Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Requisite Kessel post Part 2

"Phil Kessel is the prime reason why I thought the Thomas contract would act as an albatross around Chiarelli's neck. There remains a possibility that the dynamic winger could be on his way out of town, a victim of the Bruin's salary cap issues. Kessel owns lightning hands and feet and has the ability to maneuver at top speed, causing nightmares for NHL defenders. If they back in too deep, he unleashes a laser like wrist shot, if they get aggressive, he blows by them. Kessel enjoyed his breakout season in 2008 fueled by an 18 game point streak in which he produced 28 points (14G, 14A). He did suffer a lull in production in Jan - Feb, but a lot of that could be blamed on his bout with mononucleosis. He also rebounded from a shoulder injury, (which resulted in off season surgery) to produce 22 points over his final 19 games (including playoffs). Once he matures, the only thing holding him back from fantasy stardom is his health. If he remains in Boston, a PPG pace is realistic in 2010."

I came across this from Fantasy Sense Hockey, a really interesting and informative website for both Fantasy Hockey aficionados and just Hockey aficionados. Be sure to check it out.

Anyways, you can see here that they have a basic projection for Kessel of 52 points and 30 goals. It doesn't say however if they took into account the games Kessel will miss since he is out till' mid November. If Kessel came in here on October 1st and played 75-82 games, reaching the totals predicted, I think it is safe to say it would be a pretty disappointing season, based on the fact that Kessel is just 21, and is expected too improve his stats each year especially when increasing your salary from a entry level contract of about 800k (plus bonuses) all the way to $5.25 Million. That being said, I dont think we will be able to fairly evaluate if the trade was a good one until at least the end of the 2010-2011 season (the season after the upcoming one) because Kessel is coming off a pretty serious injury, he is playing without the likes of Savard and Krejci; his setup men, and he is making a transition to a new team that all the sudden places such immense pressures on him at such a young age, unlike in Boston, where he was still relied upon, but he was not seen as he is here: to lead us to the promise land of the Stanley Cup Finals.

When the trade was announced, Burke said at the press conference "we see the 36 goals, not as a peak, but a platform to build on". If Kessel comes back sometime in November and reaches or exceeds his totals of last year (36 goals, 24 assists, 60 points) he would be well on his way to meeting those expectations, and hopefully proving the naysayers wrong.

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