?  What has changed? The only thing that has changed is the change in the system, where the Leafs, purposefully, moved away from run and gun (1 and done) rushing style to a more possession based (which based on results, they aren't very good at).  So is he saying that Kessel is a rusher, and that this new system is flawed specifically for Kessel?  If so, then wasn't Carlyle right, and Horachek wrong (from a strictly results perspective)?

The writer then blames Kessel's slump based on the fact that the leafs have the puck less...is this even true in the new system?  In fact, under carlyle, we had some of the worst possession numbers in the history of life, and yet he was scoring at a top 5 pace.  So that can't be it...can it?

The writer then blames linemates (or that "the collective group isn't capable")...but his linemates (TOR21 and TOR42), are for the most part...the same, aren't they?  How are they any less capable than last year?  Also, how does the writer explain's Kessel's last 15 games of the year from last year?

And a bit off topic, but why can't he just call him Kessel instead of TOR81?

The article was essentially saying that Kessel is tuned to a certain rhythm in the game (which appears to be blowing the zone early to catch defenders flatfooted). The new system, on top of making him think more (which slows him down), preaches a different approach that Kessel hasn't fully adjusted to. The timing is off and the puck isn't going where Kessel is used to it being.

He scored at a 42 goal pace under Claude Julien, not exactly known as a loosey-goosey coach when it comes to systems and responsibility.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on March 27, 2015, 05:32:35 PM
Heard that Quinten Tarentino is making a new movie "Kill Phil"  guaranteed great box office in Ontario.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on March 27, 2015, 06:05:40 PM
It's been almost 24 hours since we've all argued about Phil Kessel, so I figured I'd throw some more wood into the fire (and actually have the discussion in a proper thread for a change :))).

Darryl Belfry posted some very interesting thoughts on Kessel this morning. For those of you who don't know, Belfry is one of the most well-known performance coaches in the league. His camp, Pro Playmakers, has worked with Crosby, MacKinnon, Kane, Tavares, Duchene, and even David Clarkson! Full disclosure, he was also hired by the Leafs as a Skill Development Consultant in December. You could consider him biased if you'd like, but he breaks down and discusses loads of NHL-related stuff on his twitter account so it's not like the Leafs have a muzzle on him. His handle is @belfryhockey for anyone wishing to follow him. Anyway, this is what he said about Kessel:

Quote
The sustained losing phenomenon I find as fascinating as sustained winning. I meant to post this when TOR81 was embattled with the Toronto media with respect to challenges to his/and the teams collective perception of a lack of effort/work ethic.

As sustained losing elongates through the season the effect on your top players is most fascinating. If you take a player like TOR81, who is among the elite snipers of his class and has made a living scoring goals because of perfect reads of the timing of the pass and when to engage his blistering speed down the right side and snapping a rocket instride ... what happens to him when the team struggles is fascinating.

The fascinating part is his compensations to get the puck. When you are in sustained losing, your team has the puck significantly less than when you are winning, same with chains of successful passes and sustained individual possession times. A skilled scorer like TOR81 goes shift after shift defending in his own end and not getting the puck at all. The coaches are exploring him to play with more structure, the fans want to see him chase down loose pucks or force turnovers, but his instinct is manufacture a chance in direct alignment with his instinct and asset base. He reads the game from a different perspective. However, when the team is in prolonged losing, the collective trust and confidence of the group bottoms out and the game all of a sudden feels faster and the plays are now rushed, the checking feels suffocating and the little passes that came so easy are now nearly impossible.

What does TOR81 do? Rather what should he do? Should he play with more structure and patiently await a chance to occur from a defensive posture? Does he chase some pucks down and look to force a turnover? Does he default to his instincts?

TOR81 tries desperately to default to his instincts, so he reads the game for chances to time a rush, but the collective group isn't capable - so pucks go off the glass, passes get lost & pucks get turned over. So now as he defaults to his instinct he misses chances to jump because he loses trust the puck is coming, so he hesitates and the chance is lost.

When the shift is over, he realizes that all he did was defend in his own end - or worse stand around waiting for a chance to jump that never came, and the chances he did have, he missed because he doesn't trust that the puck will get to him. In the back of his mind he hears whispers of staying instide the team structure, so now he worries if he jumps and doesn't get the puck he has blown the zone early.

What does he do? He must stay disciplined to executing the right play regardless of result. To feel the game from his instintual perspective. If he doesn't do that, he falls out of habit, loses his timing and further detaches himself from his habit base.

The inner conflict is fascinating as these players navigate their way through sustained losing, their character is actually revealed in their stubborness of their habit base. Therein lies the disconnect and why he is exacerbated when his work ethic is called into question. From the press box all you see is a player floating around ... from the bench, you see a guy distracted from his defensive responsibilities, but from the eyes of the player, you see over concentration and hesitations that manifests into frustration.

This is why players like TOR81 are at odds, he isn't the type of player who drives offense on his own, he specializes in timing which is dependent on certain recurring reads ... that have all of a sudden become less recurring.

For players lower on the depth chart, none of this really applies, they don't have to adjust their game in any way, but for an elite goal scorer - who relies on reading off others, this is one of the more fascinating studies of mental toughness and the number of variations that toughness is interpreted... depending on perspective and understanding.

For TOR81, I'm certain he can articulate all of this much more eloquently and with greater detail than I, but his willingness ... well that comes back to trust.

Now, I'm not excusing Kessel's play over the past couple of months, I just think that this provides a bit of insight into how a player like Phil thinks and sees the game when he's playing in this type of situation, and why in general it's difficult to properly assess/judge players (star players in particular) in a losing environment.

TL;DR  Less goals = less effort, amirite?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: brothert on March 27, 2015, 06:37:59 PM
I watched Phil live last night. He looks capable, the skating is good but there is zero chemistry between the three of Bozak, Kessel,JVR. All 3 of them tried multiple solo rushes which were closed down easily. Kessel on these rushes has some dangerous shots that loungo lost but Bozak and JVR hadn't even entered the zone yet. Kessel looks so much faster than the other two. All three are soft though. JVR had two glorious chances to plaster a guy coming out of the Florida zone and opted not to do it
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on March 27, 2015, 06:39:29 PM

Problem with some of this "reasoning" is that even before Carlyle was fired, the top line was often hemmed in their own end for entire shifts, multiple times per game. Their possession stats improved a lot (for a while, at least) under Horachek but the goals dried up. Now maybe part of that was because they were "cheating" under Carlyle, which led to more good offensive opportunities, so the scoring rate was higher. Less cheating now = fewer good scoring chances (I think that's obvious from the games) but they're still not good defensive players...so even though they are back in the defensive zone, opponents still tend to control the play there.

The sheer arrogance here is astounding.

Some people just gotta grind that axe.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Chris on March 27, 2015, 06:52:50 PM

Problem with some of this "reasoning" is that even before Carlyle was fired, the top line was often hemmed in their own end for entire shifts, multiple times per game. Their possession stats improved a lot (for a while, at least) under Horachek but the goals dried up. Now maybe part of that was because they were "cheating" under Carlyle, which led to more good offensive opportunities, so the scoring rate was higher. Less cheating now = fewer good scoring chances (I think that's obvious from the games) but they're still not good defensive players...so even though they are back in the defensive zone, opponents still tend to control the play there.

The sheer arrogance here is astounding.

Some people just gotta grind that axe.

Why don't you offer your interpretation of the article and the past 40 games, rather than attack others? Talk about arrogance...
Title: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on March 27, 2015, 07:13:11 PM

Problem with some of this "reasoning" is that even before Carlyle was fired, the top line was often hemmed in their own end for entire shifts, multiple times per game. Their possession stats improved a lot (for a while, at least) under Horachek but the goals dried up. Now maybe part of that was because they were "cheating" under Carlyle, which led to more good offensive opportunities, so the scoring rate was higher. Less cheating now = fewer good scoring chances (I think that's obvious from the games) but they're still not good defensive players...so even though they are back in the defensive zone, opponents still tend to control the play there.

The sheer arrogance here is astounding.

Some people just gotta grind that axe.

Why don't you offer your interpretation of the article and the past 40 games, rather than attack others? Talk about arrogance...

I have offered my opinion on the Phil Kessel situation more than once. I don't feel the need to turn every thread into one where I beat a dead horse.

If you don't feel like looking through my posts, I'm on the same side of the issue as Potvin, Nik, Carlton and Busta.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Coco-puffs on March 27, 2015, 07:17:56 PM
Getting back to the article for just a second.  I've never played hockey on an organized level, so appreciate those who have played and are familiary with the variuos systems, to chime in.

I'm not sure how this writer explains the fact that this guy scored in the top 5 in scoring the past few years - with primarily the same line mates?  What has changed? The only thing that has changed is the change in the system, where the Leafs, purposefully, moved away from run and gun (1 and done) rushing style to a more possession based (which based on results, they aren't very good at).  So is he saying that Kessel is a rusher, and that this new system is flawed specifically for Kessel?  If so, then wasn't Carlyle right, and Horachek wrong (from a strictly results perspective)?

The writer then blames Kessel's slump based on the fact that the leafs have the puck less...is this even true in the new system?  In fact, under carlyle, we had some of the worst possession numbers in the history of life, and yet he was scoring at a top 5 pace.  So that can't be it...can it?

The writer then blames linemates (or that "the collective group isn't capable")...but his linemates (TOR21 and TOR42), are for the most part...the same, aren't they?  How are they any less capable than last year?  Also, how does the writer explain's Kessel's last 15 games of the year from last year?

And a bit off topic, but why can't he just call him Kessel instead of TOR81?

The article was essentially saying that Kessel is tuned to a certain rhythm in the game (which appears to be blowing the zone early to catch defenders flatfooted). The new system, on top of making him think more (which slows him down), preaches a different approach that Kessel hasn't fully adjusted to. The timing is off and the puck isn't going where Kessel is used to it being.

He scored at a 42 goal pace under Claude Julien, not exactly known as a loosey-goosey coach when it comes to systems and responsibility.

1.  Marc Savard >>> Tyler Bozak.

2.  Julien and Kessel didn't really get along... Probably due to differences of opinion on Kessel's handling of said responsibility.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on March 27, 2015, 07:21:00 PM
Patrick you forgot to mention me with Potvin, Nik and Carlton. This horse is so dead its attracting flies now. Can't we move on at this point.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Chris on March 27, 2015, 07:38:08 PM
Patrick you forgot to mention me with Potvin, Nik and Carlton. This horse is so dead its attracting flies now. Can't we move on at this point.

This is a Kessel-specific thread started by one of your own "group"...if you don't want to discuss Kessel anymore, why are you posting in this thread?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 27, 2015, 07:47:54 PM
I'm not sure how this writer explains the fact that this guy scored in the top 5 in scoring the past few years - with primarily the same line mates?  What has changed? The only thing that has changed is the change in the system, where the Leafs, purposefully, moved away from run and gun (1 and done) rushing style to a more possession based (which based on results, they aren't very good at).  So is he saying that Kessel is a rusher, and that this new system is flawed specifically for Kessel?  If so, then wasn't Carlyle right, and Horachek wrong (from a strictly results perspective)?

To some extent but I think that what's been exposed post-Carlyle is just how poorly this team is constructed for playing the sort of hockey that will eventually lead them somewhere good. If Carlyle, and his advocates, want to count it as a win that his system took this bunch to mediocre, rather than tragically awful, places then they can but that's when it would be worth noting that a lot of this roster was shaped by what Carlyle wanted and didn't so, at best, it's a hollow victory.

The writer then blames Kessel's slump based on the fact that the leafs have the puck less...is this even true in the new system?  In fact, under carlyle, we had some of the worst possession numbers in the history of life, and yet he was scoring at a top 5 pace.  So that can't be it...can it?

The writer then blames linemates (or that "the collective group isn't capable")...but his linemates (TOR21 and TOR42), are for the most part...the same, aren't they?  How are they any less capable than last year?  Also, how does the writer explain's Kessel's last 15 games of the year from last year?

But I think you sort of hit on the fundamental point here. It seems like most people want there to be a convenient answer for why Kessel isn't scoring and there being one thing to blame, whether it be linemates or Kessel's own deficiencies or whatever, and what this guy is saying if I read it right, is that there's some truths to all of it and there is no one simple explanation for what's went wrong with his game.

If you read it the way I do one of the things that sticks out is that he's saying  that the sort of player Kessel is means he's more affected by the rhythms of his teammates than most and when things are going badly, it will disrupt what he does well more than most. Considering that "gone badly" is a bit of an understatement for the funk the whole team has fallen into it would then follow that Kessel's own slump will be more pronounced.

I didn't read it as a vindication of Kessel or a condemnation. I don't think he was looking to only "blame" certain things. Just give a bit of insight into just how Kessel could look as lost as he has the last few months without resorting to tired cliches.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: skrackle on March 27, 2015, 09:53:01 PM
Brian Burke thought he was going to sign the Sedin twins in their UFA year of 2008 or 09, whenever it was. Then, he was going to trade Thomas Kaberle for Phil Kessel.

But it didn't work out quite that way, did it? Instead, Kessel has come in with the baggage of being part of an ill-advised trade. He has played with Tyler "found wallet" Bozak as his centerman for most of his time with the Leafs instead of the Sedins. Kessel and Bozak have clicked together at times, but not in a way that's building toward team success. No matter what numbers Kessel has put up as a Leaf, it's always been in a vacuum. There's not enough else happening to make Kessel's scoring mean anything.

The rest of the team has been patch-worked together year by year and finally it's coming to a crashing halt. It's not at all surprising that it's happening now.

Kessel is the best player on the Leafs right now, but he's never been the right player to build a team around. Neither is Phaneuf. The best case scenario for the Leafs is to find a way to move these guys on to teams who could really use them.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Damian on March 27, 2015, 10:32:06 PM
Hey Phile...this is Dave......https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSet6htnVcQ
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Mostar on March 28, 2015, 12:01:05 AM
Patrick you forgot to mention me with Potvin, Nik and Carlton. This horse is so dead its attracting flies now. Can't we move on at this point.

This is a Kessel-specific thread started by one of your own "group"...if you don't want to discuss Kessel anymore, why are you posting in this thread?

Post only if you agree with crowd. Unless, of course, your so arrogant as to disagree.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Dappleganger on March 28, 2015, 12:06:51 AM
Brian Burke thought he was going to sign the Sedin twins in their UFA year of 2008 or 09, whenever it was. Then, he was going to trade Thomas Kaberle for Phil Kessel.

But it didn't work out quite that way, did it? Instead, Kessel has come in with the baggage of being part of an ill-advised trade. He has played with Tyler "found wallet" Bozak as his centerman for most of his time with the Leafs instead of the Sedins. Kessel and Bozak have clicked together at times, but not in a way that's building toward team success. No matter what numbers Kessel has put up as a Leaf, it's always been in a vacuum. There's not enough else happening to make Kessel's scoring mean anything.

The rest of the team has been patch-worked together year by year and finally it's coming to a crashing halt. It's not at all surprising that it's happening now.

Kessel is the best player on the Leafs right now, but he's never been the right player to build a team around. Neither is Phaneuf. The best case scenario for the Leafs is to find a way to move these guys on to teams who could really use them.

To me, the problem has always been the 2nd line. This year, the second line started out as Lupul-Kadri-Kozun. Not good enough and it's squarely on Nonis. There was basically a question mark for a second line winger.

Up until Carlyle was fired the Leafs first line scored as well as any first line in the league, better than most, but they had their issues. We needed a tough, strong, physical and talented second line and it didn't happen.

Did I mention the Leafs defense was atrocious? It didn't have to be but the players couldn't put it together. Nonis gets a wash on that one.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: slapshot on March 28, 2015, 12:29:49 PM
Getting back to the article for just a second.  I've never played hockey on an organized level, so appreciate those who have played and are familiary with the variuos systems, to chime in.

I'm not sure how this writer explains the fact that this guy scored in the top 5 in scoring the past few years - with primarily the same line mates?  What has changed? The only thing that has changed is the change in the system, where the Leafs, purposefully, moved away from run and gun (1 and done) rushing style to a more possession based (which based on results, they aren't very good at).  So is he saying that Kessel is a rusher, and that this new system is flawed specifically for Kessel?  If so, then wasn't Carlyle right, and Horachek wrong (from a strictly results perspective)?

The writer then blames Kessel's slump based on the fact that the leafs have the puck less...is this even true in the new system?  In fact, under carlyle, we had some of the worst possession numbers in the history of life, and yet he was scoring at a top 5 pace.  So that can't be it...can it?

The writer then blames linemates (or that "the collective group isn't capable")...but his linemates (TOR21 and TOR42), are for the most part...the same, aren't they?  How are they any less capable than last year?  Also, how does the writer explain's Kessel's last 15 games of the year from last year?

And a bit off topic, but why can't he just call him Kessel instead of TOR81?

I think you are essentially correct, they are trying to put a square peg in a round hole now. They are trying to take a rush type players and turn them into two-way players.

What this guys is saying is something like 700 words or more is that Kessel looks for people to set him up on the fly and to try to score goals or set up goals, which he can do in spades. But when asked to play a different system he gets lost. Is that the player's fault or a system fault, probably some of both. One might say a guy like Patrick Kane plays like Kessel but still fits in with the Blackhawks, who play a pretty decent two-way game. But he also has a superior supporting cast in Toews, Hossa, Kane, Seabrook and others. Plus one of the best coaches in the game in Quennville. The Leafs appear to be committed to moving away from rush type offence to more of a two-way game, but it is obvious personnel changes are required to make that work. I think the transition, though painful, has revealed something about the character of a number players, which ultimately helps in the "evaluation" Shanahan has been talking about. How these players react to change and adversity is telling. Through it all, I think Rielly, Gardiner, Kadri, Booth, Pannik (even Polak before he was hurt) and a few others have played well, if not better. Can't say much for the guys we were supposed to count on. On the positive side, I think if the Leafs are patient, they can still get some decent return for guys like Kessel, Phaneuf, Bozak and Lupul if they choose to trade them all. I didn't throw JVR into that mix because I think change or circumstance or personnel will do him some good and he hasn't been around as long as the rest. Looks like the Marlies will make the playoffs if they can win today. And, once the Leafs season ends, thankfully, they can bolster the Marlies playoff chances by returning some guys there like MacWilliams, Kozun, Smith and I guess Bailey.
On the Booth-Kessel scrap, I only wish players would jump in like that when a fellow teammate is roughed up by an opposing player on the ice.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: slapshot on March 28, 2015, 12:40:44 PM
I watched Phil live last night. He looks capable, the skating is good but there is zero chemistry between the three of Bozak, Kessel,JVR. All 3 of them tried multiple solo rushes which were closed down easily. Kessel on these rushes has some dangerous shots that loungo lost but Bozak and JVR hadn't even entered the zone yet. Kessel looks so much faster than the other two. All three are soft though. JVR had two glorious chances to plaster a guy coming out of the Florida zone and opted not to do it
I've been totally baffled by Horachek's stubborn persistence to go with them as a trio, when they've been producing zero. I mean isn't this an opportunity to see if some chemistry could be developed elsewhere. I mean how many games in a row has Kadri ever been paired with Kessel? I'd put all three of them on different lines to see what happens...

Booth Kadri Kessel (make them play together)
JVR  Komarov Lupul
Panik  Bozak Kozun
Lindstrom Carrick Bailey

Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: slapshot on March 28, 2015, 12:41:48 PM
Brian Burke thought he was going to sign the Sedin twins in their UFA year of 2008 or 09, whenever it was. Then, he was going to trade Thomas Kaberle for Phil Kessel.

But it didn't work out quite that way, did it? Instead, Kessel has come in with the baggage of being part of an ill-advised trade. He has played with Tyler "found wallet" Bozak as his centerman for most of his time with the Leafs instead of the Sedins. Kessel and Bozak have clicked together at times, but not in a way that's building toward team success. No matter what numbers Kessel has put up as a Leaf, it's always been in a vacuum. There's not enough else happening to make Kessel's scoring mean anything.

The rest of the team has been patch-worked together year by year and finally it's coming to a crashing halt. It's not at all surprising that it's happening now.

Kessel is the best player on the Leafs right now, but he's never been the right player to build a team around. Neither is Phaneuf. The best case scenario for the Leafs is to find a way to move these guys on to teams who could really use them.

I concur entirely
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: hockeyfan1 on March 28, 2015, 07:01:02 PM
Brian Burke thought he was going to sign the Sedin twins in their UFA year of 2008 or 09, whenever it was. Then, he was going to trade Thomas Kaberle for Phil Kessel.

But it didn't work out quite that way, did it? Instead, Kessel has come in with the baggage of being part of an ill-advised trade. He has played with Tyler "found wallet" Bozak as his centerman for most of his time with the Leafs instead of the Sedins. Kessel and Bozak have clicked together at times, but not in a way that's building toward team success. No matter what numbers Kessel has put up as a Leaf, it's always been in a vacuum. There's not enough else happening to make Kessel's scoring mean anything.

The rest of the team has been patch-worked together year by year and finally it's coming to a crashing halt. It's not at all surprising that it's happening now.

Kessel is the best player on the Leafs right now, but he's never been the right player to build a team around. Neither is Phaneuf. The best case scenario for the Leafs is to find a way to move these guys on to teams who could really use them.


This idea of building a team around a player, be it a franchise player or your best player, etc., has been done by teams to a certain extent, but not completely or totally.

Take the 1980s Cup-winning Islanders team.  Sure they had scoring sniper Mike Bossy, who as we know, was often called a "pure scorer."  Bossy was no checker (even though he did get checked -- the eventual cause over the years of his back problems), and he more often than not waited for Trottier to pass him the puck.  As dangerous and precise as Bossy was with the puck (whether he was fed the pass or picked up the puck himself),  the Islanders at the time had a very well-balanced team with solid goaltending, solid defence, a solid group of two-way forwards and of course some exceptional talent as well as mentioned.  Plus, not to mention an excellent system incorporated by Arbour & his assistants.

Take the Cup-winning Gretzky-led Oilers of the '80's.  Gretzky used to feed his teammates/linemales a multitude of passes,  many them missed.  All these potential goals & scoring opportunities missed.  So the team began to put in place a system and players who could not only assimilate with Gretzky's style of play, but also those who could adapt and provide the team with what it needed to create a balanced system.  The Oilers would go on to have solid netminding, solid defence, a solid group of two-way forwards including incredible #99 himself.

Remember how Mats Sundin was able to make any of his teammates look like  scoring geniuses?  No, the Leafs never built around Mats, but they could adapt to him and let him do his thing.

Which is why to rebuild the team around Kessel is doubtful on the direction the Leafs seem to be taking.  As we've seen, the they have figuratively risen and fallen oommensurate with Kessel's offensive prowess these past two seasons and now all that's remained of it.  New system, difficult for a one-dimensionsal such as Phil to adapt to.  If the Maple Leafs had had a well-balanced system and team instead of a rag-tag group as you mention, perhaps then having Kessel doing what he does best, scoring goals while being paired with a goad set of quality linemates could then be the exception.

As things stand, IMHO with the Leafs in rebuilding mode, it shouldn't come as no surprise to anyone if #81 will no longer be a Leaf come next season.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: cw on March 28, 2015, 08:01:33 PM
Brian Burke thought he was going to sign the Sedin twins in their UFA year of 2008 or 09, whenever it was. Then, he was going to trade Thomas Kaberle for Phil Kessel.

But it didn't work out quite that way, did it? Instead, Kessel has come in with the baggage of being part of an ill-advised trade. He has played with Tyler "found wallet" Bozak as his centerman for most of his time with the Leafs instead of the Sedins. Kessel and Bozak have clicked together at times, but not in a way that's building toward team success. No matter what numbers Kessel has put up as a Leaf, it's always been in a vacuum. There's not enough else happening to make Kessel's scoring mean anything.

The rest of the team has been patch-worked together year by year and finally it's coming to a crashing halt. It's not at all surprising that it's happening now.

Kessel is the best player on the Leafs right now, but he's never been the right player to build a team around. Neither is Phaneuf. The best case scenario for the Leafs is to find a way to move these guys on to teams who could really use them.


This idea of building a team around a player, be it a franchise player or your best player, etc., has been done by teams to a certain extent, but not completely or totally.

Take the 1980s Cup-winning Islanders team.  Sure they had scoring sniper Mike Bossy, who as we know, was often called a "pure scorer."  Bossy was no checker (even though he did get checked -- the eventual cause over the years of his back problems), and he more often than not waited for Trottier to pass him the puck.  As dangerous and precise as Bossy was with the puck (whether he was fed the pass or picked up the puck himself),  the Islanders at the time had a very well-balanced team with solid goaltending, solid defence, a solid group of two-way forwards and of course some exceptional talent as well as mentioned.  Plus, not to mention an excellent system incorporated by Arbour & his assistants.

When Arbour encouraged Torrey to take Bossy in the draft, he said something famously to the effect that "I can always teach a scorer how to play defense but it's nearly impossible to teach a defensive player how to score".

Bossy took it to heart. He wanted to be more than just a goal scorer and he was. It didn't hurt that he was playing on a great team with Trottier, a great two way center, for a bunch of those years. But he did deliver on the effort to be decent two ways.

Dave Lewis, who played for the Islanders during Bossy's early years saw it first hand. Lewis was also Kessel's first NHL coach in Boston and used Bossy's example to encourage Kessel.

I realize folks hate the stat but Bossy winding up 14th all time in the +/- stat at +381 reinforces a bit that he didn't exactly suck at two way play. No doubt, playing on a good team with Trottier helped - and that team benefited from having Bossy on it. I just can't imagine a forward being chronically bad defensively for 10 years beating thousands of NHLers over a 10 year span that dramatically. The stat is flawed but not that flawed.

