Leafs acquire Kessel from Bruins
TORONTO – Brian Burke is turning to Phil Kessel to help speed up his rebuilding of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Leafs general manager finally acquired the rights to Kessel after months of talks with the Boston Bruins, sources told The Canadian Press on Friday.
Burke is betting the farm that Kessel is a big step in the Leafs’ rebuilding. In return for the rights to negotiate with the restricted free agent, Toronto sent a first and second round pick in the 2010 NHL draft to Boston, along with another first-round pick in 2011.
Kessel scored 36 goals and added 24 assists in 70 games with Boston last season.
The 21-year-old restricted free agent, who is in the last year of his entry-level deal, failed to negotiate an contract extension with Boston in the off-season.
The Bruins picked Kessel fifth overall in the 2005 draft.