RealClearSports
Advertisement

The Sin Bin


September 8, 2009 5:18 PM

Boston and Kessel still at an impasse

As the summer comes to an end and the impasse continues it would appear that the Boston Bruins might be ready to move on with out Phil Kessel. I can't imagine what the line up in Boston will look like without the talented forward in the mix. I don't think there are any forwards in the current line up that can score 35-45 goals like Kessel can, if there is they need to step up offensively. I also am sick and tired of the argument that Kessel isn't physical enough, not everyone is going to check people through the boards. The same people that do aren't as skilled offensively as Kessel, Cam Neely is no longer in the line up. Lastly, I want to know what KPD has against this kid? You have to wonder if Kessel stiffed him on an interview one time and now he is trying to get the kids shipped out of town.

The Bruins, with some $55 million committed for next season, have tried to convince Kessel to sign a deal that would increase the payroll to around $59 million, forcing Chiarelli to ditch a roster player in the minors or offload salary via trade. But thus far none of Boston's offers has been to Kessel's liking.

"Nothing has really changed,'' Chiarelli said, noting that at least three clubs have contacted him in recent weeks to try to trade for Kessel, who last season scored 36 goals. "I'd like to have him in the mix, but obviously he's not . . . and obviously teams are interested.''

Some four months after his club lost to Carolina in the second round of the playoffs, and with Kessel still unsigned, Chiarelli said he finds himself at what he referred to as a "philosophical impasse'' in regards to signing his third-year right wing.

"While you like to bring along players of skill and youth and keep them in your organization, I also have to be cognizant of other dynamics,'' said Chiarelli.

Such as a payroll already at about $55 million. Such as a roster that on July 1 will have top scorer Marc Savard reaching unrestricted free agency and young standouts Milan Lucic and Blake Wheeler reaching the same restricted free agency plateau where Kessel now stands. Such as adhering to a style of play that is centered on defense and all-around grittiness and physical play, ingredients that are not key components of Kessel's game.

[Boston Globe]

A Member Of