We had another example play for us not too long ago: Alex Mogilny. Now, when he first showed up, he was like Phil - just thinking scoring. Scored 76 one year in Buffalo (but only +7 that season). Probably no one would ever describe Alex as a great two way player - when his team was down, he'd take chances trying to tie the game and sometimes get burned. But by the time Alex got to Toronto - he'd embraced making the effort at two way play. He could still lead his team or be right up there in team scoring while he did it.

So I don't buy the notion that thoroughbred snipers like Bossy, Mogilny and Kessel can't play respectable two way hockey. The only guy of the three who hasn't made a consistent effort at it after his early years in the league seems to be Phil Kessel.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 28, 2015, 08:22:54 PM

Jaromir Jagr is a career +290. The next person to accuse him of giving the slightest damn about playing defensive hockey will be the first.

Nobody "hates" it. It just doesn't measure defense. At all.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: skrackle on March 28, 2015, 09:51:02 PM
Brian Burke thought he was going to sign the Sedin twins in their UFA year of 2008 or 09, whenever it was. Then, he was going to trade Thomas Kaberle for Phil Kessel.

But it didn't work out quite that way, did it? Instead, Kessel has come in with the baggage of being part of an ill-advised trade. He has played with Tyler "found wallet" Bozak as his centerman for most of his time with the Leafs instead of the Sedins. Kessel and Bozak have clicked together at times, but not in a way that's building toward team success. No matter what numbers Kessel has put up as a Leaf, it's always been in a vacuum. There's not enough else happening to make Kessel's scoring mean anything.

The rest of the team has been patch-worked together year by year and finally it's coming to a crashing halt. It's not at all surprising that it's happening now.

Kessel is the best player on the Leafs right now, but he's never been the right player to build a team around. Neither is Phaneuf. The best case scenario for the Leafs is to find a way to move these guys on to teams who could really use them.


This idea of building a team around a player, be it a franchise player or your best player, etc., has been done by teams to a certain extent, but not completely or totally.

Take the 1980s Cup-winning Islanders team.  Sure they had scoring sniper Mike Bossy, who as we know, was often called a "pure scorer."  Bossy was no checker (even though he did get checked -- the eventual cause over the years of his back problems), and he more often than not waited for Trottier to pass him the puck.  As dangerous and precise as Bossy was with the puck (whether he was fed the pass or picked up the puck himself),  the Islanders at the time had a very well-balanced team with solid goaltending, solid defence, a solid group of two-way forwards and of course some exceptional talent as well as mentioned.  Plus, not to mention an excellent system incorporated by Arbour & his assistants.

Take the Cup-winning Gretzky-led Oilers of the '80's.  Gretzky used to feed his teammates/linemales a multitude of passes,  many them missed.  All these potential goals & scoring opportunities missed.  So the team began to put in place a system and players who could not only assimilate with Gretzky's style of play, but also those who could adapt and provide the team with what it needed to create a balanced system.  The Oilers would go on to have solid netminding, solid defence, a solid group of two-way forwards including incredible #99 himself.

Remember how Mats Sundin was able to make any of his teammates look like  scoring geniuses?  No, the Leafs never built around Mats, but they could adapt to him and let him do his thing.

Which is why to rebuild the team around Kessel is doubtful on the direction the Leafs seem to be taking.  As we've seen, the they have figuratively risen and fallen oommensurate with Kessel's offensive prowess these past two seasons and now all that's remained of it.  New system, difficult for a one-dimensionsal such as Phil to adapt to.  If the Maple Leafs had had a well-balanced system and team instead of a rag-tag group as you mention, perhaps then having Kessel doing what he does best, scoring goals while being paired with a goad set of quality linemates could then be the exception.

As things stand, IMHO with the Leafs in rebuilding mode, it shouldn't come as no surprise to anyone if #81 will no longer be a Leaf come next season.

Well yeah, a rebuilding team will need more than just one elite player on it's path to contender status. You'll need a solid core and supporting cast with speed, toughness, scoring, goaltending, team defense etc.

But you have to start somewhere. The problem with the Leafs starting with Kessel was they didn't draft him. They paid too high a price in trading for him and there was no realistic plan to add the other pieces around him.

Burke made a few nice trades for other players but you don't build a contender through trades and UFA signings in the current NHL. You just run out of resources and you don't quite get what you need, anyway.

Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: cw on March 28, 2015, 10:02:22 PM
Burke made a few nice trades for other players but you don't build a contender through trades and UFA signings in the current NHL. You just run out of resources and you don't quite get what you need, anyway.

Reminds me of Cliff Fletcher finding some of that out in Toronto. Unlike Burke, he got a contending team team together for a couple of runs with a lopsided Gilmour trade. But his policy of draft-schmaft had them unable to replenish an aging roster and take them over the top. In fact, it rapidly fell apart.

It was a different era but the same general pattern in trying to slap a roster together and running out of young assets that Leafs GMs have done in various ways for decades.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: moon111 on March 28, 2015, 10:31:02 PM
I think the Leafs could still be buying there way into being competitive if it weren't for the salary cap.  The issue is the Leafs system needed to be completely revamped to do so.  This might be the first time the culture is changing so much the organization gets it right.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: moon111 on March 28, 2015, 10:40:23 PM
Lindstorm, Percy, Brewer, Carrick, Erixon, Leivo, MacWilliam, Sill, Jokinen, Granberg, Brennan, Frattin, Ashton, McKegg, Bodie, Bailey... ...none of these players have more points as a Leaf this season then Kessel put up tonight.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: cw on March 29, 2015, 11:46:56 AM
From the Game Day thread:

Good to see that the top line rediscovered their moral character.

Kessel got unfat.

And are we are still doing that strange Kessel loves cheeseburgers thing (I still don't understand why this started other than Kessel having a wide face). If so, I don't think it's a coincidence that Kessel puts up 3 points on the day that Hammond doesn't play. 

There can be only one!

Phil has had something to do with it over the years. It's a mixed bag.

The criticism probably got wider spread when Gare Joyce closely followed the 2006 draft and wrote a book about it and an ESPN article (http://m.espn.go.com/nhl/story?storyId=3662074&wjb=&pg=1) on it that came out shortly after Phil was drafted. Among other things, the book revealed a scouting report that portrayed Phil as needing  "to work a little harder in the gym, practise a little harder" which Phil partially agreed with and did not heartily dispute in the book and documented Kessel's poor fitness testing at the 2006 draft combine (which was corroborated by others).

Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean appears to feel sorry for him. “If what they’re saying about this kid isn’t true, it’s criminal,” MacLean says. “Because I don’t know if I’ve ever heard the negative stuff like I have with this kid.”

Understandably, Kessel, his agent were upset by the article. The Bruins looked into it and tried to defend their recent #1 pick. But I saw no public threats of defamation lawsuits, demands for retractions, apologies or specific rebuttals. At the time, the Kessel camp couldn't muster much of a credible assault or defense to change the public record or perception.

The kicker was that Kessel's response to the July 2006 ESPN article was to show up a little chubby to training camp the following September. That raised a few more eyebrows in the Boston media and basically cemented the perception.

Those were followed by other anecdotes or video clips over time that didn't flatter his conditioning.

Now, the other side of the mixed bag is: there's no way a player can have the explosive speed and shot Kessel does and be totally out of shape. One cannot be 4th in NHL goal scoring over the past four seasons and be in terrible physical condition. It is just NOT possible. I think Cox reported good fitness test results this past September.

So both things have been shown to exist somewhat at the same time. Phil kind of has physical talent to spare and arguably isn't as good as he could be because he isn't in the best possible shape he could be. It's an aspect about him that confounds.

When a player follows the above with comments like this:
Kessel: ‘I skated 10 times maybe all summer’ (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/phil-kessel-says-he-skated-maybe-10-times-all-summer/)
“Honestly, I skated maybe—I don’t want to tell you this—but I skated 10 times maybe all summer,” Kessel revealed to reporters Thursday in Toronto as training camp opened.

Kessel said he spends most of his summer “living a normal life” by relaxing, golfing, hanging out with family and friends and fishing. He added that one of the highlights of his off-season was catching an 11-foot, 450-pound shark.

“I don’t talk hockey or have anything to do with hockey in the summer,” Kessel explained. “I probably take a month off. I live in Florida in the summer, so I go down there and golf and fish and do that kind of stuff and get away, and then I’ll start working out again.”

When asked about the team’s fitness testing, Kessel said he’s not worried.

“I think I’ll be fine in that,” he said. “It’s easy.”

Kessel said he’ll use training camp and the pre-season as a means to get into hockey shape.

“It’s pre-season, so it’s time to get used to the games and get more in shape and kind of get a feel for the game a little bit again,” Kessel said. “It’s been a while since I’ve played.”

While Kessel is sometimes ribbed for his not-quite-Herculean physique, he has proven to be one of the elite scorers in the NHL.


... I think in this hockey media crazed market, making comments like those is just asking for it. Not too smart. Raises doubts. Misleads one from his true fitness levels. And fuels the hamburger cracks and ridicule.

A bunch of this is Phil's fault or responsibility.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Tigger on March 29, 2015, 12:41:33 PM
Burke made a few nice trades for other players but you don't build a contender through trades and UFA signings in the current NHL. You just run out of resources and you don't quite get what you need, anyway.

Reminds me of Cliff Fletcher finding some of that out in Toronto. Unlike Burke, he got a contending team team together for a couple of runs with a lopsided Gilmour trade. But his policy of draft-schmaft had them unable to replenish an aging roster and take them over the top. In fact, it rapidly fell apart.

It was a different era but the same general pattern in trying to slap a roster together and running out of young assets that Leafs GMs have done in various ways for decades.

I've read that there were some tremendous pressures to produce a winner at the time and I can't exactly remember but the draft schmaft quote was in relation to the Yushkevich trade? I don't think he really had a 'policy' like that, in fact if you listen to him here with Jim Tatti, it sounds like he was planning to build the team the way we'd more or less agree is correct.

[youtube]hrd5HIf3fKA[/youtube]
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TDotMassive on March 29, 2015, 01:07:08 PM
From the Game Day thread:

Good to see that the top line rediscovered their moral character.

Kessel got unfat.

And are we are still doing that strange Kessel loves cheeseburgers thing (I still don't understand why this started other than Kessel having a wide face). If so, I don't think it's a coincidence that Kessel puts up 3 points on the day that Hammond doesn't play. 

There can be only one!

Phil has had something to do with it over the years. It's a mixed bag.

The criticism probably got wider spread when Gare Joyce closely followed the 2006 draft and wrote a book about it and an ESPN article (http://m.espn.go.com/nhl/story?storyId=3662074&wjb=&pg=1) on it that came out shortly after Phil was drafted. Among other things, the book revealed a scouting report that portrayed Phil as needing  "to work a little harder in the gym, practise a little harder" which Phil partially agreed with and did not heartily dispute in the book and documented Kessel's poor fitness testing at the 2006 draft combine (which was corroborated by others).

Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean appears to feel sorry for him. “If what they’re saying about this kid isn’t true, it’s criminal,” MacLean says. “Because I don’t know if I’ve ever heard the negative stuff like I have with this kid.”

Understandably, Kessel, his agent were upset by the article. The Bruins looked into it and tried to defend their recent #1 pick. But I saw no public threats of defamation lawsuits, demands for retractions, apologies or specific rebuttals. At the time, the Kessel camp couldn't muster much of a credible assault or defense to change the public record or perception.

The kicker was that Kessel's response to the July 2006 ESPN article was to show up a little chubby to training camp the following September. That raised a few more eyebrows in the Boston media and basically cemented the perception.

Those were followed by other anecdotes or video clips over time that didn't flatter his conditioning.

Now, the other side of the mixed bag is: there's no way a player can have the explosive speed and shot Kessel does and be totally out of shape. One cannot be 4th in NHL goal scoring over the past four seasons and be in terrible physical condition. It is just NOT possible. I think Cox reported good fitness test results this past September.

So both things have been shown to exist somewhat at the same time. Phil kind of has physical talent to spare and arguably isn't as good as he could be because he isn't in the best possible shape he could be. It's an aspect about him that confounds.

When a player follows the above with comments like this:
Kessel: ‘I skated 10 times maybe all summer’ (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/phil-kessel-says-he-skated-maybe-10-times-all-summer/)
“Honestly, I skated maybe—I don’t want to tell you this—but I skated 10 times maybe all summer,” Kessel revealed to reporters Thursday in Toronto as training camp opened.

Kessel said he spends most of his summer “living a normal life” by relaxing, golfing, hanging out with family and friends and fishing. He added that one of the highlights of his off-season was catching an 11-foot, 450-pound shark.

“I don’t talk hockey or have anything to do with hockey in the summer,” Kessel explained. “I probably take a month off. I live in Florida in the summer, so I go down there and golf and fish and do that kind of stuff and get away, and then I’ll start working out again.”

When asked about the team’s fitness testing, Kessel said he’s not worried.

“I think I’ll be fine in that,” he said. “It’s easy.”

Kessel said he’ll use training camp and the pre-season as a means to get into hockey shape.

“It’s pre-season, so it’s time to get used to the games and get more in shape and kind of get a feel for the game a little bit again,” Kessel said. “It’s been a while since I’ve played.”

While Kessel is sometimes ribbed for his not-quite-Herculean physique, he has proven to be one of the elite scorers in the NHL.


... I think in this hockey media crazed market, making comments like those is just asking for it. Not too smart. Raises doubts. Misleads one from his true fitness levels. And fuels the hamburger cracks and ridicule.

A bunch of this is Phil's fault or responsibility.

Good gosh... maybe you could get away with that in the 70s or 80s, but not today.  To be that lackluster about his own training and conditioning is remarkable.  All the jokes about "French Fry Phil" and "Krispy Kreme Kessel" are true... I used to try to defend Kessel, but really this season it's been tough, and to read this is shocking.  Wow!!  We cannot trade this guy fast enough...
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 29, 2015, 01:36:03 PM
Good gosh... maybe you could get away with that in the 70s or 80s, but not today.  To be that lackluster about his own training and conditioning is remarkable.  All the jokes about "French Fry Phil" and "Krispy Kreme Kessel" are true... I used to try to defend Kessel, but really this season it's been tough, and to read this is shocking.  Wow!!  We cannot trade this guy fast enough...

No, they're not true. Things that may have been true before his draft year don't necessarily follow him around and before this season Damien Cox reported Kessel came to camp in as good a shape as anyone. In what you're quoting Kessel says he takes a month off before getting back to working out. Do you think that no other players in the NHL ever take time off during the summer? That they're meticulous in their conditioning to the point of no down time? That's just flat-out untrue.

The only thing what you quoted should serve as a lesson to players on is that in this market you should never be honest with the media because there are dopes in this fan base who, when looking for scapegoats will make mountains out of whatever molehills they can.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Joe S. on March 29, 2015, 02:40:25 PM
As a fan, I am perfectly willing to scrap the last 40 games as some kind in anomaly and move on from it. I'm perfectly fine going through a rebuild with kessel as part of this team.

Especially if the leafs land an elite centre so that for once I could see what a centre can do with 2 elite wingers.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: cw on March 29, 2015, 02:45:17 PM
The only thing what you quoted should serve as a lesson to players on is that in this market you should never be honest with the media because there are dopes in this fan base who, when looking for scapegoats will make mountains out of whatever molehills they can.

I don't think honesty has much to do with it. "Dopes" and non-"dopes" don't complain about him being too honest. What they're complaining about in this case, is what he said about his fitness.

Did he say this statement?:
"“Honestly, I skated maybe—I don’t want to tell you this—but I skated 10 times maybe all summer,”"

He most certainly did.

Does it represent his fitness level? Nope, not on it's own.

Is it a sound byte the media would run with? You betchca and with his checkered fitness history, they did.

And even if you include all of his comments, as many media outlets did, he's poorly communicating what he does for fitness over the summer.

This is the big leagues. He's speaking to the fans. That used to be a big deal to his predecessor, Sundin. Like Sundin did, he needs to improve the simplicity and clarity his communications. He volunteered this stuff - nobody twisted his arm.  All he had to do was properly and clearly explain himself when he answered the question.

"I don’t want to tell you this" ... oh, yes he did or he wouldn't have. He knew he was about to say something that would get the media doing. He brought it on himself.

The real dope here is the guy doing such a poor job speaking with the media that it comes back on him. Self inflicting media wounds isn't smart. I don't think Phil's the sharpest knife in the drawer but I'm sure he can do better.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Joe S. on March 29, 2015, 02:51:28 PM
You know CW it pains me to say this, but reading your posts lately reminds me a lot of what we used to read from sundin detractors back in the day.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 29, 2015, 03:20:06 PM
It's always nice when I make an assertion and then a poster comes along and provides rock solid evidence of it.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: cw on March 29, 2015, 03:47:15 PM
You know CW it pains me to say this, but reading your posts lately reminds me a lot of what we used to read from sundin detractors back in the day.

I'm just being honest about how I feel. What's the point otherwise?

I think they both have/had lots of talent. Neither were perfect - both had flaws. I think Mats was a more complete player but both are up there with the best in their positions. Kessel on the basis of his talent is one of the most talented right wingers in Leafs history. Only Mogilny in his prime maybe had more and Alex was past his prime in Toronto.

So I appreciate that Kessel is a special player compromised some, like Sundin was, by the lack of talent around him.

Comparing how Sundin handled the .4xx teams in '97 & '98 with Kessel of today, for example, is where I'm having quite a departure - or issue with Kessel's character vs Sundin's. It's hard for me to be a fan of a player who has performed as Kessel has the last 40 games.

Comparing how Sundin spoke to the fans is another departure between the two characters. Sundin's dedication to fitness, another.

If you're ok writing Kessel's 40 games this season off as an anomaly, that's fine with me. You're a Leafs fan, you're happy, sincerely, that's great. I'm not there yet. Don't know if I'll ever get there with Kessel.

This much probably isn't news from my posts: I've lost a lot of respect for Kessel over these last 40 games. Some of it probably isn't recoverable. He'll never reach the pedestal Sundin did for me now after what he did this season.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Chris on March 29, 2015, 04:32:13 PM
None of us know exactly how fit Kessel was coming into the season, nor do we know his eating habits, etc. And I would bet that many NHL players take time off after the season, if for no other reason than to heal nagging injuries.

But we've all seen the lack of effort over the past 40 games...well, not all 40, as I think they (top line in particular) gave a decent effort for a while after Horachek took over. But when the losing continued, the effort level dropped which is what I have a big problem with. I also don't care for the attitude Kessel has expressed a couple of times. For instance, his "what, do you think this is my fault?" interview and then his "poor Dion" rant where he repeatedly blamed management for the state of the team, yet never (to my recollection) took responsibility for his own lackadaisical play.

I know many here disagree, but I don't want that kind of attitude around a rebuilding team, regardless of how much raw talent comes with it. It will be interesting to see what Shanahan et al do as they have access to much more information than any of us. That includes you, Nick  ;)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Joe S. on March 29, 2015, 04:37:05 PM
I appreciate your response CW - and I can't offer much counter points to it. I will says this - I am not happy. If anything I care less now than I ever did about this team. I haven't watched a full game this season, and I haven't watched anything since the first few games after Carlyle was fired.

So I don't really have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to anything that's going on with the team over the last half of the season.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 29, 2015, 04:43:07 PM
I know many here disagree, but I don't want that kind of attitude around a rebuilding team, regardless of how much raw talent comes with it.

How many people on this board do you think in the last two months have put forth that they very much want Kessel on the team next year?

It will be interesting to see what Shanahan et al do as they have access to much more information than any of us. That includes you, Nick  ;)

Bad news for Nick, I suppose.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: herman on March 29, 2015, 06:14:16 PM
Anyone remember this story (http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2012/02/26/a-chance-encounter-with-brian-burke/) Brian Burke told at the Scotiabank President's Breakfast in 2012?

Quote
Burke spoke glowingly of Phil Kessel’s attitude and attempted to dispel the common belief that he’s aloof and disinterested in interviews. He explained, almost sheepishly, that Phil Kessel was plagued with shyness due to teenaged acne. During the pre-draft interviews of top prospects in 2006, Burke was left with an incredibly bad impression of Kessel, who wouldn’t look anyone in the eye and kept his head down throughout the interviews.

Burke said his opinion of Kessel changed during the World Championships in Halifax in 2009. Burke was GM of Team USA’s entry, and Kessel had just come off his 36 goal campaign with the Boston Bruins. While training for the event in Maine, Tim Gleason approached Phil Kessel to invite him on an ocean fishing trip with the rest of the team. Kessel explained to Gleason that while he loves to fish, he gets seasick on rough water and would feel awful all day.

Yet Kessel took part on the fishing trip, sucking up seasickness, for the sake of espirit de corps and team building. Kessel felt obliged towards his teammates regardless of his personal comfort. Burke remarked that he was impressed by such a team-first attitude from a young guy.

He also touched on Kessel’s maturity. After getting knocked out early in the tournament, there was a chartered flight for the team to Boston at 6 in the morning. Only 8 players decided to make that flight, and only two – Kessel and Gleason – showed up sober, well rested and dressed in suits. Kessel approached Burke, apologized for the team’s unsuccessful run and expressed a sincere distaste for not medaling in the tournament. It was then, Burke said, that he wanted Phil Kessel to play hockey for him.

I like what Kessel brings to the table. We need more pieces that can complement his skillset and offset his deficiencies. I believe better defensive positioning and techniques can be taught, and can be easily supplied by good linemates.

This you can't teach:
(http://fat.gfycat.com/EmbarrassedGiantAmericanratsnake.gif)

I'd only move him for a king's ransom in blue-chip prospects and early picks. 40 odd games when every key player on the team slumped at the same time is not something to draw substantial conclusions from, especially from a team sport. Drawing critical comparisons to a Hall of Famer from a different era of the sport who played a different style and role before Kessel's story is done is, in my opinion, a bit excessive and unfair.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: L K on March 29, 2015, 06:18:55 PM
I know many here disagree, but I don't want that kind of attitude around a rebuilding team, regardless of how much raw talent comes with it.

How many people on this board do you think in the last two months have put forth that they very much want Kessel on the team next year?

It will be interesting to see what Shanahan et al do as they have access to much more information than any of us. That includes you, Nick  ;)

Bad news for Nick, I suppose.

If we win the lottery and draft McDavid?  Yeah, probably.   It's still a rebuild, but a rebuild with a very different context.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: cw on March 29, 2015, 07:26:55 PM
I appreciate your response CW - and I can't offer much counter points to it. I will says this - I am not happy. If anything I care less now than I ever did about this team. I haven't watched a full game this season, and I haven't watched anything since the first few games after Carlyle was fired.

So I don't really have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to anything that's going on with the team over the last half of the season.

Appreciate your response too.

Even if we don't see eye to eye on Kessel, we're both long time Leafs fans who want the best for the team.

And it's really the last 40 that you didn't see much of that really ticked me off.

There's one other difference with Phil and Mats. Not every coach liked Phil but his U-17 coach did. He felt Phil was a great player but couldn't be the main guy - Phil had to play second fiddle - just wasn't in his make up to be "the guy" - something to that effect.  Can't say I felt the same way about Mats. And that may be some of the trouble Phil's currently having in Toronto - beyond the supporting cast - Phil needs to be a part of the supporting cast.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: PD on March 29, 2015, 07:37:43 PM
None of us know exactly how fit Kessel was coming into the season, nor do we know his eating habits, etc. And I would bet that many NHL players take time off after the season, if for no other reason than to heal nagging injuries.

But we've all seen the lack of effort over the past 40 games...well, not all 40, as I think they (top line in particular) gave a decent effort for a while after Horachek took over. But when the losing continued, the effort level dropped which is what I have a big problem with. I also don't care for the attitude Kessel has expressed a couple of times. For instance, his "what, do you think this is my fault?" interview and then his "poor Dion" rant where he repeatedly blamed management for the state of the team, yet never (to my recollection) took responsibility for his own lackadaisical play.

I know many here disagree, but I don't want that kind of attitude around a rebuilding team, regardless of how much raw talent comes with it. It will be interesting to see what Shanahan et al do as they have access to much more information than any of us. That includes you, Nick  ;)

Kessel, Bozak and VanReims are officially 1-2-3 and dead last in league +- stats...what a joke...over $18.5M in salaries for three guys who make a total of $225,000 per game to suck as the worst +- line in the league...Kessel is 4th highest paid player in the league this year...(PhanNot is top 10 in salary too)...next year, only Crosby, Toews, Kane and Weber are slated to make more than Kessel. No way he is worth that kind of money given the lack of effort.
I've been a Leaf fan for 50 years...can't recall a Leaf team with worse leadership, character, pride and passion. Kessel can go score 50 goals a year for another team, I don't care..I don't like his attitude and effort. PhanNot should go too...we'll likely have to retain salary for both...
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bullfrog on March 29, 2015, 07:47:28 PM
The only thing what you quoted should serve as a lesson to players on is that in this market you should never be honest with the media because there are dopes in this fan base who, when looking for scapegoats will make mountains out of whatever molehills they can.

I don't think honesty has much to do with it. "Dopes" and non-"dopes" don't complain about him being too honest. What they're complaining about in this case, is what he said about his fitness.

Did he say this statement?:
"“Honestly, I skated maybe—I don’t want to tell you this—but I skated 10 times maybe all summer,”"

He most certainly did.

Does it represent his fitness level? Nope, not on it's own.

Is it a sound byte the media would run with? You betchca and with his checkered fitness history, they did.

And even if you include all of his comments, as many media outlets did, he's poorly communicating what he does for fitness over the summer.

