Brian Burke threatened the Boston Bruins in 2009 to get Phil Kessel

Published September 9, 2021 at 6:25 PM

Remember, on September 18, 2009, the Maple Leafs and Bruins made a monster trade that gave up Phil Kessel to Toronto. In return, Boston got two first round picks in 2010 (Tyler Seguin) and 2011 (Dougie Hamilton), as well as a second round pick in 2010 (Jared Knight).


At the time, the general manager of the Maple Leafs was none other than Brian Burke, a very special person. He went to great lengths to obtain the services of Phil Kessel at the time. The Bruins were trying everything to trade Kessel, with whom they could not agree on the terms of a contract, so he was a restricted free agent.

The Massachusetts organization spoke with the Los Angeles Kings and the Nashville Predators regarding a possible trade. Brian Burke was VERY interested in Kessel's services and was ready to bring out the big guns. He let the Boston Bruins know that if they were not willing to trade Kessel to Toronto, he was going to make an offer sheet for the American forward.

With this, he put the Bruins against the wall, which finally convinced them to trade Kessel to their division rivals in Toronto. Probably what Brian Burke offered the Bruins in return for Kessel was much bigger than the offer compensation.

After being acquired by the Leafs, Kessel immediately signed a five-year contract extension worth $5.4 million per season. An amount that the Bruins could not afford to have on their payroll, considering all the big contracts the team had at the time.

In hindsight, would you make that trade again if you were Burke? At the end of the day, the trade gave Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton for Phil Kessel. Toronto was desperate for a headliner, which cost the organization a lot of money, rather than being patient... Just imagine Seguin and Hamilton with the Leafs...

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