Maple Leafs Begin Rebuild with Phil Kessel Trade

toronto maple leafs trade phil kessel

The Toronto Maple Leafs made headlines today, trading star Phil Kessel, Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon and a conditional pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Nick Spaling, Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington, a 2016 3rd Round Pick, and a conditional pick. Toronto retains 15% or $1.25 million annual cap hit of Kessel's current contract.

TSN's James Mirtle tweeted the following to explain the complication regarding the conditional pick:

If Pittsburgh qualifies for the 2016 postseason, Toronto will receive the Penguins’ 2016 first-round draft pick; and the Penguins will receive Toronto’s 2016 second-round selection. The second round pick would be the one Toronto originally acquired from Pittsburgh for Daniel Winnik earlier this year. Should Pittsburgh miss the 2016 playoffs, Toronto will instead receive the Penguins’ 2017 first-round pick; with Pittsburgh getting Toronto’s 2017 second-round selection in return. If the Penguins were to miss the postseason the next two years, Toronto would receive Pittsburgh’s 2017 second round draft pick and Pittsburgh would not receive a draft pick.

With the impressive selections at the draft, the new free agency signings (P.A. Parenteau, Matt Hunwick, Mark Arcobello, and Daniel Winnik) and now finally the Phil Kessel deal, Toronto has officially begun their rebuild.

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