This is the big leagues. He's speaking to the fans. That used to be a big deal to his predecessor, Sundin. Like Sundin did, he needs to improve the simplicity and clarity his communications. He volunteered this stuff - nobody twisted his arm.  All he had to do was properly and clearly explain himself when he answered the question.

"I don’t want to tell you this" ... oh, yes he did or he wouldn't have. He knew he was about to say something that would get the media doing. He brought it on himself.

The real dope here is the guy doing such a poor job speaking with the media that it comes back on him. Self inflicting media wounds isn't smart. I don't think Phil's the sharpest knife in the drawer but I'm sure he can do better.

Why do you care about Phil interacts with the media?

What evidence do you have that Sundin was more dedicated to fitness than Kessel? Sundin, the one who apparently was a smoker.

All Kessel's said is that he takes a month off and doesn't do that much skating. 10 times is still almost once a week. He doesn't come into training camp as one of the top three most fit guys (according to Cox) by drinking beer and fishing.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 29, 2015, 08:05:03 PM
Anyone remember this story (http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2012/02/26/a-chance-encounter-with-brian-burke/) Brian Burke told at the Scotiabank President's Breakfast in 2012?

Quote
Burke spoke glowingly of Phil Kessel’s attitude and attempted to dispel the common belief that he’s aloof and disinterested in interviews. He explained, almost sheepishly, that Phil Kessel was plagued with shyness due to teenaged acne. During the pre-draft interviews of top prospects in 2006, Burke was left with an incredibly bad impression of Kessel, who wouldn’t look anyone in the eye and kept his head down throughout the interviews.

Burke said his opinion of Kessel changed during the World Championships in Halifax in 2009. Burke was GM of Team USA’s entry, and Kessel had just come off his 36 goal campaign with the Boston Bruins. While training for the event in Maine, Tim Gleason approached Phil Kessel to invite him on an ocean fishing trip with the rest of the team. Kessel explained to Gleason that while he loves to fish, he gets seasick on rough water and would feel awful all day.

Yet Kessel took part on the fishing trip, sucking up seasickness, for the sake of espirit de corps and team building. Kessel felt obliged towards his teammates regardless of his personal comfort. Burke remarked that he was impressed by such a team-first attitude from a young guy.

He also touched on Kessel’s maturity. After getting knocked out early in the tournament, there was a chartered flight for the team to Boston at 6 in the morning. Only 8 players decided to make that flight, and only two – Kessel and Gleason – showed up sober, well rested and dressed in suits. Kessel approached Burke, apologized for the team’s unsuccessful run and expressed a sincere distaste for not medaling in the tournament. It was then, Burke said, that he wanted Phil Kessel to play hockey for him.

It's a good story but I think, to me, it sort of displays why so much of the talk about "Character" is inherently meaningless and how two different people can glean two very different things from the same incident with the same person. Take the bit about the airplane in that anecdote. If Phil Kessel had shown up for the plane wearing jeans and a t-shirt, would that have made him worse of character? If he'd gone out partying the night before, his season already over, would that really make him a worse person? Some of that stuff is a testament to character, I suppose, but how much of it is genuine and how much of it is obligatory for the sake of aligning with whatever bogus interpretation of character exists in team sports?

The defense of Phaneuf in the media, for example seems like a perfect example of this. Earlier it was categorized as another display of Kessel's poor attitude or whatever but for me, someone who'd frequently criticized Kessel's reluctance to deal with the media in the past, it struck me as a sign of growth. Here was a guy who didn't like the media purposefully going to them and not to defend the criticism he was facing but the stuff a teammate was facing.

When sports writers talk about character they're really just looking to create a narrative that fleshes out what's going on with a player on-ice. Take Patrick Kane for example. I'd say he's someone with legitimate "character" concerns. His off-ice antics are a running joke. But is he of bad character? No. Why? Because he's on a good team that wins a lot.

It's meaningless. It's pap. It's sold to people who either want to complain about kids today playing on their lawn or venerate athletes uncritically, selling the obvious falsehood that there's a connection between being good at a sport and being a good person. We should all be past the point where we swallow such garbage.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Chris on March 29, 2015, 09:02:04 PM
Anyone remember this story (http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2012/02/26/a-chance-encounter-with-brian-burke/) Brian Burke told at the Scotiabank President's Breakfast in 2012?

Quote
Burke spoke glowingly of Phil Kessel’s attitude and attempted to dispel the common belief that he’s aloof and disinterested in interviews. He explained, almost sheepishly, that Phil Kessel was plagued with shyness due to teenaged acne. During the pre-draft interviews of top prospects in 2006, Burke was left with an incredibly bad impression of Kessel, who wouldn’t look anyone in the eye and kept his head down throughout the interviews.

Burke said his opinion of Kessel changed during the World Championships in Halifax in 2009. Burke was GM of Team USA’s entry, and Kessel had just come off his 36 goal campaign with the Boston Bruins. While training for the event in Maine, Tim Gleason approached Phil Kessel to invite him on an ocean fishing trip with the rest of the team. Kessel explained to Gleason that while he loves to fish, he gets seasick on rough water and would feel awful all day.

Yet Kessel took part on the fishing trip, sucking up seasickness, for the sake of espirit de corps and team building. Kessel felt obliged towards his teammates regardless of his personal comfort. Burke remarked that he was impressed by such a team-first attitude from a young guy.

He also touched on Kessel’s maturity. After getting knocked out early in the tournament, there was a chartered flight for the team to Boston at 6 in the morning. Only 8 players decided to make that flight, and only two – Kessel and Gleason – showed up sober, well rested and dressed in suits. Kessel approached Burke, apologized for the team’s unsuccessful run and expressed a sincere distaste for not medaling in the tournament. It was then, Burke said, that he wanted Phil Kessel to play hockey for him.

Well, if Burke thinks so highly of Kessel, maybe he'll put his "money" where his mouth is and reacquire him this summer.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: cw on March 29, 2015, 10:57:32 PM
The only thing what you quoted should serve as a lesson to players on is that in this market you should never be honest with the media because there are dopes in this fan base who, when looking for scapegoats will make mountains out of whatever molehills they can.

I don't think honesty has much to do with it. "Dopes" and non-"dopes" don't complain about him being too honest. What they're complaining about in this case, is what he said about his fitness.

Did he say this statement?:
"“Honestly, I skated maybe—I don’t want to tell you this—but I skated 10 times maybe all summer,”"

He most certainly did.

Does it represent his fitness level? Nope, not on it's own.

Is it a sound byte the media would run with? You betchca and with his checkered fitness history, they did.

And even if you include all of his comments, as many media outlets did, he's poorly communicating what he does for fitness over the summer.

This is the big leagues. He's speaking to the fans. That used to be a big deal to his predecessor, Sundin. Like Sundin did, he needs to improve the simplicity and clarity his communications. He volunteered this stuff - nobody twisted his arm.  All he had to do was properly and clearly explain himself when he answered the question.

"I don’t want to tell you this" ... oh, yes he did or he wouldn't have. He knew he was about to say something that would get the media doing. He brought it on himself.

The real dope here is the guy doing such a poor job speaking with the media that it comes back on him. Self inflicting media wounds isn't smart. I don't think Phil's the sharpest knife in the drawer but I'm sure he can do better.

Why do you care about Phil interacts with the media?

Because it affects Kessel and the team and

If you read the thread, it started with trying to provide some perspective on this:
From the Game Day thread:

Good to see that the top line rediscovered their moral character.

Kessel got unfat.

And are we are still doing that strange Kessel loves cheeseburgers thing (I still don't understand why this started other than Kessel having a wide face). If so, I don't think it's a coincidence that Kessel puts up 3 points on the day that Hammond doesn't play. 

There can be only one!

It responds to 'I don't understand ... the wide face ... hamburger ' stuff to some extent - because Kessel and the media had a hand in it

It also provides some input on the conditioning issue.

All Kessel's said is that he takes a month off and doesn't do that much skating. 10 times is still almost once a week. He doesn't come into training camp as one of the top three most fit guys (according to Cox) by drinking beer and fishing.

You know that. I know that. He can't be in terrible shape.

The problem in that particular "skated 10 times this summer" example I showed is that stupid little monologue doesn't say that very well or clearly. It leaves a lot of room for negative interpretations and sets off a media firestorm questioning his fitness - because he didn't do a very good job presenting it in the first place. Some of the problem he's having with Leafs Nation, that he had with Bruins fans, is self inflicted in how he handles himself with the media.

I realize he's not comfortable - a bit of a social introvert - his social/people skills leave something to be desired. Whether he likes it or not, he's a face of the franchise getting paid $10 million and when he says stuff like he did about something where his track record is checkered, there can be self inflicted media consequences - like hamburger jokes.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TDotMassive on March 30, 2015, 12:46:33 PM
Good gosh... maybe you could get away with that in the 70s or 80s, but not today.  To be that lackluster about his own training and conditioning is remarkable.  All the jokes about "French Fry Phil" and "Krispy Kreme Kessel" are true... I used to try to defend Kessel, but really this season it's been tough, and to read this is shocking.  Wow!!  We cannot trade this guy fast enough...

No, they're not true. Things that may have been true before his draft year don't necessarily follow him around and before this season Damien Cox reported Kessel came to camp in as good a shape as anyone. In what you're quoting Kessel says he takes a month off before getting back to working out. Do you think that no other players in the NHL ever take time off during the summer? That they're meticulous in their conditioning to the point of no down time? That's just flat-out untrue.

The only thing what you quoted should serve as a lesson to players on is that in this market you should never be honest with the media because there are dopes in this fan base who, when looking for scapegoats will make mountains out of whatever molehills they can.

Sure... it's not true, he's a scapegoat, we're all dopes.  You are sooo right!!  Nevermind the 6 games I went to this year (I generally see about 5-8 games per year), 4 games in the last half of the season I saw where I watched this bum skate in circles all night; no hustle, no backcheck, no forecheck, never goes near the corners, doesn't fight for pucks, doesn't skate to get back... I watch 4th liners blast by this guy for the puck, a guy who is by all measures one of the best skaters in the league. 

You wanna make excuses for the highest paid player in Leafs history and call fans dopes for screaming in protest and daring to poke fun (what other pleasure is there in this horrifying season?), then go right ahead... like I said, I defended Kessel hard for years, but watching him at the games this season, he deserves every single insult levelled against him.  No effort, no care... no heart.

Cannot wait for the day we ship him out for a bag of pucks...
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 30, 2015, 12:59:52 PM
Sure... it's not true, he's a scapegoat, we're all dopes.  You are sooo right!!  Nevermind the 6 games I went to this year (I generally see about 5-8 games per year), 4 games in the last half of the season I saw where I watched this bum skate in circles all night; no hustle, no backcheck, no forecheck, never goes near the corners, doesn't fight for pucks, doesn't skate to get back... I watch 4th liners blast by this guy for the puck, a guy who is by all measures one of the best skaters in the league. 

Even if what you say about his game is true it's not a reflection of his fitness level or what he eats. There's no evidence he eats poorly. There's no actual evidence he's in worse shape than anyone else other than he's got a bit of an unusually shaped face. I'm as unhappy with Kessel's level of effort as I am with Lupul's and Lupul as we know from ESPN's body issue is in great shape.

And I'm calling fans "dopes" for getting irrationally angry about Kessel making entirely reasonable comments about what he does in the off-season.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: cw on March 30, 2015, 07:32:27 PM
Anyone remember this story (http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2012/02/26/a-chance-encounter-with-brian-burke/) Brian Burke told at the Scotiabank President's Breakfast in 2012?

Quote
Burke spoke glowingly of Phil Kessel’s attitude and attempted to dispel the common belief that he’s aloof and disinterested in interviews. He explained, almost sheepishly, that Phil Kessel was plagued with shyness due to teenaged acne. During the pre-draft interviews of top prospects in 2006, Burke was left with an incredibly bad impression of Kessel, who wouldn’t look anyone in the eye and kept his head down throughout the interviews.

Burke said his opinion of Kessel changed during the World Championships in Halifax in 2009. Burke was GM of Team USA’s entry, and Kessel had just come off his 36 goal campaign with the Boston Bruins. While training for the event in Maine, Tim Gleason approached Phil Kessel to invite him on an ocean fishing trip with the rest of the team. Kessel explained to Gleason that while he loves to fish, he gets seasick on rough water and would feel awful all day.

Yet Kessel took part on the fishing trip, sucking up seasickness, for the sake of espirit de corps and team building. Kessel felt obliged towards his teammates regardless of his personal comfort. Burke remarked that he was impressed by such a team-first attitude from a young guy.

He also touched on Kessel’s maturity. After getting knocked out early in the tournament, there was a chartered flight for the team to Boston at 6 in the morning. Only 8 players decided to make that flight, and only two – Kessel and Gleason – showed up sober, well rested and dressed in suits. Kessel approached Burke, apologized for the team’s unsuccessful run and expressed a sincere distaste for not medaling in the tournament. It was then, Burke said, that he wanted Phil Kessel to play hockey for him.

It's a good story but I think, to me, it sort of displays why so much of the talk about "Character" is inherently meaningless and how two different people can glean two very different things from the same incident with the same person. Take the bit about the airplane in that anecdote. If Phil Kessel had shown up for the plane wearing jeans and a t-shirt, would that have made him worse of character? If he'd gone out partying the night before, his season already over, would that really make him a worse person? Some of that stuff is a testament to character, I suppose, but how much of it is genuine and how much of it is obligatory for the sake of aligning with whatever bogus interpretation of character exists in team sports?

The defense of Phaneuf in the media, for example seems like a perfect example of this. Earlier it was categorized as another display of Kessel's poor attitude or whatever but for me, someone who'd frequently criticized Kessel's reluctance to deal with the media in the past, it struck me as a sign of growth. Here was a guy who didn't like the media purposefully going to them and not to defend the criticism he was facing but the stuff a teammate was facing.

When sports writers talk about character they're really just looking to create a narrative that fleshes out what's going on with a player on-ice. Take Patrick Kane for example. I'd say he's someone with legitimate "character" concerns. His off-ice antics are a running joke. But is he of bad character? No. Why? Because he's on a good team that wins a lot.

It's meaningless. It's pap. It's sold to people who either want to complain about kids today playing on their lawn or venerate athletes uncritically, selling the obvious falsehood that there's a connection between being good at a sport and being a good person. We should all be past the point where we swallow such garbage.

I think the trend in pro sports is considerably different from this. As the money for athletes has gone up, teams are spending money to try to make sure as best as they can, they're spending their money wisely. The character of a player is taken into account at the time he's drafted, at the time he's traded, at the time he's offered a contract, at the time a coach doles out ice time, etc.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TML fan on March 30, 2015, 07:44:57 PM
Josh Hamilton's contract begs to differ.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 30, 2015, 08:08:05 PM
I think the trend in pro sports is considerably different from this. As the money for athletes has gone up, teams are spending money to try to make sure as best as they can, they're spending their money wisely. The character of a player is taken into account at the time he's drafted, at the time he's traded, at the time he's offered a contract, at the time a coach doles out ice time, etc.

I wasn't trying to say that teams don't pay lip service to the issue of "character", I was saying that I don't think anyone has a real handle on what exactly good character is, how it manifests itself or how it relates to how someone plays a sport.

Look at TML fan's response to you. Josh Hamilton is someone who struggles with addiction which is typically seen to be a disease. Despite that, he righted his ship temporarily to become one of the best players in baseball for a while. Now it seems as though he's suffered a relapse.

So is he of bad character because he's an addict? Of good character because he was able to manage his demons for a while? Bad because he relapsed? Are these really questions of character?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TDotMassive on March 30, 2015, 08:25:19 PM
Sure... it's not true, he's a scapegoat, we're all dopes.  You are sooo right!!  Nevermind the 6 games I went to this year (I generally see about 5-8 games per year), 4 games in the last half of the season I saw where I watched this bum skate in circles all night; no hustle, no backcheck, no forecheck, never goes near the corners, doesn't fight for pucks, doesn't skate to get back... I watch 4th liners blast by this guy for the puck, a guy who is by all measures one of the best skaters in the league. 

Even if what you say about his game is true it's not a reflection of his fitness level or what he eats. There's no evidence he eats poorly. There's no actual evidence he's in worse shape than anyone else other than he's got a bit of an unusually shaped face. I'm as unhappy with Kessel's level of effort as I am with Lupul's and Lupul as we know from ESPN's body issue is in great shape.

And I'm calling fans "dopes" for getting irrationally angry about Kessel making entirely reasonable comments about what he does in the off-season.

I think if he were giving it his all out on this ice, people would cut him some more slack... but when a guy's skating around like its Disney on Ice and has not really grown into a complete player, posting the worst +/- in the NHL, showing zero effort, heart or class... people tend to look at comments like these as potential reasons for why he sucks soo badly.

Maybe he's in good shape, maybe not... he certainly isn't playing like he's in great shape.  I don't doubt he's in good shape (kinda have to be just to play NHL level hockey)... but great shape I doubt, and statements like these kinda show that hockey (and being the best he can be) is not his #1 priority. 

When you make the kinda money he does, it's kinda expected that you condition yourself in the off-season and come to camp in top shape ready to go.  Kessel just doesn't seem to do that (by a combination of personal observation, statements made by him and various teammates over the years)... and when you're winning and scoring you can get away with that, but when you skate in circles and lose every game, posting the worst defense of any line in hockey... well, you just can't, and us "dopes" in the fan base will call you out... sometimes with nasty insults; that's just part of hockey.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 30, 2015, 08:34:15 PM
When you make the kinda money he does, it's kinda expected that you condition yourself in the off-season and come to camp in top shape ready to go. 

Except that according to that report from training camp, Kessel didn't just show up to camp in good condition. He came to camp in some of the best condition of anyone on the club. More to the point though I really do think you're kidding yourself if you don't think that the vast majority of pro athletes don't take time after the season where they relax and, quite frankly, as a fan of these guys I don't expect or demand that they have no down time ever. They're human beings, after all.

and us "dopes" in the fan base will call you out... sometimes with nasty insults; that's just part of hockey.

And as someone who defended the rights of fans to throw their jerseys onto the ice in frustration, as they did so often this year, my issue isn't with the idea that there are knuckleheads in the crowd who'll yell dumb things.

I'm just not going to let it go without comment if someone claims that these not particularly clever comments about Kessel's diet are "true" when in fact they're almost certainly false. I'm not shocked or surprised by fans getting irrationally angry, I just have little patience for people trying to lend credibility to it. It's like that stupid tweet about Lupul and Phaneuf's wife. Fans are upset, sure, but if they're going to invent outright falsehoods and awful jokes as a result they deserve to be called out as such.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TML fan on March 30, 2015, 08:35:42 PM
So, a guy who tries really hard and accomplishes nothing is more valuable than a guy who floats around but out scores everyone on his team?

I mean, Kessel gets flak for not "giving his all" but I don't see anyone blasting Komarov for not scoring 25 goals.

The "dopes" have a ridiculous double standard.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Joe S. on March 30, 2015, 08:53:29 PM
You know who I saw (and in person) floating around in the ice... Wendel Clark.

And Shayne Corson too - in fact he wouldn't even be skating in circles, he'd just stand there near the boards and wait.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on March 30, 2015, 09:01:36 PM
You know who I saw (and in person) floating around in the ice... Wendel Clark.

And Shayne Corson too - in fact he wouldn't even be skating in circles, he'd just stand there near the boards and wait.

You know who else floated around the ice a lot? Guys like Lemieux, Jagr, Gretzky, Bure, Mogilny (before he got to NJ), etc. Most of the best goal scorers in the history of the league could have been called out as floaters.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on March 30, 2015, 09:10:04 PM
So, a guy who tries really hard and accomplishes nothing is more valuable than a guy who floats around but out scores everyone on his team?

I mean, Kessel gets flak for not "giving his all" but I don't see anyone blasting Komarov for not scoring 25 goals.

The "dopes" have a ridiculous double standard.

Yeah, I mean, I've said this before but Damien Cox has said a bunch of times on the radio that everyone in this city loves to criticize the coach or criticize the GM but they're easy on the players and leaving aside how untrue that is the implication there to me is always that we should get mad at players for not being better than they are which, as you say with regards to Komarov is ridiculous.

I genuinely do think that there are fans out there who think that if Kessel really wanted to he could just flick a switch and become a version of Theo Fleury. I just don't get that.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: cw on March 30, 2015, 09:28:05 PM
Josh Hamilton's contract begs to differ.

I'm not convinced it does though I haven't followed it really closely. Further, even if it did differ, it's hardly "the rule" when it comes to character issues with players.

But at a glance
http://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/la-sp-angels-josh-hamilton-20150329-story.html
The Hamilton story has done little to disrupt a relatively peaceful and controversy-free camp for the Angels. Hamilton was never issued a locker in the team's Tempe Diablo Stadium clubhouse.

But that will change should he return, and how the club and player handle the attention surrounding any reunion and his integration into the lineup could affect the team both on and off the field.

"It could affect team chemistry," Angels closer Huston Street said. "I'll be interested to see how that situation works itself out, because it's a delicate situation, a delicate balance. We're all pulling for Josh for his life, his family, his children. But it's really going to be up to him to make sure he doesn't become a distraction."


That's not too good, is it?

When you look through the his career, he has suffered lengthy suspensions (3 years) before. That's not too good, is it?

He did bounce back with periods where he appear to have cleaned up the issue.

Report: MLB panel split on rehab for Josh Hamilton; one-year suspension is in play (http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/03/04/report-mlb-panel-split-on-josh-hamilton-punishment-one-year-suspension-is-in-play/)
That's not too good, is it?

Lot's of bad stuff has gone down on this guy with a substance abuse problem. It's cost him some - not everything as I don't think it should.

So in light of the fact this example got pointed, maybe I'm missing the point with this example. This player's career seems riddled with paying some sort of price for his character issues. He hasn't played as much as he could. He hasn't made as much money as he could have.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on March 30, 2015, 09:29:07 PM
Sure... it's not true, he's a scapegoat, we're all dopes.  You are sooo right!!  Nevermind the 6 games I went to this year (I generally see about 5-8 games per year), 4 games in the last half of the season I saw where I watched this bum skate in circles all night; no hustle, no backcheck, no forecheck, never goes near the corners, doesn't fight for pucks, doesn't skate to get back... I watch 4th liners blast by this guy for the puck, a guy who is by all measures one of the best skaters in the league. 

Even if what you say about his game is true it's not a reflection of his fitness level or what he eats. There's no evidence he eats poorly. There's no actual evidence he's in worse shape than anyone else other than he's got a bit of an unusually shaped face. I'm as unhappy with Kessel's level of effort as I am with Lupul's and Lupul as we know from ESPN's body issue is in great shape.

And I'm calling fans "dopes" for getting irrationally angry about Kessel making entirely reasonable comments about what he does in the off-season.

I think if he were giving it his all out on this ice, people would cut him some more slack... but when a guy's skating around like its Disney on Ice and has not really grown into a complete player, posting the worst +/- in the NHL, showing zero effort, heart or class... people tend to look at comments like these as potential reasons for why he sucks soo badly.

Maybe he's in good shape, maybe not... he certainly isn't playing like he's in great shape.  I don't doubt he's in good shape (kinda have to be just to play NHL level hockey)... but great shape I doubt, and statements like these kinda show that hockey (and being the best he can be) is not his #1 priority. 

When you make the kinda money he does, it's kinda expected that you condition yourself in the off-season and come to camp in top shape ready to go.  Kessel just doesn't seem to do that (by a combination of personal observation, statements made by him and various teammates over the years)... and when you're winning and scoring you can get away with that, but when you skate in circles and lose every game, posting the worst defense of any line in hockey... well, you just can't, and us "dopes" in the fan base will call you out... sometimes with nasty insults; that's just part of hockey.

So here's a question for people.  It's a down year for offence pretty much across the board.  How much has Kessel's numbers dropped off in relation to the other top scorers in the league.

I'm glad you asked, I happen to have crunched those numbers.

I took the top 10 point getters for last year, and looked at their numbers this year:

Player      2013-2014 Points              2014-2015 Points (Projected)             Percent Change           
Crosby
104
85
-20.1058%
Getzlaf
87
71
-20.2532%
Giroux
86
73
-16.3522%
Seguin
84
75
-11.3208%
Perry
82
55
-39.4161%
Kessel
80
60
- 28.5714%
Hall
80
38
- 71.1864%
Ovechkin
79
80
+1.2579%
Pavelski
79
71
-10.6667%
Benn
79
77
-2.5641%

So as I was doing this table, I noticed that guys like Seguin, Hall, and Perry have missed significant time.  I thought a better table would be to compare points per game. Here is that table:

Player      2013-2014 PPG              2014-2015 PPG (Projected)             Percent Change           
Crosby
1.30
1.10
-16.6667%
Getzlaf
1.13
0.89
-23.7624%
Giroux
1.04
0.9
-14.433%
Seguin
1.05
1.04
-0.9569%
Perry
1.01
0.82
-20.765%
Kessel
0.97
0.73
- 28.2353%
Hall
1.06
0.71
-39.548%
Ovechkin
1.01
0.99
-2%
Pavelski
0.96
0.86
-10.989%
Benn
0.97
0.94
-3.1414%

So scoring is down, but it has really had an effect on Kessel compared to others that he was around last year.

Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TML fan on March 30, 2015, 09:30:47 PM
You know who I saw (and in person) floating around in the ice... Wendel Clark.

And Shayne Corson too - in fact he wouldn't even be skating in circles, he'd just stand there near the boards and wait.

You know who else floated around the ice a lot? Guys like Lemieux, Jagr, Gretzky, Bure, Mogilny (before he got to NJ), etc. Most of the best goal scorers in the history of the league could have been called out as floaters.

