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Phil Kessel Traded to Pittsburgh

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The Leafs have moved superstar winger Phil Kessel.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

To Toronto To Pittsburgh

Kasperi Kapanen

Scott Harrington

Nick Spaling

2016 1st*

2016 3rd*

$1.25M x 7 years retained salary

Phil Kessel

Tyler Biggs

Tim Erixon

2016 2nd*

Scott Wheeler has a look at Kasperi Kapanen for you to read. He's going to be the biggest part of this deal for the Leafs:

A standout with KalPa heading into the 2014 draft, Kapenen is coming off an erratic season, highlight by two strong playoff performances (one with KalPa and one with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins of the AHL) and low lighted by an underwhelming U20 performance with Team Finland where he struggled to produce quality chances.

It's easy to tear a team down into nothing, and yet so far the Leafs Shanahan/Hunter/Dubas brain trust stood pat. They've had a warm reception so far for a number of smart moves, but this one looks like a disaster. How much good will does this management team deserve if their only big move is to trade a top five scorer for a single legitimate prospect and a late first?

How much good will does a management group deserve if they retain salary and give up a pick the Penguins really wanted to facilitate the deal?

Further, the Leafs have gone hard after another former London Knight in what could be a troubling trend. It's good to want your players around, but the London Knights aren't an NHL team and focusing too hard on players who played there won't work out in the end.

Trading Phil Kessel could have made sense: the Leafs aren't ready to compete and he's a scorer in his prime. We talk about process being more important than results and that's what's troubling. It's hard to have faith in a management process that prioritizes "getting Kessel out of town" over "getting a good return for a great player".

*The draft picks are conditional on a couple factors, via the Penguins NHL site:

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.

These conditions make very little sense. The likelihood that Pittsburgh misses the playoffs for the next two years is extremely slim. Even still there is no upside for the Leafs. I don't know why they would agree to these conditions.

Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf was understandably upset by the move.

"I was extremely surprised," Phaneuf said in conversation TSN's James Duthie. "I have nothing but really good things to say about Phil."