Who’ll Line Up Beside the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Kessel in Future?

November 18th, 2009 by Bryan Thiel Leave a reply »
When the season started off with a slump for the Toronto Maple Leafs, LeafsNation fell into a panic.

All of a sudden they were last in the league, the only team without a regulation win, and without a first round draft pick this year or next.

What they were left with was a question mark, a question mark named Phil Kessel.

For the first time in a long time, the Leafs had an acquisition that no one knew what the Leafs were getting. Kessel was coming off of shoulder surgery, so there was the lingering question as to whether or not he’d be back at full-strength this year, or would it take a season?

There were also questions about his age, just not the age-related questions fans were used to asking.

Unlike previous pickups Brian Leetch, Phil Housley, or Ron Francis, Kessel came in closer to his draft year than his Hockey Hall of Fame induction year, which offered a ray of hope that hadn’t been seen in these parts for a long time.

There were also the concerns about how a quiet, tame guy like Kessel would handle the voracious fans and media of Toronto—a city so starved for quality hockey that it would throw Kerry Fraser a "Get Well Soon ...

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