Some of those guys probably didn't have the best "character" either. I've heard some first hand stories about Jagr...
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TML fan on March 30, 2015, 09:42:14 PM
Josh Hamilton's contract begs to differ.

I'm not convinced it does though I haven't followed it really closely. Further, even if it did differ, it's hardly "the rule" when it comes to character issues with players.

But at a glance
http://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/la-sp-angels-josh-hamilton-20150329-story.html
The Hamilton story has done little to disrupt a relatively peaceful and controversy-free camp for the Angels. Hamilton was never issued a locker in the team's Tempe Diablo Stadium clubhouse.

But that will change should he return, and how the club and player handle the attention surrounding any reunion and his integration into the lineup could affect the team both on and off the field.

"It could affect team chemistry," Angels closer Huston Street said. "I'll be interested to see how that situation works itself out, because it's a delicate situation, a delicate balance. We're all pulling for Josh for his life, his family, his children. But it's really going to be up to him to make sure he doesn't become a distraction."


That's not too good, is it?

When you look through the his career, he has suffered lengthy suspensions (3 years) before. That's not too good, is it?

He did bounce back with periods where he appear to have cleaned up the issue.

Report: MLB panel split on rehab for Josh Hamilton; one-year suspension is in play (http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/03/04/report-mlb-panel-split-on-josh-hamilton-punishment-one-year-suspension-is-in-play/)
That's not too good, is it?

Lot's of bad stuff has gone down on this guy with a substance abuse problem. It's cost him some - not everything as I don't think it should.

So in light of the fact this example got pointed, maybe I'm missing the point with this example. This player's career seems riddled with paying some sort of price for his character issues. He hasn't played as much as he could. He hasn't made as much money as he could have.

His troubles were documented well before he entered the league. It didn't stop him from getting drafted. It didn't stop him from getting a huge contract. Teams want to win. They were willing to take the risk on Hamilton because of just how good a baseball player he is.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TML fan on March 30, 2015, 09:54:15 PM
I have to say, through all this talk about players with character issues, the board seems awfully quiet about Nazem Kadri...
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on March 31, 2015, 09:57:10 AM
You know who I saw (and in person) floating around in the ice... Wendel Clark.

And Shayne Corson too - in fact he wouldn't even be skating in circles, he'd just stand there near the boards and wait.

Sort of off-topic but this made me think of it - I remember years ago either reading or watching something about Nik Lidstrom where it went on about how he purposely "coasted" or whatever at times in order to conserve energy.  His thinking was that there were times on the ice where you don't need to be going crazy expending energy uselessly so he would essentially pick his spots.

Not necessarily relevant, but it made me think of it.  I've never been able to find that again to re-read/watch it though.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on March 31, 2015, 10:17:28 AM
I seem to recall another player much maligned for his defensive play and his +/- and known for scoring a lot of goals...

Quote
Barry Trotz concedes his assessment of Alex Ovechkin as a player and person is far different from what it was before he became his coach.

"I totally miscast him from afar," the Washington Capitals coach told USA TODAY Sports. "Perception is reality, and my perception was all off."

When Trotz was hired by the Capitals, he thought he was inheriting a rebellious player who would be difficult to coach. What he discovered was that he inherited a one-of-a-kind player who is fascinating to coach.

"I call him fearless," Trotz said. "He is not scared of any player in the league. He is not scared of having to play against top players. He is not scared of criticism. He is not scared of accountability. He is not scared of coaching. He is a stand-up guy. He shoulders more of everything than is imaginable. And he does a lot in the community."

...

He thinks Ovechkin's issues involved the normal maturing that many players experience and an inaccurate perception that he wasn't serious about winning.

"There was an assumption that he didn't care, and he does," Trotz said. "The one thing you can say about Ovi is if you ask him to do something, he does it."

Trotz said one reason why Ovechkin is viewed as difficult is that he is always honest to a fault.

"Ovi will tell you exactly what he thinks," Trotz said. "Other players will tell you what you want them to think."

Trotz says all you have to do is look at Ovechkin's numbers to know he is one of the league's most committed athletes. No one should average 47 goals in an era of shot-blocking and zealous defense.

"You don't get as good as he is without putting in the work," Trotz said. "You don't get as strong as he is without putting in the work."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2015/03/30/barry-trotz-alex-ovechkin-washington-capitals-nhl/70697664/

The risks of judging an athlete's "character" from afar.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on March 31, 2015, 12:30:26 PM
You know who I saw (and in person) floating around in the ice... Wendel Clark.

And Shayne Corson too - in fact he wouldn't even be skating in circles, he'd just stand there near the boards and wait.

Sort of off-topic but this made me think of it - I remember years ago either reading or watching something about Nik Lidstrom where it went on about how he purposely "coasted" or whatever at times in order to conserve energy.  His thinking was that there were times on the ice where you don't need to be going crazy expending energy uselessly so he would essentially pick his spots.

Not necessarily relevant, but it made me think of it.  I've never been able to find that again to re-read/watch it though.

I remember Harry Neal and Bob Cole saying the same thing about Ray Bourque.  He conserved his energy and used it when he needed to.

You could maybe even apply this to Chara.   He doesn't look like he is always going at 110% all the time.  I think his deal is that he just knows how and when to lean on guys, and when he leans on you, you probably feel it.  You don't see him out there hitting everything that moves. 

I sometimes think that is a transition that Phanuef is trying to make.  I think he is trying to hit less, but become more of a "leaner".  These things sometimes take time when you are trying to change your style of game.  They don't happen overnight.   
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on March 31, 2015, 04:54:34 PM
I have to say, through all this talk about players with character issues, the board seems awfully quiet about Nazem Kadri...

It's difficult to attach character issues to someone named Nazem!   8)

The only real character issue I currently have with him is that he was a Habs fan growing up.  :(  The fact that his father, also a Habs fan, refuses to wear a Leafs jersey on the Dad's trips says it all to me.  >:( 

I wonder which team Kessel worshiped growing up?   ???
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 01, 2015, 12:32:22 PM
I seem to recall another player much maligned for his defensive play and his +/- and known for scoring a lot of goals...

Quote
Barry Trotz concedes his assessment of Alex Ovechkin as a player and person is far different from what it was before he became his coach.

"I totally miscast him from afar," the Washington Capitals coach told USA TODAY Sports. "Perception is reality, and my perception was all off."

When Trotz was hired by the Capitals, he thought he was inheriting a rebellious player who would be difficult to coach. What he discovered was that he inherited a one-of-a-kind player who is fascinating to coach.

"I call him fearless," Trotz said. "He is not scared of any player in the league. He is not scared of having to play against top players. He is not scared of criticism. He is not scared of accountability. He is not scared of coaching. He is a stand-up guy. He shoulders more of everything than is imaginable. And he does a lot in the community."

...

He thinks Ovechkin's issues involved the normal maturing that many players experience and an inaccurate perception that he wasn't serious about winning.

"There was an assumption that he didn't care, and he does," Trotz said. "The one thing you can say about Ovi is if you ask him to do something, he does it."

Trotz said one reason why Ovechkin is viewed as difficult is that he is always honest to a fault.

"Ovi will tell you exactly what he thinks," Trotz said. "Other players will tell you what you want them to think."

Trotz says all you have to do is look at Ovechkin's numbers to know he is one of the league's most committed athletes. No one should average 47 goals in an era of shot-blocking and zealous defense.

"You don't get as good as he is without putting in the work," Trotz said. "You don't get as strong as he is without putting in the work."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2015/03/30/barry-trotz-alex-ovechkin-washington-capitals-nhl/70697664/

The risks of judging an athlete's "character" from afar.

Meh, I still think you can pretty much never go wrong making harsh character judgments based on scant information and hearsay.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 01, 2015, 12:37:48 PM
I seem to recall another player much maligned for his defensive play and his +/- and known for scoring a lot of goals...

Quote
Barry Trotz concedes his assessment of Alex Ovechkin as a player and person is far different from what it was before he became his coach.

"I totally miscast him from afar," the Washington Capitals coach told USA TODAY Sports. "Perception is reality, and my perception was all off."

When Trotz was hired by the Capitals, he thought he was inheriting a rebellious player who would be difficult to coach. What he discovered was that he inherited a one-of-a-kind player who is fascinating to coach.

"I call him fearless," Trotz said. "He is not scared of any player in the league. He is not scared of having to play against top players. He is not scared of criticism. He is not scared of accountability. He is not scared of coaching. He is a stand-up guy. He shoulders more of everything than is imaginable. And he does a lot in the community."

...

He thinks Ovechkin's issues involved the normal maturing that many players experience and an inaccurate perception that he wasn't serious about winning.

"There was an assumption that he didn't care, and he does," Trotz said. "The one thing you can say about Ovi is if you ask him to do something, he does it."

Trotz said one reason why Ovechkin is viewed as difficult is that he is always honest to a fault.

"Ovi will tell you exactly what he thinks," Trotz said. "Other players will tell you what you want them to think."

Trotz says all you have to do is look at Ovechkin's numbers to know he is one of the league's most committed athletes. No one should average 47 goals in an era of shot-blocking and zealous defense.

"You don't get as good as he is without putting in the work," Trotz said. "You don't get as strong as he is without putting in the work."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2015/03/30/barry-trotz-alex-ovechkin-washington-capitals-nhl/70697664/

The risks of judging an athlete's "character" from afar.

Meh, I still think you can pretty much never go wrong making harsh character judgments based on scant information and hearsay.

Agreed.  You should hear what I tell people about your character.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 04, 2015, 12:34:18 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on April 04, 2015, 01:47:34 PM
 :-\
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on April 04, 2015, 02:00:26 PM
:-\

Phil is not scouring the obituaries for potential PR opportunities, he's such a dick.

EDIT: Pretty nice move from Hamonic in all seriousness.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Frank E on April 04, 2015, 02:04:01 PM
:-\

Phil is not scouring the obituaries for potential PR opportunities, he's such a dick.

I thought he meant Phil Kessel may or may not murder fathers of young children...because I don't know if does or if he doesn't.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on April 04, 2015, 02:11:44 PM
Phil Kessel gave a young kid from Regina, Saskatchewan a NHL career, what more does he have to do?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on April 04, 2015, 02:17:12 PM
Phil Kessel gave a young kid from Regina, Saskatchewan a NHL career, what more does he have to do?

Nice.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 04, 2015, 02:45:22 PM
:-\

Phil is not scouring the obituaries for potential PR opportunities, he's such a dick.

EDIT: Pretty nice move from Hamonic in all seriousness.

Yeah, I was just trying to tie it in to the Phil discussion, as I didn't know where else to post that link.  I wasn't really trying to indict Kessel, but show something that I think points to character. 

On the Leafs, I know of Lupul who does Lup's Troops, which is pretty cool. Other than that, you don't really hear of much that the Leafs do in the community. 

That's not to say that they don't do much, just that you don't hear about it much, at least not here in Ottawa, or on this board, which is where I get my Toronto centric information.

Again this is the sort of thing that can be double edged.  If it doesn't get reported people think you don't do it.  If it does get reported, people say it's a media grab. 
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bullfrog on April 04, 2015, 05:21:51 PM
Again this is the sort of thing that can be double edged.  If it doesn't get reported people think you don't do it.  If it does get reported, people say it's a media grab.

And in either case has almost nothing to do with their character as hockey players.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on April 04, 2015, 05:45:32 PM
Yeah, I was just trying to tie it in to the Phil discussion, as I didn't know where else to post that link.  I wasn't really trying to indict Kessel, but show something that I think points to character. 

On the Leafs, I know of Lupul who does Lup's Troops, which is pretty cool. Other than that, you don't really hear of much that the Leafs do in the community. 

That's not to say that they don't do much, just that you don't hear about it much, at least not here in Ottawa, or on this board, which is where I get my Toronto centric information.

Again this is the sort of thing that can be double edged.  If it doesn't get reported people think you don't do it.  If it does get reported, people say it's a media grab.

I think it's the kind of thing that maybe more accurately speaks to this idea of how this Leafs team is maybe a particularly unlikable group more so than "character" in how it relates to hockey. If you look at the King Clancy award, for instance, you'll see that just about as often as not it goes to a fairly mediocre hockey player.

Being a good, generous person is an admirable quality, sure, and one to be applauded but I don't think that's really what we mean when we talk about character and how it relates to actually winning hockey games. I use this example a lot but Michael Jordan basically seems like a deeply unpleasant, unlikable person but his deeply unlikable qualities sort of manifested themselves as being uniquely suited to sports. Hyper-competitiveness, a tendency to hold grudges for the tiniest of slights, an interest in embarrassing anyone who challenged him...bad qualities in a human being, ok ones in a Shooting Guard. There have been a lot of hockey players like that and I think an all-time team of players who've been described as jerks would hold their own against a team of sweethearts.

So "character" as it applies to sports, I think it's important to remember, really just means whatever someone wants it to mean in a given moment.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: cw on April 04, 2015, 07:09:34 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 04, 2015, 10:07:22 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on April 05, 2015, 10:16:26 AM
He is a one ball man! Like Larry in the pickup truck and he is off to the rodeo.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 05, 2015, 11:54:47 AM
He is a one ball man! Like Larry in the pickup truck and he is off to the rodeo.

I can't picture Kessel in a pickup truck, never mind riding a bull in a rodeo!   8)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Damian on April 05, 2015, 12:48:47 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!

Whats your point? Many people overcome cancer every day. Mario and Koivu come to mind. Mario came back and still owned....These things are supposed to make you stronger. Phil? I dunno.... he sure doesnt play like he's inspired at all...When youre making the kind of sheckles he is, theres no excuse for mailing it it every night. None.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 05, 2015, 12:57:36 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!

Whats your point? Many people overcome cancer every day. Mario and Koivu come to mind. Mario came back and still owned....These things are supposed to make you stronger. Phil? I dunno.... he sure doesnt play like he's inspired at all...When youre making the kind of sheckles he is, theres no excuse for mailing it it every night. None.

I agree, Kessel needs to earn his pay cheque and quit mailing it in game after game. He is setting a bad example for the younger players who earn far less money.  Why should they work hard when Kessel doesn't!
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: RedLeaf on April 05, 2015, 01:14:21 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!

Whats your point? Many people overcome cancer every day. Mario and Koivu come to mind. Mario came back and still owned....These things are supposed to make you stronger. Phil? I dunno.... he sure doesnt play like he's inspired at all...When youre making the kind of sheckles he is, theres no excuse for mailing it it every night. None.

I agree, Kessel needs to earn his pay cheque and quit mailing it in game after game. He is setting a bad example for the younger players who earn far less money.  Why should they work hard when Kessel doesn't!

To stay in the league, for one.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: slapshot on April 05, 2015, 02:14:45 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!

Whats your point? Many people overcome cancer every day. Mario and Koivu come to mind. Mario came back and still owned....These things are supposed to make you stronger. Phil? I dunno.... he sure doesnt play like he's inspired at all...When youre making the kind of sheckles he is, theres no excuse for mailing it it every night. None.

I agree, Kessel needs to earn his pay cheque and quit mailing it in game after game. He is setting a bad example for the younger players who earn far less money.  Why should they work hard when Kessel doesn't!

Unfortunately, Kessel appears to be in some kind of head space where he sees his job pretty much entirely just to generate offence. Perhaps he's been cut too much slack to be anything more than one dimensional, and the Leafs essentially blessed that by rewarding him with a big contract for that. But now that his offence has been firing blanks for most of the second half, he has nothing else to fall back on. Fans could perhaps forgive the lack of offence if he were busting his tail every night. But it seems like the only energy he has is when the puck is on his stick.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Chris on April 05, 2015, 02:47:56 PM
He's really hard to figure out. In the last game, there was one play in the defensive zone where Kessel was very close to one of the opponent forwards along the boards, but instead of engaging and fighting for the puck, he just turned away. The announcers even commented on that lack of effort. But I've also recently seen him be the only forward back and he actually broke up a potential scoring chance in front of the net (not sure if it was also the Bruin game, all the games have merged together at this point).
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 07, 2015, 09:44:35 AM
Yeah, I was just trying to tie it in to the Phil discussion, as I didn't know where else to post that link.  I wasn't really trying to indict Kessel, but show something that I think points to character. 

On the Leafs, I know of Lupul who does Lup's Troops, which is pretty cool. Other than that, you don't really hear of much that the Leafs do in the community. 

That's not to say that they don't do much, just that you don't hear about it much, at least not here in Ottawa, or on this board, which is where I get my Toronto centric information.

Again this is the sort of thing that can be double edged.  If it doesn't get reported people think you don't do it.  If it does get reported, people say it's a media grab.

I think it's the kind of thing that maybe more accurately speaks to this idea of how this Leafs team is maybe a particularly unlikable group more so than "character" in how it relates to hockey. If you look at the King Clancy award, for instance, you'll see that just about as often as not it goes to a fairly mediocre hockey player.

Being a good, generous person is an admirable quality, sure, and one to be applauded but I don't think that's really what we mean when we talk about character and how it relates to actually winning hockey games. I use this example a lot but Michael Jordan basically seems like a deeply unpleasant, unlikable person but his deeply unlikable qualities sort of manifested themselves as being uniquely suited to sports. Hyper-competitiveness, a tendency to hold grudges for the tiniest of slights, an interest in embarrassing anyone who challenged him...bad qualities in a human being, ok ones in a Shooting Guard. There have been a lot of hockey players like that and I think an all-time team of players who've been described as jerks would hold their own against a team of sweethearts.

So "character" as it applies to sports, I think it's important to remember, really just means whatever someone wants it to mean in a given moment.

Yeah good point.  I guess it just goes back to the fact that this team hasn't been able to win.  If they had been winning, then a lot of these discussions wouldn't be happening.  I don't think that it has been  a lack of talent that has caused the losing.  It's the lack of the intangibles that are needed in order to win.  You can't quantify those.  That's what makes it so frustrating because you can see talent, you can see skill, but you can't always see the will to win. 

I mean you are completely correct about a guy like Micheal Jordan, but then take a guy like Yzerman, who by all accounts wasn't like Micheal Jordan, but is still considered one of the greatest leaders and clutch players in the history of the NHL.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 07, 2015, 07:22:51 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!

Whats your point? Many people overcome cancer every day. Mario and Koivu come to mind. Mario came back and still owned....These things are supposed to make you stronger. Phil? I dunno.... he sure doesnt play like he's inspired at all...When youre making the kind of sheckles he is, theres no excuse for mailing it it every night. None.

I agree, Kessel needs to earn his pay cheque and quit mailing it in game after game. He is setting a bad example for the younger players who earn far less money.  Why should they work hard when Kessel doesn't!

To stay in the league, for one.

They can stay in the League by going through the motions just like Kessel does.  There is a huge difference between working hard for appearance sake, and, working hard to succeed.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TML fan on April 07, 2015, 11:28:20 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!

Whats your point? Many people overcome cancer every day. Mario and Koivu come to mind. Mario came back and still owned....These things are supposed to make you stronger. Phil? I dunno.... he sure doesnt play like he's inspired at all...When youre making the kind of sheckles he is, theres no excuse for mailing it it every night. None.

I agree, Kessel needs to earn his pay cheque and quit mailing it in game after game. He is setting a bad example for the younger players who earn far less money.  Why should they work hard when Kessel doesn't!

To stay in the league, for one.

They can stay in the League by going through the motions just like Kessel does.  There is a huge difference between working hard for appearance sake, and, working hard to succeed.

Nobody on this team is good enough to go through the motions and stay in the league like Kessel is.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 09, 2015, 01:26:06 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!

Whats your point? Many people overcome cancer every day. Mario and Koivu come to mind. Mario came back and still owned....These things are supposed to make you stronger. Phil? I dunno.... he sure doesnt play like he's inspired at all...When youre making the kind of sheckles he is, theres no excuse for mailing it it every night. None.

I agree, Kessel needs to earn his pay cheque and quit mailing it in game after game. He is setting a bad example for the younger players who earn far less money.  Why should they work hard when Kessel doesn't!

To stay in the league, for one.

They can stay in the League by going through the motions just like Kessel does.  There is a huge difference between working hard for appearance sake, and, working hard to succeed.

Nobody on this team is good enough to go through the motions and stay in the league like Kessel is.

Oh, I don't know, just maybe JvR, and maybe even Bozak can.  I think we actually witnessed this from these 2 as well.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 09, 2015, 01:41:00 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!

Whats your point? Many people overcome cancer every day. Mario and Koivu come to mind. Mario came back and still owned....These things are supposed to make you stronger. Phil? I dunno.... he sure doesnt play like he's inspired at all...When youre making the kind of sheckles he is, theres no excuse for mailing it it every night. None.

I agree, Kessel needs to earn his pay cheque and quit mailing it in game after game. He is setting a bad example for the younger players who earn far less money.  Why should they work hard when Kessel doesn't!

To stay in the league, for one.

They can stay in the League by going through the motions just like Kessel does.  There is a huge difference between working hard for appearance sake, and, working hard to succeed.

Nobody on this team is good enough to go through the motions and stay in the league like Kessel is.

Oh, I don't know, just maybe JvR, and maybe even Bozak can.  I think we actually witnessed this from these 2 as well.

And you're honestly suggesting these are the kinds of "younger players who earn far less money" you were talking about?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 10, 2015, 01:41:03 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!

Whats your point? Many people overcome cancer every day. Mario and Koivu come to mind. Mario came back and still owned....These things are supposed to make you stronger. Phil? I dunno.... he sure doesnt play like he's inspired at all...When youre making the kind of sheckles he is, theres no excuse for mailing it it every night. None.

I agree, Kessel needs to earn his pay cheque and quit mailing it in game after game. He is setting a bad example for the younger players who earn far less money.  Why should they work hard when Kessel doesn't!

To stay in the league, for one.

They can stay in the League by going through the motions just like Kessel does.  There is a huge difference between working hard for appearance sake, and, working hard to succeed.

Nobody on this team is good enough to go through the motions and stay in the league like Kessel is.

Oh, I don't know, just maybe JvR, and maybe even Bozak can.  I think we actually witnessed this from these 2 as well.

And you're honestly suggesting these are the kinds of "younger players who earn far less money" you were talking about?

Not sure about exact amounts, however, Kessel is making $10 million for this season alone.  JvR and Bozak are making half of that amount, approximately. Ok, so JvR is only 2 years younger, and, Bozak is 2 years older.  I stand corrected!

However, I still firmly believe that some of Kessel's teammates will tend to play a lazy game when they see a high priced player mailing it in.  It's human nature...  Well, if he is too lazy to care about trying hard at his salary, why the hell should I when I get a fraction of what he is paid?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on April 10, 2015, 01:54:55 PM
Well, if he is too lazy to care about trying hard at his salary, why the hell should I when I get a fraction of what he is paid?

So that one day you can get paid 10 million dollars?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 10, 2015, 01:56:12 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!

Whats your point? Many people overcome cancer every day. Mario and Koivu come to mind. Mario came back and still owned....These things are supposed to make you stronger. Phil? I dunno.... he sure doesnt play like he's inspired at all...When youre making the kind of sheckles he is, theres no excuse for mailing it it every night. None.

I agree, Kessel needs to earn his pay cheque and quit mailing it in game after game. He is setting a bad example for the younger players who earn far less money.  Why should they work hard when Kessel doesn't!

To stay in the league, for one.

They can stay in the League by going through the motions just like Kessel does.  There is a huge difference between working hard for appearance sake, and, working hard to succeed.

Nobody on this team is good enough to go through the motions and stay in the league like Kessel is.

Oh, I don't know, just maybe JvR, and maybe even Bozak can.  I think we actually witnessed this from these 2 as well.

And you're honestly suggesting these are the kinds of "younger players who earn far less money" you were talking about?

Not sure about exact amounts, however, Kessel is making $10 million for this season alone.  JvR and Bozak are making half of that amount, approximately. Ok, so JvR is only 2 years younger, and, Bozak is 2 years older.  I stand corrected!

However, I still firmly believe that some of Kessel's teammates will tend to play a lazy game when they see a high priced player mailing it in.  It's human nature...  Well, if he is too lazy to care about trying hard at his salary, why the hell should I when I get a fraction of what he is paid?

Assuming the player has no competitive spirit and no pride that would otherwise resist lazy impulses, then simply to stay in the league and/or to earn their next contract.  But if you're talking about players with no elite natural talent, no competitive spirit, no pride, no desire to remain in the NHL and no desire to ensure a solid, steady paycheque, then I guess you have a point.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 10, 2015, 02:00:40 PM
So there has been a lot of talk about character.  Here is an example of it:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152769425102686&fref=nf

Sorry it is a facebook link, I couldn't find another one. 

That's not to say that Phil Kessel doesn't do things like this, because I don't know if he does or not.

He did some with kids who had cancer as he's a cancer survivor

We tend to forget that Kessel had to endure a cancer scare!

Whats your point? Many people overcome cancer every day. Mario and Koivu come to mind. Mario came back and still owned....These things are supposed to make you stronger. Phil? I dunno.... he sure doesnt play like he's inspired at all...When youre making the kind of sheckles he is, theres no excuse for mailing it it every night. None.

I agree, Kessel needs to earn his pay cheque and quit mailing it in game after game. He is setting a bad example for the younger players who earn far less money.  Why should they work hard when Kessel doesn't!

To stay in the league, for one.

They can stay in the League by going through the motions just like Kessel does.  There is a huge difference between working hard for appearance sake, and, working hard to succeed.

Nobody on this team is good enough to go through the motions and stay in the league like Kessel is.

Oh, I don't know, just maybe JvR, and maybe even Bozak can.  I think we actually witnessed this from these 2 as well.

