Putting the screws to Boston
Seems Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, sick of being rebuffed by Boston's Peter Chiarelli, in trade discussions is ready to make a Group II offer to Kessel as an unrestricted free agent. Yes, Burke is well within his rights to do that. The Bruins have always maintained they'll match so it's likely Kessel would never play in a Toronto uniform in Burke goes that route.
But, this is the same Brian Burke who flipped out when the Edmonton Oilers made an offers sheet to Dustin Penner. Clearly, Burke has decided he no longer wants to be patient and build the Leafs. He wants to make the process of getting to the playoffs to move faster. He is going to have to eat his words if he makes this move.
"There are tools within the CBA that GM's can use," said Chiarelli tonight. "If that happens (a Group II offer), we'll deal with it then."
This is going to be interesting to watch. ~ Bruce Garrioch, Off the Posts
"I have no problem with offer sheets," Burke said, noting they are part of the NHL's collective bargaining agreement.
"If you can identify a player and pay him appropriately and make him an offer, that's fine. At some point, the deals you make, the offers you extend, whether the team matches it or not, impacts all 30 teams, including your own."
"Edmonton has offered a mostly inflated salary for a player, and I think it's an act of desperation for a general manager who is fighting to keep his job," he said. ~ courtesy CBC
And to be fair to Burke, he was right. Dustin Penner's contract is a bit of an albatross. When he was almost dealt to Ottawa as part of that vetoed Dany Heatley deal to Edmonton, his inclusion was largely characterized as a salary dump that helped offset Dany's contract.
Now whether Burke re-acquired the Toronto second-rounder for the purposes of actually signing Kessel remains to be seen. With Boston pressed against the salary cap, it's just as likely that Burke will use the threat of an offer sheet to elicit a trade that's more favorable and cost effective for the Leafs. But here's hoping that Burke eventually cedes his trade demands and an offer sheet actually materializes. Who wouldn't want to see one divisional rival lose one of their talented young players and another divisional rival give up four draft picks to get him. Peter Chiarelli is going to rue the day that he signed Michael Ryder to an inflated deal.
Quote of the Day:
"If he does return, I'm not sure if there will be the same amount of hang time on his last name!" ~ Stuntman Stu
Alright friends, currently our Yahoo! Sports rotisserie hockey pool has 10 of 12 spots filled for it. We obviously need two more readers to fill the void and participate. We're looking for two people who can tolerate some good natured ribbing and will actively participate, even when their team is idling in last place. If you're interested, send us an email at the6thsens(at)live.com or just use the contact form that's accessible from our site menu. Thanks.
Update: 1:53 PM Over the Edge = Over the Line?
Not too sure if anyone caught it this morning but when Lee Versage was discussing the US Open for Tennis since he was intrigued in the story line of the young 17-year old American girl who has a twin, that was knocking off seeded opponents and has now advanced into the quarterfinals.
Anyways, after Lee finished, the Kulkster asked him if he was intrigued by her twin to which Lee replied, "No, she's seventeen."