The Sin Bin

September 10, 2009 3:06 AM

Who would you rather have on your team; Heatly or Kessel?

Props to Kukla's Korner: This is a pretty good question? Who would you rather have on your team former Badger Dany Heatley or former Golden Gopher 's one year wonder Phil Kessel? Heatly is the better of the two players, but he is also older and a bigger  "prima donna". I am not even sure it's a fair comparison because they are two different types of players IMHO. Heatly sets up more goals and Phil not so much.

So, who's it going to be?

At face value, the inner GM in me screams Heatley. He's 6-foot-3, has back-to-back 50-goal seasons on his resume and is still only 28.

But don't go offering up three quality NHLers just yet.

Heatley is set to make an average of $7.5 million over the next five years - if you want a guy who bags 50 a year, you've got to shell out some dough.

Kessel, it's reported, is sniffing around for about $4.5 million a season. He won't post a huge goal total this year because he'll be out until November while his surgically-repaired shoulder heals.

But my guess is Kessel, who is six years Heatley's junior, will be good for more than 40 goals a season over the next decade. With Joe Sakic now focusing full time on golf, Kessel and Philly's Jeff Carter are vying for the title of most wicked wrister in the league.

So let's assume the return on investment for Heatley is 50 goals for $7.5 million. Kessel, who had 36 goals in just 70 games last year, comes in at, say, 43 for $4.5 million after this injury-shortened year.

Now let's see what that $3 million in savings will get you on the open market.

Mike Knuble, who has averaged just over 27 goals the past six NHL seasons, was snapped up for $2.8 million by Washington. Alex Tanguay, a 70-to-80 point guy in the right scenario, will play for $2.5 million this year in Tampa Bay. [Hockey News]

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