And you're honestly suggesting these are the kinds of "younger players who earn far less money" you were talking about?

Not sure about exact amounts, however, Kessel is making $10 million for this season alone.  JvR and Bozak are making half of that amount, approximately. Ok, so JvR is only 2 years younger, and, Bozak is 2 years older.  I stand corrected!

However, I still firmly believe that some of Kessel's teammates will tend to play a lazy game when they see a high priced player mailing it in.  It's human nature...  Well, if he is too lazy to care about trying hard at his salary, why the hell should I when I get a fraction of what he is paid?

Assuming the player has no competitive spirit and no pride that would otherwise resist lazy impulses, then simply to stay in the league and/or to earn their next contract.  But if you're talking about players with no elite natural talent, no competitive spirit, no pride, no desire to remain in the NHL and no desire to ensure a solid, steady paycheque, then I guess you have a point.

Do you work harder at your job to make up for the deficiencies in production caused by your lazy work colleagues?   Just wondering!   ???
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bullfrog on April 10, 2015, 02:50:19 PM
Do you work harder at your job to make up for the deficiencies in production caused by your lazy work colleagues?   Just wondering!   ???

Yes.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on April 10, 2015, 03:00:00 PM
Do you work harder at your job to make up for the deficiencies in production caused by your lazy work colleagues?   Just wondering!   ???

Yes.

Yup.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: L K on April 10, 2015, 03:06:21 PM
Do you work harder at your job to make up for the deficiencies in production caused by your lazy work colleagues?   Just wondering!   ???

Yes.

Yup.

Suckers, I'm the lazy one!
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 10, 2015, 04:03:29 PM
Do you work harder at your job to make up for the deficiencies in production caused by your lazy work colleagues?   Just wondering!   ???

Yes.

Yup.

Suckers, I'm the lazy one!

Burn the witch!!!!!
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 10, 2015, 04:47:57 PM
I agree, Kessel needs to earn his pay cheque and quit mailing it in game after game. He is setting a bad example for the younger players who earn far less money.  Why should they work hard when Kessel doesn't!

To stay in the league, for one.

They can stay in the League by going through the motions just like Kessel does.  There is a huge difference between working hard for appearance sake, and, working hard to succeed.

Nobody on this team is good enough to go through the motions and stay in the league like Kessel is.

Oh, I don't know, just maybe JvR, and maybe even Bozak can.  I think we actually witnessed this from these 2 as well.

And you're honestly suggesting these are the kinds of "younger players who earn far less money" you were talking about?

Not sure about exact amounts, however, Kessel is making $10 million for this season alone.  JvR and Bozak are making half of that amount, approximately. Ok, so JvR is only 2 years younger, and, Bozak is 2 years older.  I stand corrected!

However, I still firmly believe that some of Kessel's teammates will tend to play a lazy game when they see a high priced player mailing it in.  It's human nature...  Well, if he is too lazy to care about trying hard at his salary, why the hell should I when I get a fraction of what he is paid?

Assuming the player has no competitive spirit and no pride that would otherwise resist lazy impulses, then simply to stay in the league and/or to earn their next contract.  But if you're talking about players with no elite natural talent, no competitive spirit, no pride, no desire to remain in the NHL and no desire to ensure a solid, steady paycheque, then I guess you have a point.

Do you work harder at your job to make up for the deficiencies in production caused by your lazy work colleagues?   Just wondering!   ???

I would and I have.  Frankly, that motivation to succeed and to prove oneself to an employer and to peers is vital to lasting individual and team success.  I'm sorry for your employers that that idea is so foreign to you.  Certainly any young, unproven NHLer who would act as you would will not last long in the league, with the Leafs or with any other team.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on April 10, 2015, 04:49:07 PM
I work harder at posting to make up for Heroic Shrimp's mailed in posts.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 10, 2015, 05:02:42 PM
I work harder at posting to make up for Heroic Shrimp's mailed in posts.

Maybe some day you'll get my 8 year, $64M posting contract as well.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 10, 2015, 06:20:56 PM
I work harder at posting to make up for Heroic Shrimp's mailed in posts.

Maybe some day you'll get my 8 year, $64M posting contract as well.

Can we trade you to HF Boards for a first and a prospect?  We'll take back a bad contract.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 10, 2015, 06:28:38 PM
I work harder at posting to make up for Heroic Shrimp's mailed in posts.

Maybe some day you'll get my 8 year, $64M posting contract as well.

Can we trade you to HF Boards for a first and a prospect?  We'll take back a bad contract.

Take it up with the admins who gave me a NMC.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 10, 2015, 06:37:28 PM
I work harder at posting to make up for Heroic Shrimp's mailed in posts.

Maybe some day you'll get my 8 year, $64M posting contract as well.


Can we trade you to HF Boards for a first and a prospect?  We'll take back a bad contract.

Take it up with the admins who gave me a NMC.

Look you may want to consider the deal.  We won't sit you completely, but you can't use the letter 's' from now on in your posts.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 10, 2015, 06:39:00 PM
I really want to trade Phil Kessel to Buffalo now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYSRbeYswGQ
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on April 11, 2015, 12:30:23 AM
I work harder at posting to make up for Heroic Shrimp's mailed in posts.

Maybe some day you'll get my 8 year, $64M posting contract as well.

All I know is you posted maybe 10 times all summer yet expect to log in September 1st in top posting condition.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bullfrog on April 11, 2015, 10:16:42 AM
C'mon, man! He may not post often in the summer, but he still spends hours on the internet wasting away his brain. He also reads words.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 11, 2015, 12:04:38 PM
I work harder at posting to make up for Heroic Shrimp's mailed in posts.

Maybe some day you'll get my 8 year, $64M posting contract as well.

All I know is you posted maybe 10 times all summer yet expect to log in September 1st in top posting condition.

I kept in shape by posting about fishing and golf.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: L K on April 11, 2015, 12:25:25 PM
I work harder at posting to make up for Heroic Shrimp's mailed in posts.

Maybe some day you'll get my 8 year, $64M posting contract as well.

All I know is you posted maybe 10 times all summer yet expect to log in September 1st in top posting condition.

I kept in shape by posting about fishing and golf.

Your fingers look chubby.  Clearly a direct indication that you aren't typing in the offseason.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Tigger on April 11, 2015, 01:30:57 PM
A whole month of voice text apps Shrimp? You know we pay 34 percent more than any fanbase, jeebus, and I expected pictures of that shark.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 11, 2015, 01:43:56 PM
I work harder at posting to make up for Heroic Shrimp's mailed in posts.

Maybe some day you'll get my 8 year, $64M posting contract as well.

All I know is you posted maybe 10 times all summer yet expect to log in September 1st in top posting condition.

I kept in shape by posting about fishing and golf.

Your fingers look chubby.  Clearly a direct indication that you aren't typing in the offseason.

My fingers are naturally chubby but they can still type 65 words a minute, almost certainly 80+ if I had a #1 keyboard.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on April 11, 2015, 01:58:48 PM
I work harder at posting to make up for Heroic Shrimp's mailed in posts.

Maybe some day you'll get my 8 year, $64M posting contract as well.

All I know is you posted maybe 10 times all summer yet expect to log in September 1st in top posting condition.

I kept in shape by posting about fishing and golf.

Your fingers look chubby.  Clearly a direct indication that you aren't typing in the offseason.

My fingers are naturally chubby but they can still type 65 words a minute, almost certainly 80+ if I had a #1 keyboard.

You can type 100 words a minute but you'll never get anywhere with it because your typing is fatally flawed.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Tigger on April 11, 2015, 02:06:41 PM
Putting the phat in fatally...
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on April 11, 2015, 02:06:47 PM
I work harder at posting to make up for Heroic Shrimp's mailed in posts.

Maybe some day you'll get my 8 year, $64M posting contract as well.

All I know is you posted maybe 10 times all summer yet expect to log in September 1st in top posting condition.

I kept in shape by posting about fishing and golf.

Your fingers look chubby.  Clearly a direct indication that you aren't typing in the offseason.

My fingers are naturally chubby but they can still type 65 words a minute, almost certainly 80+ if I had a #1 keyboard.

You can type 100 words a minute but you'll never get anywhere with it because your typing is fatally flawed.

The problem isn't his typing. The problem is that he doesn't do the dirty work, like edit and proofread.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bullfrog on April 11, 2015, 02:28:17 PM
Never backspaces.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 11, 2015, 03:16:34 PM
Never backspaces.

He never picks up the open end sentence.  Or blocks the double negative.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Britishbulldog on April 11, 2015, 03:29:11 PM
Never backspaces.

He never picks up the open end sentence.  Or blocks the double negative.

I don't care what Nik says, Heroic Shrimp is NOT as tall as he is listed to be. That alone makes me question his posting skill here.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 11, 2015, 03:31:12 PM
Never backspaces.

He never picks up the open end sentence.  Or blocks the double negative.

I don't care what Nik says, Heroic Shrimp is NOT as tall as he is listed to be. That alone makes me question his posting skill here.

It's funny...but before I knew how much Heroic Shrimp was making, I thought he was a much better poster.  Now I want more.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on April 11, 2015, 03:37:35 PM
Come on guys, lay off Heroic Shrimp a little bit. It's not his fault he's constantly being dragged down by LK always posting with him.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on April 11, 2015, 03:49:28 PM
Come on guys, lay off Heroic Shrimp a little bit. It's not his fault he's constantly being dragged down by LK always posting with him.

It's not LK's fault that the moderators keep throwing him out there with Heroic Shrimp.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: L K on April 11, 2015, 04:02:34 PM
Come on guys, lay off Heroic Shrimp a little bit. It's not his fault he's constantly being dragged down by LK always posting with him.

It's not LK's fault that the moderators keep throwing him out there with Heroic Shrimp.

When I was given that 1 day suspension by the moderators, they weren't trying to send a message to me.  They were sending a message to everyone.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on April 11, 2015, 04:05:11 PM
One thing's for sure, HS never would have gotten away with this nonsense on a usenet news group or a good Leafs BBS. Of course, internet posters in those days had much better values.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 11, 2015, 04:56:04 PM
Wait, who are we going to compare to Wellwood?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on April 11, 2015, 04:59:02 PM
Wait, who are we going to compare to Wellwood?

I dunno. Who hasn't really been relevant for 6 or so years now?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on April 11, 2015, 05:01:29 PM
Wait, who are we going to compare to Wellwood?

I dunno. Who hasn't really been relevant for 6 or so years now?

You rang?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on April 11, 2015, 05:03:57 PM
This took off nicely.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on April 11, 2015, 05:38:12 PM
This took off nicely.

Kinda like the Leafs season, took off nicely, crashed and burned somewhere in the middle.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on April 11, 2015, 08:10:06 PM
I dunno, by far the most entertaining thread in recent memory.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 11, 2015, 11:32:57 PM
I dunno, by far the most entertaining thread in recent memory.

Any thread on this board is more entertaining than the Toronto Maple Leafs.  LOL 
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on April 15, 2015, 10:24:37 AM
I just can't understand why Kessel has a problem with Dave Feschuk.  Whatever could it be.

(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CCmiNPCUkAEPJz1.jpg:large)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on April 15, 2015, 10:30:58 AM
Kessel looks like a chipmunk, that is not going to change even if we went on a concentration camp diet.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: pmrules on April 15, 2015, 10:33:58 AM
I just can't understand why Kessel has a problem with Dave Feschuk.  Whatever could it be.

(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CCmiNPCUkAEPJz1.jpg:large)

You think Feschuk's the problem???

 ;)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Coco-puffs on April 15, 2015, 10:38:49 AM
I just can't understand why Kessel has a problem with Dave Feschuk.  Whatever could it be.

(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CCmiNPCUkAEPJz1.jpg:large)

Funny, I think that comment wasn't one of the more atrocious in that article.  Feschuk is quite the douchebag.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on April 15, 2015, 10:39:48 AM
I just can't understand why Kessel has a problem with Dave Feschuk.  Whatever could it be.

(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CCmiNPCUkAEPJz1.jpg:large)

Funny, I think that comment wasn't one of the more atrocious in that article.  Feschuk is quite the douchebag.

He just can't write on Kessel without mentioning his weight in some way or another.  No evidence that he's ever looked into it further either.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on April 15, 2015, 12:11:45 PM
Being a "columnist" is such a sweet gig. Why would anybody even call themselves reporters?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 15, 2015, 12:44:57 PM
I just can't understand why Kessel has a problem with Dave Feschuk.  Whatever could it be.

(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CCmiNPCUkAEPJz1.jpg:large)

Funny, I think that comment wasn't one of the more atrocious in that article.  Feschuk is quite the douchebag.

He just can't write on Kessel without mentioning his weight in some way or another.  No evidence that he's ever looked into it further either.

You weight analytics guys...  Kessel fails the eye test, man.  Round face means fat, end of story.

And don't get me started on that other fatty, Charlie Brown.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: L K on April 15, 2015, 12:59:28 PM
I just can't understand why Kessel has a problem with Dave Feschuk.  Whatever could it be.

(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CCmiNPCUkAEPJz1.jpg:large)

Funny, I think that comment wasn't one of the more atrocious in that article.  Feschuk is quite the douchebag.

He just can't write on Kessel without mentioning his weight in some way or another.  No evidence that he's ever looked into it further either.

You weight analytics guys...  Kessel fails the eye test, man.  Round face means fat, end of story.

And don't get me started on that other fatty, Charlie Brown.

Do we get to suspend Feschuk for his crappy grammar?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: TDotMassive on April 15, 2015, 04:40:49 PM
I just can't understand why Kessel has a problem with Dave Feschuk.  Whatever could it be.

(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CCmiNPCUkAEPJz1.jpg:large)

Funny, I think that comment wasn't one of the more atrocious in that article.  Feschuk is quite the douchebag.

He just can't write on Kessel without mentioning his weight in some way or another.  No evidence that he's ever looked into it further either.

You weight analytics guys...  Kessel fails the eye test, man.  Round face means fat, end of story.

And don't get me started on that other fatty, Charlie Brown.

French Fry Phil is done!  ;D

All kidding aside... Kessel is still an elite talent and can snipe goals like few others in the world.  Kessel though is not a leader, not a character guy that can lift a team (or even a line apparently)... but on a deep contending team, he doesn't have to be, cause he will be centered by that guy, who will lift HIM up and make him the best Kessel he can be.  Toronto has not been able to provide that for him, that's management's fail.  His lack of effort this year though, and sometimes apparent lack of conditioning (this is apparently debatable), is his fail.  I do think though, if he gets traded to a contender with a real center, watch him smash the 40 goal mark.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Mostar on April 15, 2015, 05:07:00 PM
I concur. I wouldn't be quick to lose Phil if I thought the Leafs could do that, but getting a handful of guys like that is gonna take some time.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 18, 2015, 10:23:57 AM
I concur. I wouldn't be quick to lose Phil if I thought the Leafs could do that, but getting a handful of guys like that is gonna take some time.

That's the problem, Kessel is already near to the peak of his prime.  With his lack of off season training, he's more likely to decline faster physically than most.  We don't have time to retain him, and, try to surround him with the type of players he needs to succeed.

I think we need to find Kessel a new home with a team that thinks they're a Kessel away from contending.  Get the most return we can and move on from Mr. 2 1sts and a 2nd!  Thanks Burke!
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bullfrog on April 18, 2015, 01:33:27 PM
I concur. I wouldn't be quick to lose Phil if I thought the Leafs could do that, but getting a handful of guys like that is gonna take some time.

That's the problem, Kessel is already near to the peak of his prime.  With his lack of off season training, he's more likely to decline faster physically than most.  We don't have time to retain him, and, try to surround him with the type of players he needs to succeed.

What's your source for that dubious claim?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 18, 2015, 01:49:13 PM
I concur. I wouldn't be quick to lose Phil if I thought the Leafs could do that, but getting a handful of guys like that is gonna take some time.

That's the problem, Kessel is already near to the peak of his prime.  With his lack of off season training, he's more likely to decline faster physically than most.  We don't have time to retain him, and, try to surround him with the type of players he needs to succeed.

What's your source for that dubious claim?

Isn't the lack of exclamation points a clear indication of well-reasoned and well-supported claims?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bullfrog on April 18, 2015, 04:05:11 PM
I'm a skeptic, HS, I demand irrefutable evidence.

Unless we're talking about homeopathic medicine. Diluted water cures all.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Pick on April 18, 2015, 09:56:17 PM
I concur. I wouldn't be quick to lose Phil if I thought the Leafs could do that, but getting a handful of guys like that is gonna take some time.

That's the problem, Kessel is already near to the peak of his prime.  With his lack of off season training, he's more likely to decline faster physically than most.  We don't have time to retain him, and, try to surround him with the type of players he needs to succeed.

What's your source for that dubious claim?

If you say something often enough it somehow becomes the truth. You are right, we really don't know what Phil's off-season training is like. All we can judge is his on-ice performance and he's been this teams highest point scorer for how many seasons?

Phil didn't enjoy one of his better years but most of the NHL stars saw their totals drop this year (Art Ross trophy was won with the fewest point total since like the '60s - shortened seasons not included).

Kessell's gotta go. He's the highest paid player on a team that has performed miserably and he really hasn't helped his cause by winning anybody's heart. But the criticism he gets on this board is way over the top and in most cases not based on known facts.

The same goes for Phaneuf. Kessel and Phaneuf get the most criticism around here but for anybody watching without bias, these two guys are the most intense on the team. If they lack passion, then the rest of the team lacks a pulse.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: herman on April 19, 2015, 09:26:15 PM
I concur. I wouldn't be quick to lose Phil if I thought the Leafs could do that, but getting a handful of guys like that is gonna take some time.

That's the problem, Kessel is already near to the peak of his prime.  With his lack of off season training, he's more likely to decline faster physically than most.  We don't have time to retain him, and, try to surround him with the type of players he needs to succeed.

What's your source for that dubious claim?

If you say something often enough it somehow becomes the truth. You are right, we really don't know what Phil's off-season training is like. All we can judge is his on-ice performance and he's been this teams highest point scorer for how many seasons?

Phil didn't enjoy one of his better years but most of the NHL stars saw their totals drop this year (Art Ross trophy was won with the fewest point total since like the '60s - shortened seasons not included).

Kessell's gotta go. He's the highest paid player on a team that has performed miserably and he really hasn't helped his cause by winning anybody's heart. But the criticism he gets on this board is way over the top and in most cases not based on known facts.

The same goes for Phaneuf. Kessel and Phaneuf get the most criticism around here but for anybody watching without bias, these two guys are the most intense on the team. If they lack passion, then the rest of the team lacks a pulse.

Strong post, Pick. Welcome to the board and thanks for contributing to the discussion!
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: moon111 on April 20, 2015, 04:27:49 AM
In the previous season, Kessel scored 3 goals and had 4 assists in the final 16 games.  Was a '+' player for six of those games.   He hasn't finished the last two seasons out very well.  Whether that be physical or mental conditioning, who knows?  Maybe he just wants to get down to Florida and play some golf and go fishing.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on April 20, 2015, 12:33:57 PM
In the previous season, Kessel scored 3 goals and had 4 assists in the final 16 games.  Was a '+' player for six of those games.   He hasn't finished the last two seasons out very well.  Whether that be physical or mental conditioning, who knows?  Maybe he just wants to get down to Florida and play some golf and go fishing.

Well, I remember in the 2013-14 season the top line was leaned on more heavily than just about any other line in the league (something to do with the GM ensuring there was absolutely no depth), so Kessel & c. looked pretty broken down by the end of the season. As to the more recent year, well out of the play-offs, gutted roster, toxic environment -- I'd be wary of drawing too many conclusions.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: moon111 on April 20, 2015, 09:14:23 PM
In the previous season, Kessel scored 3 goals and had 4 assists in the final 16 games.  Was a '+' player for six of those games.   He hasn't finished the last two seasons out very well.  Whether that be physical or mental conditioning, who knows?  Maybe he just wants to get down to Florida and play some golf and go fishing.

Well, I remember in the 2013-14 season the top line was leaned on more heavily than just about any other line in the league (something to do with the GM ensuring there was absolutely no depth), so Kessel & c. looked pretty broken down by the end of the season. As to the more recent year, well out of the play-offs, gutted roster, toxic environment -- I'd be wary of drawing too many conclusions.
Crosby had more ice-time, maintained a point-per-game pace, and played 13 more games in the playoffs.  Maybe he's in better shape?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on April 20, 2015, 09:18:42 PM
Crosby had more ice-time, maintained a point-per-game pace, and played 13 more games in the playoffs.  Maybe he's in better shape?

Or maybe he's the best player in the world? And even his scoring dropped off sharply in the playoffs?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: RedLeaf on April 20, 2015, 09:27:32 PM
Crosby had more ice-time, maintained a point-per-game pace, and played 13 more games in t

Or maybe he's the best player in the world?

So, is McDavid the best player to come along 'since' Crosby or since 'before' Crosby?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on April 20, 2015, 09:31:15 PM
So, is McDavid the best player to come along 'since' Crosby or since 'before' Crosby?

I think he's the best prospect since Crosby but I'll wait until he sets foot on NHL ice before I say what kind of player he is.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on April 20, 2015, 11:52:55 PM
In the previous season, Kessel scored 3 goals and had 4 assists in the final 16 games.  Was a '+' player for six of those games.   He hasn't finished the last two seasons out very well.  Whether that be physical or mental conditioning, who knows?  Maybe he just wants to get down to Florida and play some golf and go fishing.

Well, I remember in the 2013-14 season the top line was leaned on more heavily than just about any other line in the league (something to do with the GM ensuring there was absolutely no depth), so Kessel & c. looked pretty broken down by the end of the season. As to the more recent year, well out of the play-offs, gutted roster, toxic environment -- I'd be wary of drawing too many conclusions.
Crosby had more ice-time, maintained a point-per-game pace, and played 13 more games in the playoffs.  Maybe he's in better shape?

Yes. Phil Kessel is not as good as Sidney Crosby.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: OldTimeHockey on April 21, 2015, 04:51:49 AM
In the previous season, Kessel scored 3 goals and had 4 assists in the final 16 games.  Was a '+' player for six of those games.   He hasn't finished the last two seasons out very well.  Whether that be physical or mental conditioning, who knows?  Maybe he just wants to get down to Florida and play some golf and go fishing.

Well, I remember in the 2013-14 season the top line was leaned on more heavily than just about any other line in the league (something to do with the GM ensuring there was absolutely no depth), so Kessel & c. looked pretty broken down by the end of the season. As to the more recent year, well out of the play-offs, gutted roster, toxic environment -- I'd be wary of drawing too many conclusions.
Crosby had more ice-time, maintained a point-per-game pace, and played 13 more games in the playoffs.  Maybe he's in better shape?

Or quite simply, a better player.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 21, 2015, 06:32:30 AM
In the previous season, Kessel scored 3 goals and had 4 assists in the final 16 games.  Was a '+' player for six of those games.   He hasn't finished the last two seasons out very well.  Whether that be physical or mental conditioning, who knows?  Maybe he just wants to get down to Florida and play some golf and go fishing.

Well, I remember in the 2013-14 season the top line was leaned on more heavily than just about any other line in the league (something to do with the GM ensuring there was absolutely no depth), so Kessel & c. looked pretty broken down by the end of the season. As to the more recent year, well out of the play-offs, gutted roster, toxic environment -- I'd be wary of drawing too many conclusions.
Crosby had more ice-time, maintained a point-per-game pace, and played 13 more games in the playoffs.  Maybe he's in better shape?

Or quite simply, a better player.

As much as I dislike Crosby, he's a much better all-around player than Kessel!  Hands down, no questions asked IMHO.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on April 21, 2015, 08:03:35 AM
As much as I dislike Crosby, he's a much better all-around player than Kessel!  Hands down, no questions asked IMHO.

He's a better all-around player than every human on this planet, that's not even an opinion.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on April 21, 2015, 08:19:47 AM
I don't mind having an unpopular opinion or going out on a limb so I'll just say it: I think Wayne Gretzky was better than Kessel.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on April 21, 2015, 08:28:35 AM
I prefer the taste of butter over margarine. There, I said it.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 21, 2015, 08:40:51 AM
I prefer the taste of butter over margarine. There, I said it.

Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on April 21, 2015, 08:48:21 AM
I don't mind having an unpopular opinion or going out on a limb so I'll just say it: I think Wayne Gretzky was better than Kessel.

Your bold proclamation has given me the courage to admit that I believe that the Chicago Blackhawks are better than the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 21, 2015, 10:15:18 AM
I don't mind having an unpopular opinion or going out on a limb so I'll just say it: I think Wayne Gretzky was better than Kessel.

Your bold proclamation has given me the courage to admit that I believe that the Chicago Blackhawks are better than the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Just because the Chicago Blackhawks can make the playoffs, and, win the Stanley Cup, doesn't make them better than the Toronto Maple Leafs!  Come on!  LOL
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Michael on April 21, 2015, 02:32:24 PM
This is Phil's favorite time of the year, in fact, it doesn't get any better than this.

One Year Ago (http://www.torontosun.com/2014/04/22/leafs-kessel-faces-backlash-after-fishing-tweet)

By now he is fishing, playing ping pong and video games with his boy Bozie and doing all the other things that an $8 million a year NHL player loves to do at this time of the year.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on April 21, 2015, 02:42:40 PM
Seriously?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on April 21, 2015, 02:51:57 PM
Seriously?

I mean, even the Toronto Sun took the high ground on that one. That's saying something.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on April 21, 2015, 03:00:56 PM
Seriously?

I mean, even the Toronto Sun took the high ground on that one. That's saying something.

Hold on, I'm getting something....sources are telling me Phil Kessel is...hold onto your hats here folks...enjoying himself.  He is not in the playoffs yet he is enjoying the activities that he is doing away from hockey.

