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Kessel traded! (but not to Preds)…

At the trade deadline last season, Predators fans heard that Nik Antropov had almost come here. Just after July 1, they heard that Alexei Kovalev had almost come here. Then, later in the free agency period, they heard that Alex Tanguay had almost come here.

Something they’ve grown accustomed to, unfortunately, is almost getting the big name player. Matter of fact, since Peter Forsberg, Pred fans have been hearing the word “almost” quite a bit.

Today they can add another name to the “almost list”: Phil Kessel.

Recently, Predators General Manager David Poile confirmed with John Glennon (see article here) of the Tennessean that he has been in talks with Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and Kessel’s agent, Wade Arnott. At the end of the day, the front-runner (as far as the media was concerned) became the winner of the Kessel sweepstakes: the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Obviously, to get you have to give, and Toronto certainly did that. According to TSN, the Maple Leafs sent two 1st round picks and a 2nd rounder (with possibly other players involved) to Boston in exchange for the 21-year old future superstar, then signed him to a 5-year $27 million contract, which makes you wonder, what would the Preds have to have offered to get the deal done in their favor? And what did they offer that wasn’t good enough?

Kessel went to the Leafs in a trade but there was another option that would’ve brought him to Nashville. Poile could’ve tendered an offer sheet for Kessel, seeing as how he was a restricted free agent, but that would’ve required the Preds to hand over a first, second and third round pick. And, let’s be honest, Poile loves his draft picks. Plus, in all seriousness, the Preds would’ve had to move salary to make way for Kessel anyway so a trade would’ve been the only way to bring him in.

But there was one more necessary step. If Nashville traded for Kessel, they would’ve had to have his terms agreed upon because he would’ve remained an RFA, thus would still be subject to a team’s offer sheet. So Poile had to have numerous conversations not only with Chiarelli but also Wade Arnott in order to secure a deal in case a trade could be reached.

The former Minnesota Golden Gopher won’t don his new sweater until at least November, however, as he’s still recovering from shoulder surgery.


PHOTO CREDIT: James Guillory/US Presswire