Apologies for the delay on weighing in on the weekend’s Phil Kessel trade. I was in the woods of Maine when it went down and news did not travel down the Kennebec River. I will have a full-on reaction to the trade in tomorrow’s podcast, but first I want to get to something more pressing: Why Bruins fans should boo Phil Kessel every chance they get.
I didn’t think this needed to be explained until I saw this.
Yes, that’s Bill Simmons ignorantly blasting the Kessel deal to his 800,000+ followers on Twitter. I think if Bill had a better grasp on the situation he’d recognize Phil Kessel for what he truly is: the biggest villain in Boston sports since Johnny Damon.
1) Phil Kessel had been planning not to wear black and gold since last year. There are reports that Kessel turned down $4+ million dollar offers from the B’s since the get-go because he no longer wanted to be in Boston. Apparently he had his mind made up that he was not going to return to Boston. This is especially significant because the Bruins signed David Krejci for $3.5m and they widely regard him as a more important player.
2) Phil Kessel will hold a grudge if a coach coaches. Also reported was Kessel’s unhappiness with Coach Claude Julien ever since he was benched in 3 playoff games. It’s no secret that Julien preaches defensive responsibility for his forwards. Apparently what was good for Marc Savard (a player perceived to be one dimensional before being molded by Julien) was not good for Kessel. So, Phil got benched. The move seemed to light a fire under him, but apparently it got so hot he needed to get the hell out of Boston.
3) Phil Kessel held the Bruins hostage. If the Bruins had their choice on who to deal Kessel to, it would’ve been to the Nashville Predators. One, he’d be out of the division and they’d only have to see him once, maybe twice a year. Two, the Predators were reportedly offering a better package of picks and prospects (Wilson and Blum were mentioned.) But, Phil didn’t want to play in Nashville, he wanted to be the biggest star in the biggest city. If traded to Nashville, he wouldn’t sign and the Leafs would’ve just offer sheet-ed him anyway. Total dick move.