We'll have more on this incredible development, including reaction from Patrice Bergeron who is sitting in a dark room stewing over not making the playoffs.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on April 21, 2015, 03:02:52 PM

I think we may have reached peak stupid.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on April 21, 2015, 03:04:46 PM
No we will find ways to surpass the Everest hights of stupidity on these forums.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Joe S. on April 21, 2015, 07:45:30 PM
When the pens are eliminated next week I better be reading reports that Crosby is brooding in a cave somewhere awaiting the next NHL season like the phantom.

(http://entertainment.metaphorce.com/sites/Phantom/images/p2602.jpg)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bender on April 21, 2015, 08:13:58 PM
I honestly can't believe some of the insanity that has come out of the wood work here. The main reason I joined years ago was because posters here were both Leafs fans and not insane.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on April 22, 2015, 06:49:34 AM
I honestly can't believe some of the insanity that has come out of the wood work here. The main reason I joined years ago was because posters here were both Leafs fans and not insane.

These days, you pretty much have to be insane to be a fan of the Leafs.  No?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: freer on April 22, 2015, 08:25:11 AM
I honestly can't believe some of the insanity that has come out of the wood work here. The main reason I joined years ago was because posters here were both Leafs fans and not insane.

These days, you pretty much have to be insane to be a fan of the Leafs.  No?

Not insane, just loyal.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on April 22, 2015, 09:50:52 AM
The Leafs have driven me to drink……. or to drink more and of course then there is the valium
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: freer on April 22, 2015, 09:51:51 AM
The Leafs have driven me to drink……. or to drink more and of course then there is the valium

That still does not mean your insane. ;)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on April 22, 2015, 09:52:57 AM
Tru dat
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on April 25, 2015, 03:02:23 PM
The case against trading him. Seems to assume Nylander and Brown are going to be brought along sooner than we think, but, even if they (and whoever we draft this year) aren't, the idea is their development will benefit from being sheltered:

Quote
Phil Kessel had a bad season. Well, more like a really bad half-season. But, if there is reason for optimism, it is that his numbers were simply so bad that they just aren’t repeatable. It would reasonable to expect a bounce-back year in 2015-16.
What will not improve in the offseason is Kessel’s trade value. Teams may focus more on his short-term shortcomings and the stench of that awful 2014-15 Leafs team as a whole. Offers may amount to pennies on the dollar, which would see a top player in the league leave Toronto for not much in return. This does not benefit the Leafs now, nor will it benefit them five years from now.
The Leafs also have some potential NHL-ready players in William Nylander and Connor Brown for next season. They may also draft a player this offseason that is ready to make that step. In any event, it is in the Leafs’ long-term interest that these players need to be eased into the NHL and not thrown off the deep-end.
On a skeleton roster where every top six player is harvested for spare parts, this is simply not possible. But, if you retain some top six talent for next season, it allows players like Nylander and Brown to develop in easier minutes. If one believes as I do that Kessel will bounce back offensively, this will remove a lot of the pressure on these players to produce.

link: http://faceoffcircle.ca/2015/04/22/the-case-against-trading-phil-kessel/
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on April 25, 2015, 04:32:53 PM
Great article, I especially liked the sheltered middle six role for the kids.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on April 25, 2015, 05:44:07 PM
Kessel would shelter B & N from being thrown off the deep end?  What does that even mean, and if it means anything, how?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on April 25, 2015, 05:50:51 PM
Kessel would shelter B & N from being thrown off the deep end?  What does that even mean, and if it means anything, how?

I'd imagine it refers to something like what we saw when Kadri was brought up permanently in the lock out season.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: skrackle on April 25, 2015, 08:02:13 PM
I agree with the first point of the article, in that I don't want to see Kessel traded for the sake of it.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: L K on May 11, 2015, 08:19:44 PM
Kessel disgusts me.
Kessel continues to not understand Toronto (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/phil-kessel-opens-youth-hockey-camp-in-toronto/)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: caveman on May 11, 2015, 09:54:25 PM
I don't get it...and you can't judge by the headline because the story writers don't do the headlines..an editor will make up an inflammatory line to sell the piece...
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on May 11, 2015, 10:05:50 PM
I don't get it...and you can't judge by the headline because the story writers don't do the headlines..an editor will make up an inflammatory line to sell the piece...

L K was just being sarcastic, that's all.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on May 11, 2015, 10:22:14 PM
I don't get it...and you can't judge by the headline because the story writers don't do the headlines..an editor will make up an inflammatory line to sell the piece...

L K was just being sarcastic, that's all.

Know who doesn't get sarcasm?  Phil Kessel
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: caveman on May 11, 2015, 10:29:44 PM
back to the cave.... ;)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on May 13, 2015, 08:25:32 AM
Kessel disgusts me.
Kessel continues to not understand Toronto (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/phil-kessel-opens-youth-hockey-camp-in-toronto/)

Nothing wrong with Kessel as a pure scoring machine, however, he's just the wrong player to build around.  He also was the wrong player to acquire at the time Burke traded for him.  Too bad,  I still like Kessel as a person.  As a complete player, not so much!
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Boston Leaf on May 13, 2015, 10:02:07 AM
Kessel coudl save people in a burnign fire and some would say he didn't do it the right way..
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Mostar on May 13, 2015, 12:40:01 PM
Kessel coudl save people in a burnign fire and some would say he didn't do it the right way..

It seems odd that Kessel gets maligned so much, but I think it has more to do with the development of the team in general. He's not the right guy for this franchise right now. The top paid players on the Leafs should be more rounded players. as opposed to specialists.

If I am building a house and I have a bunch of green contractors, I don't want to rely on just the electrician to pick up the slack for the roofers, bricklayers, drywallers, etc....even if he is the finest electrician in the world. I'd rather have a guy who can do some of everything fairly well, and sets a good example for the other contractors.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on May 13, 2015, 01:29:07 PM
Kessel coudl save people in a burnign fire and some would say he didn't do it the right way..

It seems odd that Kessel gets maligned so much, but I think it has more to do with the development of the team in general. He's not the right guy for this franchise right now. The top paid players on the Leafs should be more rounded players. as opposed to specialists.

If I am building a house and I have a bunch of green contractors, I don't want to rely on just the electrician to pick up the slack for the roofers, bricklayers, drywallers, etc....even if he is the finest electrician in the world. I'd rather have a guy who can do some of everything fairly well, and sets a good example for the other contractors.

We really need to stop using analogies and thinking they all apply to playing hockey or building a hockey team.

To give you an analogy, if I'm looking for an analogy of building a hockey team I'm not going to go for some catch-all, okay analogy that could broadly apply to a number of sports, I'm going to want the analogy that is the elite analogy for the NHL.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Gerald The Duck on May 13, 2015, 01:53:14 PM
Kessel disgusts me.
Kessel continues to not understand Toronto (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/phil-kessel-opens-youth-hockey-camp-in-toronto/)

"Players are promised two or three on-ice sessions per day, lunch, and an autographed photo with Kessel."

Apparently the on-ice sessions are 5 minutes each and will cover such topics as floating, daydreaming about fishing, how to fail an entire franchise in one shift, etc.

Lunch will be 7 hours and include input from special guests like Jeff O'Neill and Andrea Bargnani.

The autographed photo will actually be with Phil Kessel's empty plate after he's finished his 5th burger of the day.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: LuncheonMeat on May 13, 2015, 02:06:45 PM
Kessel coudl save people in a burnign fire and some would say he didn't do it the right way..

Is this hypothetical fire in Toronto?  Because if not...   >:(
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Mostar on May 13, 2015, 03:01:56 PM
Kessel coudl save people in a burnign fire and some would say he didn't do it the right way..

It seems odd that Kessel gets maligned so much, but I think it has more to do with the development of the team in general. He's not the right guy for this franchise right now. The top paid players on the Leafs should be more rounded players. as opposed to specialists.

If I am building a house and I have a bunch of green contractors, I don't want to rely on just the electrician to pick up the slack for the roofers, bricklayers, drywallers, etc....even if he is the finest electrician in the world. I'd rather have a guy who can do some of everything fairly well, and sets a good example for the other contractors.

We really need to stop using analogies and thinking they all apply to playing hockey or building a hockey team.

To give you an analogy, if I'm looking for an analogy of building a hockey team I'm not going to go for some catch-all, okay analogy that could broadly apply to a number of sports, I'm going to want the analogy that is the elite analogy for the NHL.

Good grief...it's just a perspective. I'll preface an "analogy warning" on any future post that may contain an analogy in the future, Just for you.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on May 13, 2015, 03:04:53 PM
Kessel coudl save people in a burnign fire and some would say he didn't do it the right way..

It seems odd that Kessel gets maligned so much, but I think it has more to do with the development of the team in general. He's not the right guy for this franchise right now. The top paid players on the Leafs should be more rounded players. as opposed to specialists.

If I am building a house and I have a bunch of green contractors, I don't want to rely on just the electrician to pick up the slack for the roofers, bricklayers, drywallers, etc....even if he is the finest electrician in the world. I'd rather have a guy who can do some of everything fairly well, and sets a good example for the other contractors.

We really need to stop using analogies and thinking they all apply to playing hockey or building a hockey team.

To give you an analogy, if I'm looking for an analogy of building a hockey team I'm not going to go for some catch-all, okay analogy that could broadly apply to a number of sports, I'm going to want the analogy that is the elite analogy for the NHL.

Good grief...it's just a perspective. I'll preface an "analogy warning" on any future post that may contain an analogy in the future, Just for you.

Really?  I thought I was being a little too obvious, but I guess not.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: LuncheonMeat on May 13, 2015, 06:51:03 PM
Kessel coudl save people in a burnign fire and some would say he didn't do it the right way..

It seems odd that Kessel gets maligned so much, but I think it has more to do with the development of the team in general. He's not the right guy for this franchise right now. The top paid players on the Leafs should be more rounded players. as opposed to specialists.

If I am building a house and I have a bunch of green contractors, I don't want to rely on just the electrician to pick up the slack for the roofers, bricklayers, drywallers, etc....even if he is the finest electrician in the world. I'd rather have a guy who can do some of everything fairly well, and sets a good example for the other contractors.

We really need to stop using analogies and thinking they all apply to playing hockey or building a hockey team.

To give you an analogy, if I'm looking for an analogy of building a hockey team I'm not going to go for some catch-all, okay analogy that could broadly apply to a number of sports, I'm going to want the analogy that is the elite analogy for the NHL.

Good grief...it's just a perspective. I'll preface an "analogy warning" on any future post that may contain an analogy in the future, Just for you.

Really?  I thought I was being a little too obvious, but I guess not.

Perhaps use 'analogy' a few more times.  Your keyword saturation is a little low.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on May 14, 2015, 09:28:04 AM

Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on May 14, 2015, 12:26:48 PM



Fat apologist.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Tigger on May 14, 2015, 02:02:49 PM
Kessel coudl save people in a burnign fire and some would say he didn't do it the right way..

Delicious sizzling Kessel phat, lagalagalaga...
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Sudafederov on May 15, 2015, 04:21:10 PM
Kessel coudl save people in a burnign fire and some would say he didn't do it the right way..

That's because he'd go -34 in terms of saving people.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Rebel_1812 on May 15, 2015, 05:24:06 PM
Kessel only ranked high due to small sample size volatility. If he played more then a handful of playoff games in his current you would see his results reflect a truer and smaller amount
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bullfrog on May 15, 2015, 07:42:01 PM
How many fingers DO you have on your hand?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on May 15, 2015, 07:44:11 PM
How many fingers DO you have on your hand?

At least 20 apparently.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Al14 on May 20, 2015, 03:51:01 PM
So, with Babcock as our new head coach, does Kessel ask to be traded?

Babcock will not allow Kessel to be a floater!
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on May 20, 2015, 04:21:41 PM

So, with Babcock as our new head coach, does Kessel ask to be traded?

Babcock will not allow Kessel to be a floater!

So it begins.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Michael on May 20, 2015, 05:39:35 PM
I am not a Kessel fan at all. In fact for years I have wished they would unload him. I do not know whether he will stay in Toronto or not, but it is interesting to wonder whether a guy like Babcock can do for Kessel the same kind of thing that Trotz has done for Ovechkin.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: brothert on May 20, 2015, 06:31:20 PM
I am not a Kessel fan at all. In fact for years I have wished they would unload him. I do not know whether he will stay in Toronto or not, but it is interesting to wonder whether a guy like Babcock can do for Kessel the same kind of thing that Trotz has done for Ovechkin.
if trotz is the potter and ovechkin the clay, i guess babcock can drink booze out of his chipped tea cup.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on May 20, 2015, 06:40:56 PM
I am not a Kessel fan at all. In fact for years I have wished they would unload him. I do not know whether he will stay in Toronto or not, but it is interesting to wonder whether a guy like Babcock can do for Kessel the same kind of thing that Trotz has done for Ovechkin.

Have him continue to play the way he played for his previous coach?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: LuncheonMeat on May 20, 2015, 06:50:45 PM
I am not a Kessel fan at all. In fact for years I have wished they would unload him. I do not know whether he will stay in Toronto or not, but it is interesting to wonder whether a guy like Babcock can do for Kessel the same kind of thing that Trotz has done for Ovechkin.

Have him continue to play the way he played for his previous coach?

Totally off base here, i think... kind of.  But speaking of Trotz and Ovechkin, I thought this was really interesting from Friedman's 30 Thoughts this week:

That brings us to Ovechkin. He’s now played nine Game 7s in his career, and his ice-time is trending in the wrong direction. Here they are in order (with overtime totals removed from occasions there were extra periods) — 21:46, 21:24, 22:29, 23:35, 20:23, 20:54, 19:08, 16:52 and 18:30. The last two are from this season.

So Trotz played arguably the best player on the planet right now, a total of 16:52 and 18:30 in game 7 contests this year.  Call me crazy, but I would have had him out there 30 minutes/game.  Does anyone think the outcome would have been different with him on the ice for more shifts?

As you were...
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Michael on May 20, 2015, 06:59:52 PM
I am not a Kessel fan at all. In fact for years I have wished they would unload him. I do not know whether he will stay in Toronto or not, but it is interesting to wonder whether a guy like Babcock can do for Kessel the same kind of thing that Trotz has done for Ovechkin.

Have him continue to play the way he played for his previous coach?

Is this you being funny again?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on May 21, 2015, 01:18:51 AM
I am not a Kessel fan at all. In fact for years I have wished they would unload him. I do not know whether he will stay in Toronto or not, but it is interesting to wonder whether a guy like Babcock can do for Kessel the same kind of thing that Trotz has done for Ovechkin.

Have him continue to play the way he played for his previous coach?

Is this you being funny again?

What did Ovechkin do differently this season?  What did Trotz do for Ovechkin?  I can't help but feel that all the praise Trotz/Ovechkin got this season for 'changing' started at his +/- column.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: freer on May 21, 2015, 08:26:14 AM
I was under the impression at the end of the season, Both Kessel and Dion were going to be gone. With Babcock here now I am more certain they will both be gone in and around draft day.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Michael on May 21, 2015, 09:14:07 AM
I am not a Kessel fan at all. In fact for years I have wished they would unload him. I do not know whether he will stay in Toronto or not, but it is interesting to wonder whether a guy like Babcock can do for Kessel the same kind of thing that Trotz has done for Ovechkin.

Have him continue to play the way he played for his previous coach?

Is this you being funny again?

What did Ovechkin do differently this season?  What did Trotz do for Ovechkin?  I can't help but feel that all the praise Trotz/Ovechkin got this season for 'changing' started at his +/- column.

Maybe my problem is that I just never watched Ovechkin closely enough before. But watching him in the NYI and the NYR series I believed that I was looking at a much more complete player - one willing to play a 200' game (pardon the cliche).
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Potvin29 on May 21, 2015, 09:23:41 AM
I am not a Kessel fan at all. In fact for years I have wished they would unload him. I do not know whether he will stay in Toronto or not, but it is interesting to wonder whether a guy like Babcock can do for Kessel the same kind of thing that Trotz has done for Ovechkin.

Have him continue to play the way he played for his previous coach?

Is this you being funny again?

What did Ovechkin do differently this season?  What did Trotz do for Ovechkin?  I can't help but feel that all the praise Trotz/Ovechkin got this season for 'changing' started at his +/- column.

Maybe my problem is that I just never watched Ovechkin closely enough before. But watching him in the NYI and the NYR series I believed that I was looking at a much more complete player - one willing to play a 200' game (pardon the cliche).

I don't know that either of us watched him enough over the course of the season to really say for sure.  Personally, I'd wager a guess the more likely explanation is that the team simply improved (whether due to Trotz or not) overall.  In each of the last 2 seasons, for example, his offensive numbers are nearly identical and in both seasons his possession numbers relative to the rest of the team were better.  But that's just one area and I didn't watch enough Capitals games to really say for sure one way or another - but at least based on his stats his past 2 seasons don't seem wildly different other than the +/- column.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: L K on May 21, 2015, 10:27:53 AM
I am not a Kessel fan at all. In fact for years I have wished they would unload him. I do not know whether he will stay in Toronto or not, but it is interesting to wonder whether a guy like Babcock can do for Kessel the same kind of thing that Trotz has done for Ovechkin.

Have him continue to play the way he played for his previous coach?

Is this you being funny again?

What did Ovechkin do differently this season?  What did Trotz do for Ovechkin?  I can't help but feel that all the praise Trotz/Ovechkin got this season for 'changing' started at his +/- column.

Maybe my problem is that I just never watched Ovechkin closely enough before. But watching him in the NYI and the NYR series I believed that I was looking at a much more complete player - one willing to play a 200' game (pardon the cliche).

I don't know that either of us watched him enough over the course of the season to really say for sure.  Personally, I'd wager a guess the more likely explanation is that the team simply improved (whether due to Trotz or not) overall.  In each of the last 2 seasons, for example, his offensive numbers are nearly identical and in both seasons his possession numbers relative to the rest of the team were better.  But that's just one area and I didn't watch enough Capitals games to really say for sure one way or another - but at least based on his stats his past 2 seasons don't seem wildly different other than the +/- column.

Ovechkin seems to get treated an awful lot like Ilya Kovalchuk.  His +/- looks bad and therefore he's labelled as a guy who doesn't give any effort.  I'm not trying to extol the virtues of AO the defensive wizard but he's not a train wreck defensively and he really didn't change his approach.  He scores a lot from pretty much he same spot on the ice with the same shot because it's so bloody good.  He's not a complete 200-foot player and his +/- has a lot to do with how good their goaltending was.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: LuncheonMeat on May 21, 2015, 05:57:01 PM
I was under the impression at the end of the season, Both Kessel and Dion were going to be gone. With Babcock here now I am more certain they will both be gone in and around draft day.

Yeah, Babcock mentioned a number of times how much respect he has for Hunter, and that they need to get him draft picks.  On the flip side, Babcock has his hands in player acquisition and the Wings tried to trade for Phaneuf this season.  So... I guess we'll find out.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on May 29, 2015, 02:40:25 PM
I was under the impression at the end of the season, Both Kessel and Dion were going to be gone. With Babcock here now I am more certain they will both be gone in and around draft day.
Yeah, Babcock mentioned a number of times how much respect he has for Hunter, and that they need to get him draft picks.  On the flip side, Babcock has his hands in player acquisition and the Wings tried to trade for Phaneuf this season.  So... I guess we'll find out.

Not sure if this has been discussed in the Draft thread, but that's getting out of hand -- lots of picks and potential ones to worry about -- so thought I'd post this here... Since the Leafs are likely to move Kessel, what are the comparable deals we've seen over the last few years? What would be worthwhile return? What are screw ups to be avoided? Grabbed a few that came to mind...

6/23/2011
To CBJ: Jeff Carter
To PHL: Voracek, 2011 1st round pick (S. Couturier), and 2011 3rd round pick (Nick Cousins)

6/23/2011
To LAK: Mike Richards, Rob Bordson
To PHL: Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, 2012 2nd round pick

02/23/2012
To LAK: Jeff Carter
To CBJ: Jack Johnson, conditional 1st round pick

07/23/2012
To NYR: Rick Nash, Steven Delisle, conditional 2013 3rd rnd pick
To CBJ: Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, 2013 1st round pick

04/03/2013
To CBJ: Marion Gaborik, Blake Parlett, Steven Delisle
To NYR: Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore, 6th rnd pick

07/04/2013
To DAL: Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, Ryan Button
To BOS: Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, Joe Morrow

03/05/2014
To LAK: Marion Gaborik
To CBJ: Matt Frattin, 2014 2nd, conditional 2014 3rd
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on May 29, 2015, 02:49:48 PM

Someone mentioned the Nash comparison as being a decent one.

Probably the high end of returns there is Carter to Columbus but that's a tricky comparison because he was coming off a better year, was younger and was locked up in a contract that, at the time, seemed like an unmistakable plus.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on May 29, 2015, 03:22:36 PM

Someone mentioned the Nash comparison as being a decent one.

Probably the high end of returns there is Carter to Columbus but that's a tricky comparison because he was coming off a better year, was younger and was locked up in a contract that, at the time, seemed like an unmistakable plus.

Thanks, updated.

And, yeah, the Carter return is about what I'd hope for, but the comparison's tricky, for your reasons and another: Kessel's on a fair contract, but the cap situation around the league means the Leafs are certainly going to have to take a crap contract back to make the trade work. I wonder whether that's accepted as a cost of doing business or whether it merits some additional consideration, perhaps pushing the return closer to Carter's -- where neither Philly nor Columbus really had to fix another team's mistake. Kessel for a sure-fire, emerging top-six player and a good prospect + cap relief (the junk the Leafs take) for a late first, or something like that.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on May 29, 2015, 03:30:46 PM

I don't know, I mean, I think there's a bit of a gap between them as players or at least how they were perceived as players too. Carter, you know, was a guy we'd heard a ton about and was this big center who played a good two-way game and had scored as many as 46 goals pretty recently.

Compare that to a 28 year old winger without a two-way game and who's never had as eye-popping a season as Carter did in 08-09. The Nash deal really looks like the one there where even though I think there's also a gap between Nash and Kessel as players, Nash's demands were such that it killed his market a little. A good prospect/roster player and a not great first round pick...that's my high expectation for a Kessel deal right now.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on May 29, 2015, 05:00:16 PM
I don't know, I mean, I think there's a bit of a gap between them as players or at least how they were perceived as players too. Carter, you know, was a guy we'd heard a ton about and was this big center who played a good two-way game and had scored as many as 46 goals pretty recently.

Compare that to a 28 year old winger without a two-way game and who's never had as eye-popping a season as Carter did in 08-09. The Nash deal really looks like the one there where even though I think there's also a gap between Nash and Kessel as players, Nash's demands were such that it killed his market a little. A good prospect/roster player and a not great first round pick...that's my high expectation for a Kessel deal right now.

Well, that's why I'd hope they'll wait on dealing him until he recovers a bit of his value -- so they're not shopping a guy who had a terrible 2/3rds of a season last year, but instead a guy who's in the top 10 or whatever in scoring over the last 5 seasons.

A 'good prospect/player' and a low first round pick is likely the sort of deal that would leave the Leafs with a net loss in talent in 3-4 years when they're back competing (if, that is, that's the likely timeframe). I mean, if they can't get a return that can outscore a 32-year-old Kessel, then there's little point in moving him -- unless his cap hit is going to screw up holding on to Kadri, Rielly,  Nylander, this year's #4 pick.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on May 29, 2015, 05:18:39 PM
Well, that's why I'd hope they'll wait on dealing him until he recovers a bit of his value -- so they're not shopping a guy who had a terrible 2/3rds of a season last year, but instead a guy who's in the top 10 or whatever in scoring over the last 5 seasons.

I've explained elsewhere why I think Kessel being with the team for another year is unlikely to increase his value but I understand what you're saying. I still don't think they should keep him as I'll explain below.

A 'good prospect/player' and a low first round pick is likely the sort of deal that would leave the Leafs with a net loss in talent in 3-4 years when they're back competing (if, that is, that's the likely timeframe). I mean, if they can't get a return that can outscore a 32-year-old Kessel, then there's little point in moving him -- unless his cap hit is going to screw up holding on to Kadri, Rielly,  Nylander, this year's #4 pick.

I disagree. I think you're tremendously underselling what trading Kessel gets the club regardless of the return. Because unless you think that Kadri, Rielly, Nylander and this year's #4 pick are going to be this team's answer to Toews, Kane, Hossa and Keith...there's a lot of work to be done.

You think the equation is 32 year old Kessel vs. Good Prospect and Low First Rounder. But it's not, this is the equation:

32 year old Kessel vs. Good Prospect, Low First rounder, the positive effect on the team's draft position not having Kessel will bring, 8 million dollars in salary cap space that can be used in the mean time to absorb contracts and take back other picks and eventually build the club further, ice time that can be used elsewhere on other players in the hopes of increasing their value and so on.

The team needs to get worse. 4th worst probably won't do it. Yes it means you might have to deal some guys at sub-optimal times but Kessel's getting older and as that list shows us...you're not going to get a huge deal for him no matter what.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Andy on May 29, 2015, 05:30:02 PM
I'm not sure the Nash deal is really a great example of what Kessel's value is. Nash had one stellar year (40 G 79 P) in his career with Columbus and that was the only time he ever reached 70 points. Kessel is coming off of three consecutive over a point per game seasons and, unlike Nash, isn't requesting a trade. And this down season that apparently has Kessel's value plummeting is around the same point-rate that Nash averaged in his whole tenure in Columbus. I'll take a better deal than the Nash one, thank you very much.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on May 29, 2015, 05:45:17 PM
You think the equation is 32 year old Kessel vs. Good Prospect and Low First Rounder. But it's not, this is the equation:

Well, I don't think that's entirely the equation. I just don't see much room for 'improvement' from present levels of terrible if we drop Kessel, because the floor's not much lower and, with the coming lottery set up, the advantages of scraping the bottom aren't really there... But I think you're overvaluing the other benefits of trading Kessel before next season.

32 year old Kessel vs. Good Prospect, Low First rounder, the positive effect on the team's draft position not having Kessel will bring, 8 million dollars in salary cap space that can be used in the mean time to absorb contracts and take back other picks and eventually build the club further, ice time that can be used elsewhere on other players in the hopes of increasing their value and so on.

1. "Positive effect on team's draft position" is, I think, minimal. This is team that'll draft well with Kessel in the lineup and will continue to draft well until the 19-22 year-olds are developed and the new high-end talent comes in. I think the benefits of trading Phaneuf, Lupul, maybe Bozak now are greater, and, if they're all gone next season, the Leafs will be plenty bad.

2. "8 million... to absorb [bad] contracts and take back other picks" is just cap space. They can get that by moving the guys that we know won't be of any use in 3-4 years (Bozak, Phaneuf, Lupul) -- even if they retain salary on some of those, that's around $10m. And they've got $15m in space right now. The only contracts likely to take much of bite are Kadri's and Bernier's. There should be plenty of room to take bad contracts in order to acquire picks/prospects.

3. "Ice time that can used... on other players in the hopes of increasing their value" is, to my mind, a strange reason to rush moving on Kessel. He's the asset they've got that has the most potential value, and, if he's not going to return much of significance, they should probably use available ice time to increase his value. The ceiling on the "increased value" of whoever might slot in at 1RW is so much lower than Kessel's that this seems like selling short on your Lexus (which needs some work) because you want the garage space to really fix up that Corolla. Whether the extra year is likely to substantially increase his value, I don't know (and don't recall seeing your explanation of why it wouldn't), but, as an elite scorer in his prime, he's the only piece they've got that is likely to return anything worthwhile, so...
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on May 29, 2015, 06:04:36 PM
1. "Positive effect on team's draft position" is, I think, minimal. This is team that'll draft well with Kessel in the lineup and will continue to draft well until the 19-22 year-olds are developed and the new high-end talent comes in. I think the benefits of trading Phaneuf, Lupul, maybe Bozak now are greater, and, if they're all gone next season, the Leafs will be plenty bad.

I don't think that's true at all. There were 14 points that separated the Leafs from Buffalo last year. That's a significant difference. 12 points from Arizona. Those teams, not coincidentally, had guys leading their team scoring 46 and 43 points respectively. The difference in goals per game between Buffalo and Toronto was greater than the difference between Toronto and the highest scoring team in the league. The difference between Toronto and Arizona roughly the difference between Toronto and the #3 team in the league.

Lupul, Bozak and Phaneuf aren't going to major dents in this team's offensive output. Kessel, and especially the rejuvenated Kessel you're hoping for, would be and the reality is that if this team is even going to dream of competing in 3 years, they need to hit the jackpot in the Lottery and while, yes, the odds are changing they need to give themselves the best odds. I know it's an unfair comparison but six points separated the Leafs from where the McDavid ball fell. Every bit will count.

2. "8 million... to absorb [bad] contracts and take back other picks" is just cap space. They can get that by moving the guys that we know won't be of any use in 3-4 years (Bozak, Phaneuf, Lupul) -- even if they retain salary on some of those, that's around $10m. And they've got $15m in space right now. The only contracts likely to take much of bite are Kadri's and Bernier's. There should be plenty of room to take bad contracts in order to acquire picks/prospects.

Admittedly, that's a minor consideration. But that's why you shouldn't have skipped over the other bit of that sentence. It's still 8 million to use to build the team. So just by your math I would actually be a little surprised if a good prospect, 1st rounder(if it's used well) and the players you could get for 8 million dollars wouldn't be able to outscore a 32 year old Kessel.

3. "Ice time that can used... on other players in the hopes of increasing their value" is, to my mind, a strange reason to rush moving on Kessel. He's the asset they've got that has the most potential value, and, if he's not going to return much of significance, they should probably use available ice time to increase his value. The ceiling on the "increased value" of whoever might slot in at 1RW is so much lower than Kessel's that this seems like selling short on your Lexus (which needs some work) because you want the garage space to really fix up that Corolla. Whether the extra year is likely to substantially increase his value, I don't know (and don't recall seeing your explanation of why it wouldn't), but, as an elite scorer in his prime, he's the only piece they've got that is likely to return anything worthwhile, so...

Well, ok, but take your analogy. What if you know how to fix a Corolla but not a Lexus. What if it's a choice between fixing a Corolla and trying to fix a Lexus that you very well might damage more and, at best, you'll delay getting on the road by a crucial year.

That's the issue. Even if you want to say that the benefits of dealing Kessel for whatever you can get now vs. a year from now are relatively minor you're still making a huge bet on Kessel having a bounceback year under Babcock and not another tough one that will decrease his value further(and like you say, the team will be plenty bad next year and nobody tends to get out of that smelling like roses). Seriously, how many guys increased their value on Arizona or Buffalo this year?

But you trade him now and you get another year of development on the picks you get for him, you don't risk him having a bad, dispirited year and, yes, you can give some of that PP time to other guys and it might increase their output. More PP time will lead to more points for someone like Holland or whoever. you're not going to improve Kessel's output by giving him more ice time. That's almost impossible. The likelihood is Kessel's going to get exposed further next season and no matter what Kessel does next year, he's not going to turn into a 26 year old two-way center. Look at that list of trades. How many of them are significantly better than what I'm proposing?

You're doubling down on a six here.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on May 29, 2015, 06:31:33 PM
I'm not sure the Nash deal is really a great example of what Kessel's value is. Nash had one stellar year (40 G 79 P) in his career with Columbus and that was the only time he ever reached 70 points. Kessel is coming off of three consecutive over a point per game seasons and, unlike Nash, isn't requesting a trade. And this down season that apparently has Kessel's value plummeting is around the same point-rate that Nash averaged in his whole tenure in Columbus. I'll take a better deal than the Nash one, thank you very much.

Couple things:

1. Winning the Richard as a 19 year old is a pretty stellar year

2. In the four seasons between 2007-2008 and 2010-2011 Nash averaged 38 goals and 75 points on a per 82 game basis. I think you're overestimating a team's love of round numbers if you think there's a real difference in perception between scoring 70 points over 82 games and scoring 67 points over 76 games. Kessel over his previous four years it works out to 35 goals and 77 points per 82. So there's really minimal difference there with maybe a slight goal scorer's edge to Nash.

3. Kessel isn't asking to be traded but there's going to be a wide perception that the Leafs want him gone. That will probably have the same effect on his value. I mean, if Crosby wanted out of Pittsburgh it wouldn't really drive his value down.

4. I think that most people would agree that Nash is the guy with the edge in terms of intangibles like size, physical play, defensive play and so on.

So I very much question that Kessel's value is going to be higher than Nash's. But heck, I'd love it if it it was.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on June 01, 2015, 01:37:31 PM
LeafsNation article on possible trade partners -- who's got the need, cap space, and assets.

http://theleafsnation.com/2015/5/30/the-top-5-trade-destinations-for-phil-kessel

Also, thought of another roughly comparable trade: Bobby Ryan to Ottawa for Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen, 2014 1st end pick.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 01, 2015, 02:25:56 PM

Interesting that of the 5 teams mentioned only 2 have a first round pick. I wouldn't be fundamentally opposed to making a trade as suggested around a prospect like Ryan Strome, Barbashev or Fabbri but I really don't think a 2016 first rounder is going to be a huge selling point unless it's packaged along with something of significantly higher value.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on June 01, 2015, 07:02:46 PM

Interesting that of the 5 teams mentioned only 2 have a first round pick. I wouldn't be fundamentally opposed to making a trade as suggested around a prospect like Ryan Strome, Barbashev or Fabbri but I really don't think a 2016 first rounder is going to be a huge selling point unless it's packaged along with something of significantly higher value.

Well, I think the assumption is that the teams that'd be motivated to make a move for Kessel are those who are in their window of contention and either falling short or looking to take the next step (Devils seem to be odd ones out), which are also teams that've likely already been moving high picks to complement their cores... Not sure who else has their first round pick that'd want to add Kessel.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Joe S. on June 01, 2015, 08:16:55 PM
I haven't done any research on this but it never seems to be brought up that scoring across the league was down this past season.  Only 5 players topped 80 points and 87 won the art ross. 

I just don't think Kessel is the lost cause that is mentioned here.

Sure if you can get a decent return for him go for it... But I don't see why the leafs should dump him.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 01, 2015, 08:33:50 PM
Well, I think the assumption is that the teams that'd be motivated to make a move for Kessel are those who are in their window of contention and either falling short or looking to take the next step (Devils seem to be odd ones out), which are also teams that've likely already been moving high picks to complement their cores... Not sure who else has their first round pick that'd want to add Kessel.

Sure, but to me that would say a team that might finish, say, with a pick in the 12-20 range. A team just on that cusp of contending. The teams mentioned here are either below that(NJ and Florida) or above it(NYI, Nashville, STL). True, most of the teams in that range don't really fit either but that would strike me as the place where Kessel would both be of greatest use as well as yield the fairest return.

A team I've wondered about in that regard is Columbus. They have a more together first line and an internal cap but building a second line around Kessel would give them a pretty good 1-2 punch. Capwise it would be tough but, say this:

To Columbus: Phil Kessel, Stuart Percy
To Toronto: Rene Bourque, Jared Boll, #8 overall pick, Kerby Rychel

Columbus only adds 4 million in cap hit/salary, Leafs eat some bad but expiring contracts, they get a top 10 pick and another former first rounder who had a pretty good AHL year as a 20 year old.

Anyways, just an idea. My original point was just how uninterested I'd be in a 2016 1st rounder being a  big part of the deal. Honestly, I'd almost rather have a 2015 2nd.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Chev-boyar-sky on June 01, 2015, 09:17:25 PM
I haven't done any research on this but it never seems to be brought up that scoring across the league was down this past season.  Only 5 players topped 80 points and 87 won the art ross. 

I just don't think Kessel is the lost cause that is mentioned here.

Sure if you can get a decent return for him go for it... But I don't see why the leafs should dump him.

Yeah it's a hard call IMO.

On one hand if they don't want him as part of the future his absence will help make the Leafs 1st rounder next year that much better.

On the other hand, I truly believe he'll have a much better year in the near future and be in much demand. If that happens I can see his value being a fair bit higher.

If the return is there (top 10 pick plus a bit) I'm sure he'll be gone before the draft.

Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: 93forever on June 02, 2015, 02:18:50 PM
I really do not lay fault with Kessel, but more with the coaching style/team style.  Watching Kessel or someone else skate down with the puck, get 1 shot on goal or lose the puck and have no pressure in the offensive zone.  Other team gets the puck, gets into the Leafs zone, makes 2 line changes, has 6 shots on goal.  If Babcock can instill a style that has Leaf players creating offense and pressure in the offensive zone, that would result in less time running around like chickens without heads in their own end. 

Under Babcock I would like to see what Kessel can do when there is structure and a demand to play under an established style.  But if another team is willing to offer a sweet package for Kessel, I would take it. 
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on June 02, 2015, 03:14:50 PM
A team I've wondered about in that regard is Columbus. They have a more together first line and an internal cap but building a second line around Kessel would give them a pretty good 1-2 punch. Capwise it would be tough but, say this:

To Columbus: Phil Kessel, Stuart Percy
To Toronto: Rene Bourque, Jared Boll, #8 overall pick, Kerby Rychel

Columbus only adds 4 million in cap hit/salary, Leafs eat some bad but expiring contracts, they get a top 10 pick and another former first rounder who had a pretty good AHL year as a 20 year old.

Yeah, if they can get into the top half of this year's first round and get a top-end prospect who's developing well, I've got no objection to moving Kessel. Middling prospect, low first rounder, and salary dump doesn't hold much appeal though.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 02, 2015, 04:07:01 PM
Yeah, if they can get into the top half of this year's first round and get a top-end prospect who's developing well, I've got no objection to moving Kessel. Middling prospect, low first rounder, and salary dump doesn't hold much appeal though.

When I said "not great" pick what I meant was something in that 10-20 range. Higher than that I think is unlikely. Likewise when I say "not great" player or prospect I mean, you know, not someone who was a top 5 pick in the last few years.

Personally, I think the idea of a good young roster player and, say, a top 12 pick is probably the high range of Kessel's value. Or you'd get one of the two things you're talking about.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: jdh1 on June 02, 2015, 04:35:53 PM
Value on Kessel would help if he could get in a conditioning program...He is easily a 40 goal scorer if he does get in great shape.

Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Andy on June 02, 2015, 05:02:02 PM
Good diagnosis. I think an intense conditioning regimen is just the thing to vault a 37-goal scorer with a 3rd line centre into a 40-goal guy. Because scoring the 6th most points and 7th most goals in the NHL since 2011 doesn't mean anything if the player looks like he isn't ripped.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: sickbeast on June 02, 2015, 05:16:31 PM
It would be a shame to lose Kessel for a low pick or a weak prospect unless we are trying to tank next season.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 02, 2015, 05:32:20 PM
It would be a shame to lose Kessel for a low pick or a weak prospect unless we are trying to tank next season.

Sorry, but am I the only one who was under the impression that tanking next season was the way they were going?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Frank E on June 02, 2015, 05:46:20 PM
It would be a shame to lose Kessel for a low pick or a weak prospect unless we are trying to tank next season.

Sorry, but am I the only one who was under the impression that tanking next season was the way they were going?

Seems to be the strategy.  That's how I see it, it's a strategy that has some evidence of working in the long run.  Phil Kessel is exactly the kind of player that runs counter to this strategy at this stage.

I blame the cap system for forcing the Leafs to do this.  I don't like it, but they have no choice if they want to contend in a hard cap system. 
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: sickbeast on June 02, 2015, 06:23:22 PM
So many bad trades. The Kessel trade. The raycroft trade. The Steen trade. The gms have ruined the franchise. They have done serious long term damage. A long and painful full rebuild is probably the only solution. I just hope we get a good gm. The gm is more important than the coach imo.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: sickbeast on June 02, 2015, 06:52:09 PM
Guys just imagine for a second that we had seguin, Hamilton, rask, and Steen. It's so painful.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 02, 2015, 06:53:54 PM

Personally, I like it when a band just plays their greatest hits.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on June 02, 2015, 07:29:09 PM
Guys just imagine for a second that we had seguin, Hamilton, rask, and Steen. It's so painful.

If the Leafs still had Rask, they almost certainly would not have ended up with Seguin or Hamilton. He's good enough to have pushed the Leafs up in the standings a couple spots. So, I mean, it's nice to dream and all, but, no Raycroft deal means no Toskala, and no Toskala means the Leafs are a better team in the first years of Kessel's contract.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: sickbeast on June 02, 2015, 07:58:11 PM
Maybe. It still shows that all those gms were complete tools though, particularly Burke and Ferguson. Nonis was equally bad with the Clarkson signing.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on June 02, 2015, 08:06:47 PM
Maybe. It still shows that all those gms were complete tools though, particularly Burke and Ferguson. Nonis was equally bad with the Clarkson signing.

Oh, I don't think anyone is debating that. It's just more that it's time to put that past behind us. I mean, the Kessel trade happened 6 years ago, and that's the most recent of the trades you referenced. 6 years is an eternity in the sports world.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: sickbeast on June 02, 2015, 08:10:30 PM
Maybe. It still shows that all those gms were complete tools though, particularly Burke and Ferguson. Nonis was equally bad with the Clarkson signing.

Oh, I don't think anyone is debating that. It's just more that it's time to put that past behind us. I mean, the Kessel trade happened 6 years ago, and that's the most recent of the trades you referenced. 6 years is an eternity in the sports world.
Yes but it just shows that serious long term damage was done to the club.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on June 02, 2015, 08:33:20 PM
The Shanny/Hunter/Dubas/Babcock team could be the best thing to happen to this franchise since they last won the Cup. Those guys never come together if it wasn't for those terrible trades.

Thanks Fergy!
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: sickbeast on June 02, 2015, 09:28:49 PM
Those trades will never look good to me. Never.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on June 02, 2015, 09:30:36 PM
Yes but it just shows that serious long term damage was done to the club.

It's actually more that it shows the opportunities to correct the damage were squandered, but, at the same time, that's not exactly new information or anything that people who follow the team aren't well aware of. It sucks, but it really appears as though the team has turned over a new leaf. It's time to move on from the trauma of previous regimes.

And, honestly, if we're digging up the past, the truth is the team's struggles can still be traced back to problems from the Ballard era. Because of the failures of his reign of terror, the team spent the next 25 year borrowing from the future to try to fix the present.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on June 02, 2015, 11:18:25 PM
The Shanny/Hunter/Dubas/Babcock team could be the best thing to happen to this franchise since they last won the Cup. Those guys never come together if it wasn't for those terrible trades.

Thanks Fergy!

So, wait.... you're saying we "front office tanked" to get elite management...?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on June 02, 2015, 11:26:33 PM
Good diagnosis. I think an intense conditioning regimen is just the thing to vault a 37-goal scorer with a 3rd line centre into a 40-goal guy. Because scoring the 6th most points and 7th most goals in the NHL since 2011 doesn't mean anything if the player looks like he isn't ripped.

Wait a second...I have the answer.  The fans have been looking at this all wrong.  Kessel doesn't need to get in better shape, he needs to get in worse shape.  And he doesn't need to play with a 3rd line centre, he needs to play with a 4th line centre.  That's how he's going to get to 40 goals.

By now, you may have guessed I'm speaking ironically
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on June 02, 2015, 11:32:25 PM
The Shanny/Hunter/Dubas/Babcock team could be the best thing to happen to this franchise since they last won the Cup. Those guys never come together if it wasn't for those terrible trades.

Thanks Fergy!

So, wait.... you're saying we "front office tanked" to get elite management...?

Exactly! And people said that MLSE would never be up for a patient rebuild.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: moon111 on June 03, 2015, 05:29:42 AM
Guys just imagine for a second that we had seguin, Hamilton, rask, and Steen. It's so painful.

If the Leafs still had Rask, they almost certainly would not have ended up with Seguin or Hamilton. He's good enough to have pushed the Leafs up in the standings a couple spots. So, I mean, it's nice to dream and all, but, no Raycroft deal means no Toskala, and no Toskala means the Leafs are a better team in the first years of Kessel's contract.
Last year was the first time Rask faced the same amount of shots as Raycroft did in `06-07.  If you really look at it, Rask was brought along at a pace that Toronto would never have afforded.  He's just broke the 4000 minutes played mark.  In Toronto, he would of been throw to the wolves, and failed.  Maybe not Raycroft failed, but don't think he'd be much higher then Bernier is right now.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: hockeyfan1 on June 03, 2015, 07:43:24 AM
It looks like the Islanders, of the teams mentioned, are in the best position for cap room and a potential Kessel trade.  The idea of a Ryan Strome coming to the Leafs is enticing.  He's a centre and would suit them well.  Others such as  Reinhart (defence) or Dal College (left wing) are sound options.

How about Arizona?  Kessel for their first rounder (Hanifin).  This isn't thorough (the Leafs would need to add a player).  It's highly improbable since the 'Yotes are not beyond dealing away a highly-touted defensive prospect.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: 93forever on June 03, 2015, 10:32:49 AM
Guys just imagine for a second that we had seguin, Hamilton, rask, and Steen. It's so painful.

If the Leafs still had Rask, they almost certainly would not have ended up with Seguin or Hamilton. He's good enough to have pushed the Leafs up in the standings a couple spots. So, I mean, it's nice to dream and all, but, no Raycroft deal means no Toskala, and no Toskala means the Leafs are a better team in the first years of Kessel's contract.
Last year was the first time Rask faced the same amount of shots as Raycroft did in `06-07.  If you really look at it, Rask was brought along at a pace that Toronto would never have afforded.  He's just broke the 4000 minutes played mark.  In Toronto, he would of been throw to the wolves, and failed.  Maybe not Raycroft failed, but don't think he'd be much higher then Bernier is right now.

Raycroft was not a decent goalie from the start.  Having bad defensemen and a poor defensive style made things worse.  Winning 37 games with a SV % below .900 and GAA 3.00 showed how poor he was and it was in those games where he let in those horrible soft goals that cost the Leafs points and a playoff spot.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 03, 2015, 12:12:18 PM
Last year was the first time Rask faced the same amount of shots as Raycroft did in `06-07.  If you really look at it, Rask was brought along at a pace that Toronto would never have afforded.  He's just broke the 4000 minutes played mark.  In Toronto, he would of been throw to the wolves, and failed.  Maybe not Raycroft failed, but don't think he'd be much higher then Bernier is right now.

Raycroft was 26 in 06-07. Rask was 27 last year. Rask, in both his 26 and 25 year old seasons, faced more shots per night than Raycroft did in 06-07.

It has nothing to do with how quickly they were brought along. Raycroft just wasn't good.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on June 03, 2015, 12:25:13 PM
Last year was the first time Rask faced the same amount of shots as Raycroft did in `06-07.  If you really look at it, Rask was brought along at a pace that Toronto would never have afforded.  He's just broke the 4000 minutes played mark.  In Toronto, he would of been throw to the wolves, and failed.  Maybe not Raycroft failed, but don't think he'd be much higher then Bernier is right now.

Sure, but no one is talking about the 06/07 season. I'm talking about the 09/10 season - and, that season, Rask started a little more than half the games the Bruins played and put up excellent numbers, while facing shots at an almost identical rate to what the Leafs allowed that season. Granted, score effects and such play a part in those numbers, but the Leafs were not a defensive mess that season. It was more that, between Toskala and Gustavsson, they received terrible goaltending. Rask would have been a significant improvement there - enough to keep the Leafs from ending up with the 2nd overall pick.

Rask was never going to be brought up to the Leafs for 06/07 any way. If they didn't trade for Raycroft (and, subsequently, Toskala), they almost certainly would have signed one of the many UFA goalies available that summer.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Mostar on June 03, 2015, 12:42:27 PM
Last year was the first time Rask faced the same amount of shots as Raycroft did in `06-07.  If you really look at it, Rask was brought along at a pace that Toronto would never have afforded.  He's just broke the 4000 minutes played mark.  In Toronto, he would of been throw to the wolves, and failed.  Maybe not Raycroft failed, but don't think he'd be much higher then Bernier is right now.

Sure, but no one is talking about the 06/07 season. I'm talking about the 09/10 season - and, that season, Rask started a little more than half the games the Bruins played and put up excellent numbers, while facing shots at an almost identical rate to what the Leafs allowed that season. Granted, score effects and such play a part in those numbers, but the Leafs were not a defensive mess that season. It was more that, between Toskala and Gustavsson, they received terrible goaltending. Rask would have been a significant improvement there - enough to keep the Leafs from ending up with the 2nd overall pick.

Rask was never going to be brought up to the Leafs for 06/07 any way. If they didn't trade for Raycroft (and, subsequently, Toskala), they almost certainly would have signed one of the many UFA goalies available that summer.

Not so sure. I don't think the Leafs were a goalie away from being an upper tier team. I remember other issues with the team at that time...although I do remember there was a large focus on goaltending.

I do agree that goaltending was a problem though.

Personally I was extremely disappointed the Leafs didn't start a full rebuild at that time, WAY more so than a goalie change. They had some assets that were rated pretty highly at that time and the prospect cupboard was pretty bare.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on June 03, 2015, 01:06:45 PM
Not so sure. I don't think the Leafs were a goalie away from being an upper tier team. I remember other issues with the team at that time...although I do remember there was a large focus on goaltending.

I do agree that goaltending was a problem though.

Personally I was extremely disappointed the Leafs didn't start a full rebuild at that time, WAY more so than a goalie change. They had some assets that were rated pretty highly at that time and the prospect cupboard was pretty bare.

Who said anything about being an upper tier team? All I said that Rask would have been enough of an upgrade in net to keep them out of the basement. They still wouldn't have been a good team. They still would have had other issues. They just wouldn't have been the 2nd worst team in the league.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: 93forever on June 03, 2015, 02:10:11 PM
Last year was the first time Rask faced the same amount of shots as Raycroft did in `06-07.  If you really look at it, Rask was brought along at a pace that Toronto would never have afforded.  He's just broke the 4000 minutes played mark.  In Toronto, he would of been throw to the wolves, and failed.  Maybe not Raycroft failed, but don't think he'd be much higher then Bernier is right now.

Sure, but no one is talking about the 06/07 season. I'm talking about the 09/10 season - and, that season, Rask started a little more than half the games the Bruins played and put up excellent numbers, while facing shots at an almost identical rate to what the Leafs allowed that season. Granted, score effects and such play a part in those numbers, but the Leafs were not a defensive mess that season. It was more that, between Toskala and Gustavsson, they received terrible goaltending. Rask would have been a significant improvement there - enough to keep the Leafs from ending up with the 2nd overall pick.

Rask was never going to be brought up to the Leafs for 06/07 any way. If they didn't trade for Raycroft (and, subsequently, Toskala), they almost certainly would have signed one of the many UFA goalies available that summer.

Not so sure. I don't think the Leafs were a goalie away from being an upper tier team. I remember other issues with the team at that time...although I do remember there was a large focus on goaltending.

I do agree that goaltending was a problem though.

Personally I was extremely disappointed the Leafs didn't start a full rebuild at that time, WAY more so than a goalie change. They had some assets that were rated pretty highly at that time and the prospect cupboard was pretty bare.

For the Leafs it was never about a long term solution but rather short term gap fills for the present not for the future including player development or the willingness to keep draft picks/prospects.  Not having a plan of success also kept high level talent from signing with the Leafs imho.     
             
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: mr grieves on June 03, 2015, 02:33:29 PM
For the Leafs it was never about a long term solution but rather short term gap fills for the present not for the future including player development or the willingness to keep draft picks/prospects.  Not having a plan of success also kept high level talent from signing with the Leafs imho.     

There hasn't been much high-level talent available to sign lately. But, yeah, short term gap fills have characterized the Leafs since 2005 or so.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bender on June 03, 2015, 02:38:16 PM
Not so sure. I don't think the Leafs were a goalie away from being an upper tier team. I remember other issues with the team at that time...although I do remember there was a large focus on goaltending.

I do agree that goaltending was a problem though.

Personally I was extremely disappointed the Leafs didn't start a full rebuild at that time, WAY more so than a goalie change. They had some assets that were rated pretty highly at that time and the prospect cupboard was pretty bare.

Who said anything about being an upper tier team? All I said that Rask would have been enough of an upgrade in net to keep them out of the basement. They still wouldn't have been a good team. They still would have had other issues. They just wouldn't have been the 2nd worst team in the league.

Let alone they wouldn't have continued to make terrible judgments in picking their goaltenders. People always said well who else were they going to get if they didn't get Andrew Raycroft? Manny Legace was a free agent IIRC. They almost literally could've taken anyone that was a FA or on the waiver wire and had similar levels of goaltending that they received for Rask and a first rounder.

I think not recognizing the need for a rebuild at that time was the biggest problem, and here we are 10 years later.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Arn on June 03, 2015, 04:33:45 PM
Last year was the first time Rask faced the same amount of shots as Raycroft did in `06-07.  If you really look at it, Rask was brought along at a pace that Toronto would never have afforded.  He's just broke the 4000 minutes played mark.  In Toronto, he would of been throw to the wolves, and failed.  Maybe not Raycroft failed, but don't think he'd be much higher then Bernier is right now.

Raycroft was 26 in 06-07. Rask was 27 last year. Rask, in both his 26 and 25 year old seasons, faced more shots per night than Raycroft did in 06-07.

It has nothing to do with how quickly they were brought along. Raycroft just wasn't good.

So good that the last season he played (13/14) he put up a 2.88 and 0.897%. In the Swedish 2nd division. Pogge went 2.16 and 0.921% in the same league.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Mostar on June 03, 2015, 05:04:25 PM
Not so sure. I don't think the Leafs were a goalie away from being an upper tier team. I remember other issues with the team at that time...although I do remember there was a large focus on goaltending.

I do agree that goaltending was a problem though.

Personally I was extremely disappointed the Leafs didn't start a full rebuild at that time, WAY more so than a goalie change. They had some assets that were rated pretty highly at that time and the prospect cupboard was pretty bare.

Who said anything about being an upper tier team? All I said that Rask would have been enough of an upgrade in net to keep them out of the basement. They still wouldn't have been a good team. They still would have had other issues. They just wouldn't have been the 2nd worst team in the league.

Yes, you did not say they would have been an upper tier team otherwise. My apologies. However, the amount of focus (around here anyway) on that particular issue was not justifiable IMO considering the big picture of the organization of the time.

Some good people here argued (for 60 pages) how much better the team would be without him and how he was holding them back. While I agree to a certain extent, I felt (strongly, I'm emotional about the Leafs) there were some assets that could have been moved for picks. A few years of pain, with or without Raycroft - doesn't matter - and the Leafs are a much different club today.

PQ took an admirable shot, he iced a great looking lineup for a playoff run (pre-Raycroft), it didn't pan out, and they have just disintegrated ever since. Raycroft was just a bit player in the overall downward spiral of the club.

I fully agree with Bender. Not recognizing the need for a rebuild at the time was a massive mistake.

Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on June 03, 2015, 05:21:14 PM
There was no managment structure that recognized the need for a rebuild or the realization that the auld days were over in our cap structured world.  Thank god we have some great hockey minds finally guiding this team.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: sickbeast on June 03, 2015, 09:37:00 PM
I'm hearing that the Leafs might get Steve Stamkos as a free agent.  That would go against the tank.  It seems like a strange year for them to go all in.  That being said, if you have the chance to obtain a player like Stamkos I say do it.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on June 03, 2015, 09:49:11 PM
I'm hearing that the Leafs might get Steve Stamkos as a free agent.  That would go against the tank.  It seems like a strange year for them to go all in.  That being said, if you have the chance to obtain a player like Stamkos I say do it.

Stamkos isn't a UFA until the summer of 2016, so, any speculation about that now is extremely premature, and the odds that he even hits the market are exceptionally slim. What you're hearing is people that don't really know what they're talking about.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: sickbeast on June 03, 2015, 10:02:54 PM
I'm hearing that the Leafs might get Steve Stamkos as a free agent.  That would go against the tank.  It seems like a strange year for them to go all in.  That being said, if you have the chance to obtain a player like Stamkos I say do it.

Stamkos isn't a UFA until the summer of 2016, so, any speculation about that now is extremely premature, and the odds that he even hits the market are exceptionally slim. What you're hearing is people that don't really know what they're talking about.
Hush. You are talking about my father.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on June 03, 2015, 10:05:55 PM
Hush. You are talking about my father.

I'm sure your father is a wonderful man. He's still wrong.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 03, 2015, 10:22:04 PM
I'm hearing that the Leafs might get Steve Stamkos as a free agent.  That would go against the tank.  It seems like a strange year for them to go all in.  That being said, if you have the chance to obtain a player like Stamkos I say do it.

Stamkos isn't a UFA until the summer of 2016, so, any speculation about that now is extremely premature, and the odds that he even hits the market are exceptionally slim. What you're hearing is people that don't really know what they're talking about.

In fairness, "might" really doesn't imply any specific percentage or likelihood. So saying the Leafs "might" get Stamkos is indisputably true.

How do you like it, huh?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on June 03, 2015, 10:28:20 PM
In fairness, "might" really doesn't imply any specific percentage or likelihood. So saying the Leafs "might" get Stamkos is indisputably true.

How do you like it, huh?

He does specify the Leafs might get him as a free agent - something, as of right now, he's not going to be this summer. Can't get someone as a free agent when they're not a free agent.

And, I like it just fine, thank you.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on June 03, 2015, 10:59:32 PM
I'm hearing that the Leafs might get Steve Stamkos as a free agent.  That would go against the tank.  It seems like a strange year for them to go all in.  That being said, if you have the chance to obtain a player like Stamkos I say do it.

Stamkos isn't a UFA until the summer of 2016, so, any speculation about that now is extremely premature, and the odds that he even hits the market are exceptionally slim. What you're hearing is people that don't really know what they're talking about.

Well, then, sign Tyler Johnson instead.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 04, 2015, 09:48:15 AM
He does specify the Leafs might get him as a free agent - something, as of right now, he's not going to be this summer. Can't get someone as a free agent when they're not a free agent.

Sure, but not when they'll get him as a free agent. "Might" doesn't imply a specific time frame.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bullfrog on June 04, 2015, 12:18:21 PM

Well, then, sign Tyler Johnson instead.

That very well might happen.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on June 04, 2015, 01:13:23 PM
Well, then, sign Tyler Johnson instead.

Sure, in 2017. I think you need a timeout.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on June 04, 2015, 01:22:19 PM
The Leafs are going to sign Shea Weber. Book it.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: bustaheims on June 04, 2015, 02:04:55 PM
That's it. You're all on timeouts!
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: sickbeast on June 04, 2015, 04:22:32 PM
Hush. You are talking about my father.

I'm sure your father is a wonderful man. He's still wrong.
He may have been partially incorrect, but there have indeed been Stamkos rumours:

http://editorinleaf.com/2015/05/24/toronto-maple-leafs-trade-rumors-kesselstamkos/
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Bullfrog on June 04, 2015, 04:27:18 PM
That's not a rumour. That's a blogger presenting an idea based on a comment in an article.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: sickbeast on June 04, 2015, 04:54:24 PM
That's not a rumour. That's a blogger presenting an idea based on a comment in an article.
Hush.  My father had to have heard this somewhere, he would never make something like that up.  Whether it's rumours or speculation, I'm just sharing with you guys that it's out there.  Take it with a grain of salt if you want.  In fact, I already told you guys to do that seeing as it came from my father...
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 04, 2015, 05:00:36 PM
Hush.  My father had to have heard this somewhere, he would never make something like that up. 

I used to feel that way. Then I found out about the whole Santa Claus fiasco.

And I'm Jewish so that lie didn't even make sense.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: sickbeast on June 04, 2015, 08:21:21 PM
 ::)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Michael on June 06, 2015, 11:42:48 PM
Oh how I hope.......

Teams Reaching Out About Phil (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/teams-reaching-out-to-maple-leafs-about-kessel/)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: hockeyfan1 on June 08, 2015, 09:32:55 AM
Trade proposal:  To Islanders >>> Kessel.
                       To Leafs >>> Michael Grabner >>> a 2nd round pick >>> a defensive prospect (Scott Mayfield /  Matt Donovan)

Kessel + Tavares = dynamic pairing (or something thereof)
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on June 08, 2015, 09:41:11 AM
Trade proposal:  To Islanders >>> Kessel.
                       To Leafs >>> Michael Grabner >>> a 2nd round pick >>> a defensive prospect (Scott Mayfield /  Matt Donovan)

Kessel + Tavares = dynamic pairing (or something thereof)

A bottom 6 forward, a 2nd round pick, and a mediocre prospect? Wow, sign me up!
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on June 08, 2015, 09:48:04 AM
Kessel is worth a low first round pick and a good prospect at the least. If we have to take back someone like Semin so be it.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: hockeyfan1 on June 08, 2015, 09:55:05 AM
Trade proposal:  To Islanders >>> Kessel.
                       To Leafs >>> Michael Grabner >>> a 2nd round pick >>> a defensive prospect (Scott Mayfield /  Matt Donovan)

Kessel + Tavares = dynamic pairing (or something thereof)

A bottom 6 forward, a 2nd round pick, and a mediocre prospect? Wow, sign me up!


A very weak proposal, indeed.  I already knew that, but posted it anyways.

May I ask, what's yours?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on June 08, 2015, 10:30:43 AM
May I ask, what's yours?

I mean I don't have a proposal set for every team, but at the very least I would be looking for a somewhat high draft pick (top-10/15) or a prospect with top line potential.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: RedLeaf on June 08, 2015, 10:44:15 AM
It's funny, a lot of Leaf fans have a propensity to overvalue Leaf players in general. With Kessel, after one so-so season, fans are going to the opposite side of the spectrum and are willing to give him away for peanuts, or at the very most a low-end return.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on June 08, 2015, 10:49:32 AM
The real problem we have to ask: "is Phil coachable", will Babcock tolerate his way just for talents sake? My gut feeling on this is no. I am a Kessel fan and think he can score 50 in the league with the right centre.
So a top 6 first rounder and a great prospect Top 3 or 6 would be the least I would take for him.  The question is can Marner replace his firepower?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: herman on June 08, 2015, 10:49:47 AM
I'm not good at this sort of thing, but I've been wanting to play:

Initially I thought:
To Minnesota: Phil Kessel (8M until 21/22), Roman Polak (2.75M until 15/16)
To Toronto: Tomas Vanek (6.5M until 16/17), Jason Zucker (0.9M EL until 15/16), Nino Niedderreiter (2.66M until 16/17), 2015 1st Rd

Phil gets to go 'home' and finally play with a good line (Koivu/Parise) because they need scoring and that's what he does. Minnesota gets some D depth as well, as well as dumping some heavier salary from their bottom six.
Toronto gets shorter terms with some underachiever projects (Vanek, Niedderreiter) that can potentially be rehabbed into deadline deals; rounding out the trade are good potential pieces going forward (Zucker/Pick).
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: RedLeaf on June 08, 2015, 11:02:55 AM
The real problem we have to ask: "is Phil coachable", will Babcock tolerate his way just for talents sake? My gut feeling on this is no. I am a Kessel fan and think he can score 50 in the league with the right centre.
So a top 6 first rounder and a great prospect Top 3 or 6 would be the least I would take for him.  The question is can Marner replace his firepower?

Which brings up an important question, at least in my mind. Is he uncoachable or has he had coaches in Toronto that just couldnt relate to him well enough? I don't know if he's already punched his ticket out of town yet or not, but it wouldn't surprise me if Babcock could turn his game around. I mean, it's worth a shot isn't it? If he's able to, it gives the club more options moving forward.  Keep a sniper that isn't all that great at playing defense, or deal him for way more than some of the low end returns getting thrown out there now.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 08, 2015, 11:03:20 AM
It's funny, a lot of Leaf fans have a propensity to overvalue Leaf players in general. With Kessel, after one so-so season, fans are going to the opposite side of the spectrum and are willing to give him away for peanuts, or at the very most a low-end return.

Or they're just willing to trade him for whatever the market actually is for him and think that it's probably low.

I think some people don't really understand what "rebuilding" means.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: RedLeaf on June 08, 2015, 11:06:44 AM
It's funny, a lot of Leaf fans have a propensity to overvalue Leaf players in general. With Kessel, after one so-so season, fans are going to the opposite side of the spectrum and are willing to give him away for peanuts, or at the very most a low-end return.

Or they're just willing to trade him for whatever the market actually is for him and think that it's probably low.

I think some people don't really understand what "rebuilding" means.

I'm quite aware of what rebuilding means Nik. Thank-you. What I'm unsure of is what the plan entails as far as Kessel goes. Does Babcock want to keep him for the rebuild or does management want to get whatever the current market yields and be happy with that?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 08, 2015, 11:09:09 AM
I'm quite aware of what rebuilding means Nik. Thank-you. What I'm unsure of is what the plan entails as far as Kessel goes. Does Babcock want to keep him for the rebuild or does management want to get whatever the current market yields and be happy with that?

Everyone's unsure of that. But the fans "willing to give him away for peanuts" are fans who want to trade him for current market value. If it's high, great, if it's low...well, again, that's what rebuilding is.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: RedLeaf on June 08, 2015, 11:11:02 AM
I'm quite aware of what rebuilding means Nik. Thank-you. What I'm unsure of is what the plan entails as far as Kessel goes. Does Babcock want to keep him for the rebuild or does management want to get whatever the current market yields and be happy with that?

Everyone's unsure of that. But the fans "willing to give him away for peanuts" are fans who want to trade him for current market value. If it's high, great, if it's low...well, again, that's what rebuilding is.

There's also a possibility they go ahead with the rebuild and keep Kessel for one more year, right?
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on June 08, 2015, 11:14:26 AM
quite possible and if he looks great then trade him when his value is peaking
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 08, 2015, 11:16:26 AM
There's also a possibility they go ahead with the rebuild and keep Kessel for one more year, right?

Sure. But it's an option that is pretty undesirable to a lot of people who think that A) It'll delay the rebuild B) It's not likely to improve Kessel's value C) It actually will probably decrease Kessel's value and D) You'll miss out on a year of development for the prospects/picks you could get for Kessel right now.

Wanting to trade Kessel right now for whatever the market will bear isn't really a statement on Kessel's value. Just an acknowledgment that rebuilding isn't really about what you get for the players you trade.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: RedLeaf on June 08, 2015, 11:18:35 AM
quite possible and if he looks great then trade him when his value is peaking

Right. Maximize your assets. It's the same reason traders don't sell their shares when the market is at an all time low. Patience is big part of a rebuild. This is just another aspect of that.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 08, 2015, 11:21:02 AM
quite possible and if he looks great then trade him when his value is peaking

And what if he doesn't look great? What if you're then stuck trying to trade him next year after two bad seasons and with him a year older? What's the return on him then?

"Maximizing your assets" means selling at the right time, not that values only ever go up.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: RedLeaf on June 08, 2015, 11:26:56 AM
quite possible and if he looks great then trade him when his value is peaking

And what if he doesn't look great? What if you're then stuck trying to trade him next year after two bad seasons and with him a year older? What's the return on him then?

"Maximizing your assets" means selling at the right time, not that values only ever go up.

You also have to take into consideration his past play, and logically analyze the decision. I think there are more reasons for him rebounding than there are for further depreciation. Than again, if he fails under Babcock, he might lose more value. I think the smart money is on him having a better season than last though.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 08, 2015, 11:30:52 AM
Than again, if he fails under Babcock, he might lose more value.

There's no "might" about it. If Kessel has another bad year he's going to lose more value.

"Cutting your losses" is also a pretty solid financial concept and I believe that it's more likely than not that Kessel struggles next year if he stays around.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on June 08, 2015, 11:38:11 AM
Let's be serious, no team is trading for Phil thinking that he's a 60-point player. They might be a little wary of his poor season but anyone willing to give up assets for him is fully expecting him to get back to scoring 70-80 points. Also, any increase in value that keeping him for another season provides would likely be cancelled out by the fact that any team trading for him is getting 1 less season of Phil Kessel in his prime.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: RedLeaf on June 08, 2015, 11:40:12 AM
Than again, if he fails under Babcock, he might lose more value.

There's no "might" about it. If Kessel has another bad year he's going to lose more value.

"Cutting your losses" is also a pretty solid financial concept and I believe that it's more likely than not that Kessel struggles next year if he stays around.

Fair enough about his value dropping if he fails under Babcock, but I think he rebounds. Let's see what Shanny and co. think, and if they do decide to move him, for what return? It should be an interesting summer. Perhaps one of the most intriguing off seasons we've seen in a long long time.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 08, 2015, 11:52:36 AM
Fair enough about his value dropping if he fails under Babcock, but I think he rebounds.

I've said this elsewhere but in the absolutely best case scenario, a year where Kessel absolutely tears it up, whatever gains to his value you think there might be will be offset by how his play helps the team win points that hurts their draft position and by his being a year older when they try to trade him. Throw in the ever-present risk of injury that affects every player and there's really not much to go on.

It's not a zero sum game, exactly, but the likelihood of Kessel being a lot more valuable next summer resulting in any actual gains for the team is pretty slight.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: RedLeaf on June 08, 2015, 12:02:59 PM
Fair enough about his value dropping if he fails under Babcock, but I think he rebounds.

I've said this elsewhere but in the absolutely best case scenario, a year where Kessel absolutely tears it up, whatever gains to his value you think there might be will be offset by how his play helps the team win points that hurts their draft position and by his being a year older when they try to trade him. Throw in the ever-present risk of injury that affects every player and there's really not much to go on.

It's not a zero sum game, exactly, but the likelihood of Kessel being a lot more valuable next summer resulting in any actual gains for the team is pretty slight.

I think you need to evaluate whether or not Babcock can get him playing at a higher pace. If he can get Kessel back checking and scoring at his regular rate or better, and improve his analytics ,you've inherently got a player with more value next year than you have right now. How anyone can say that that factor alone would effect a teams draft position are reaching a little IMO.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 08, 2015, 12:09:26 PM
How anyone can say that that factor alone would effect a teams draft position are reaching a little IMO.

It's pretty simple. An 80+ point player will help a team win games they otherwise wouldn't. There can be a very slim margin between draft positions.

You also can't assume that players are livestock who you can just feed a little better and they'll happily get fatter and skip towards the abbatoir. The decision on Kessel has to be an honest one. Either he's a part of the team's long term plans or he isn't. Kessel doesn't really have a vested interest in the Leafs getting the best possible return for him so it's pretty unlikely that whatever you think of Babcock he's going to be able to motivate Kessel to play his way out of town.

I don't think Babcock is the type of guy to lie to Kessel so the team will get a slightly better return on him. I think that if Babcock does that it risks it infecting his relationship with other players.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: RedLeaf on June 08, 2015, 12:26:26 PM
How anyone can say that that factor alone would effect a teams draft position are reaching a little IMO.

It's pretty simple. An 80+ point player will help a team win games they otherwise wouldn't. There can be a very slim margin between draft positions.

You also can't assume that players are livestock who you can just feed a little better and they'll happily get fatter and skip towards the abbatoir. The decision on Kessel has to be an honest one. Either he's a part of the team's long term plans or he isn't. Kessel doesn't really have a vested interest in the Leafs getting the best possible return for him so it's pretty unlikely that whatever you think of Babcock he's going to be able to motivate Kessel to play his way out of town.

I don't think Babcock is the type of guy to lie to Kessel so the team will get a slightly better return on him. I think that if Babcock does that it risks it infecting his relationship with other players.

But they would have the option to keep him in the mix as well. No ones lying to Kessel. I'll wait and see what they actually do instead of debating our differences of opinion all day long again.  There are options of keeping him or holding him a while longer to look for a better return, should THEY feel that would work under the current situation. That's all I was trying to say. Whether or not you or I feel differently about it really has no weight on the outcome anyways, and it's not getting us anywhere. I am going to end this debate now and crown you the ultimate champion before you take it to Sillyland again. The floor is all yours sir.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 08, 2015, 12:30:27 PM
There are options of keeping him...

Which run counter to the idea of a rebuild. So we're back to square one.

You know those restaurant auctions they have? People with failed restaurants don't hold onto appliances hoping the Fridge market will rebound.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: LuncheonMeat on June 08, 2015, 01:30:10 PM
There are options of keeping him...

Which run counter to the idea of a rebuild. So we're back to square one.

You know those restaurant auctions they have? People with failed restaurants don't hold onto appliances hoping the Fridge market will rebound.

The sentiment that was put forward at Babcock's presser was that they/the Leafs needed to get as many picks as possible into Hunter's hands.  That was echoed last week by Dubas, and brought up again this morning in another Dubas interview.  The need to gather picks and assets.

The best chip the Leafs have in terms of returning picks/prospects is Kessel.  I think Phaneuf probably fits that bill as well.  In a draft that is supposed to be quite deep, the Leafs need to cash those chips and go big in the draft.  And I think they need to do it now and give their prospects a chance to develop together.

I think Kessel gets traded, and that Shanahan takes what the market bears to be free of those contracts and get on with the rebuild. 
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Highlander on June 08, 2015, 01:45:55 PM
At this point I do agree, cash in all your chips for picks and get on with it.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: skrackle on June 08, 2015, 07:50:53 PM
I have to think that at least a few teams that made the playoffs but lost because they just didn't have a game breaker, are going to be interested in Kessel. He would fit nicely on the Blues, Rangers, Wild, to name a few. Of course, any interested team's cap situation has to be considered, but I don't think the mess that Toronto was this year is going to be much of a factor in any GM's evaluation of how adding a player of Kessel's caliber will improve his team.

I expect that Kessel will be traded. I think that he and Phaneuf really should be moved this summer and will be. Bozak needs to be shown the door, but he's a lesser concern right now.

If there's a player who needs to up his value coming into next year's trade deadline, I'd say it's Lupul. Maybe Bernier fits into that category as well.
.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Joe S. on June 08, 2015, 09:10:46 PM
I love the headline and the article seem to have nothing in common.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/m_news.htm?id=770281
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Jolly good show chaps on June 11, 2015, 02:43:27 PM
Without wanting to go off topic, I really don't like this talk of us being open to trading #4 as per the link in the previous post.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: CarltonTheBear on June 11, 2015, 03:15:36 PM
Without wanting to go off topic, I really don't like this talk of us being open to trading #4 as per the link in the previous post.

Every year teams with high picks who aren't slotted to take McDavid/Eichel types say that they're open to moving down, but it very rarely happens.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Peter D. on June 11, 2015, 03:25:14 PM
Without wanting to go off topic, I really don't like this talk of us being open to trading #4 as per the link in the previous post.

I don't get why teams make proclamations like this when 98% of the time it never comes about. 

However, if the Leafs have a guy rated higher than most and feel he'll go a spot or two lower, or are indifferent towards two or three players and would be satisfied with either/any of them, it is worth exploring trading down to extract another asset while still drafting a player they covet.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 11, 2015, 03:26:34 PM
Without wanting to go off topic, I really don't like this talk of us being open to trading #4 as per the link in the previous post.

Why? The team should be open to anything. What if Florida decided to offer Ekblad and the #11 pick? I mean they won't, but the Leafs would be crazy not to put it out there that if a team lost their mind and wanted to offer way too much to trade into the top 5 that they should give the Leafs a call.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: pnjunction on June 11, 2015, 03:43:02 PM
Trading him is certainly on the table but IMO unless the return is huge it really feels like selling low right now.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on June 11, 2015, 08:29:19 PM
I would find it hilarious if the Leafs went "off the board" with #4. The rage on this site and in the city would be something to behold.
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Sudafederov on June 11, 2015, 09:16:42 PM
I would find it hilarious if the Leafs went "off the board" with #4. The rage on this site and in the city would be something to behold.

Reminds me of when Carey Price got drafted.

https://youtu.be/WLNOtoJ8vb0?t=53
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: Nik Bethune on June 11, 2015, 09:27:31 PM
I would find it hilarious if the Leafs went "off the board" with #4. The rage on this site and in the city would be something to behold.

Well, I think there's maybe some justification there. If the top three goes McDavid-Eichel-Strome and then the Leafs take, say, Barzal my immediate reaction wouldn't be "those morons!" but rather "they couldn't have traded down?"
Title: Re: So, about Phil Kessel...
Post by: MetalRaven on June 11, 2015, 11:30:38 PM
It sounds like Dubas and co are "comfortable with players in that cluster" So Hanfin, Strome, Marner one of them is gone unless Arizona goes off board, which leaves really only two...I assume they also mean another player but im not at all up to date on who that might be? That still only realistically leaves 1 maybe 2 trading partners to go down assuming all these players are on roughly the same level.