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It was just before the 2008 World Championships in Halifax and Team USA was holding a pre-tournament camp in Portland, Maine. [u

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01:43, Mar 09 2017

It was just before the 2008 World Championships in Halifax and Team USA was holding a pre-tournament camp in Portland, Maine. Lance Alworth Youth Jersey . Jeff Halpern, serving as the American captain, was informing and inviting teammates to a fishing trip off the coast of Maine, in a gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. He wondered if Phil Kessel, then a 20-year-old playing for the Boston Bruins, wanted to come along. I get seasick in the bathtub, Kessel said, according to a later recounting by his future boss in Toronto, Brian Burke. I guess thats a no, Halpern responded. No, Kessel said, if the guys are going Im going. So he went, puked his guts out, but did it because was a team function, Burke beamed proudly on the day Kessel was officially traded to the Maple Leafs, defending the character of his newest asset, one that came with a high price ultimately. More than six long years later, Burke long since deposed as the teams president and general manager, and many of those same questions still surround Kessel, now 27-years-old and the highest-paid player in Toronto. Can the Leafs win a Cup with Kessel at the forefront? And if not, which seems to be case, then what should Brendan Shanahan and a revamped management group do about it? What can they do about it? Kessel remains under contract until 2022 at an annual cap hit of $8 million or more than 11 percent of the current cap. Is a player with that contract and those attributes tradable? And if so, then how tradable? What kind of market would exist for such a unique talent and personality? What kind of return would a player like Kessel net in a climate thats become increasingly wise to the functions of team success? Do the negatives of Kessels game outweigh the positives? Are the Leafs better in the long-term by trading by far their most talented player? Does that put them on the right path toward chasing a Cup? These are only some of the questions facing Shanahan as it pertains to the face of Torontos franchise, a player whos scored more goals than anyone but Alexander Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos since the start of the 2011-12 season, more points than anyone but Claude Giroux and Evgeni Malkin. I just want to help the team win here, Kessel said on the day he was first introduced as a Leaf. Thats the main goal here. Its not individual goals, its me coming in here doing whatever I can to help the organization and the team win hockey games. What wasnt in doubt then or now is the quality of those offensive gifts. Kessel remains one of the most dangerous and feared players in the league with a shot that may be unequaled in terms of the quickness with which it launches off the stick. Kessel, who has had a blasé kind of year, still sits around the top-10 in league scoring and remains on pace to either match or set new career-highs in a slew of offensive categories. Hes had several great years, Burkes replacement, Dave Nonis, said after re-signing Kessel for eight years and $64 million on the eve of last season. If you look at his point totals and his goal totals over the last two and three seasons hes up there with some pretty elite players. But for all the mesmerizing things Kessel can do on the ice, he detracts just about as much. Hes prone to bits of laziness – both on and off the ice – lacks noticeable effort in his own zone and often ends up costing his team more goals than he scores. Kessel and his two regular linemates, James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak, have been the Leafs worst possession trio this season. They are consistently and unnervingly hemmed in the defensive zone for extended periods. Its not a new issue either, its one that dates back to the days of Ron Wilson, Kessels first coach in Toronto. Phils problem, said Wilson during an interview with TSN Radio on Tuesday, hes two weeks on and two weeks off and you just hope that you can get him playing his best hockey for as long as possible. You cant rely on Phil. Its just the way it is. You have to know that Phil is going to give you everything hes got for two or three weeks and then for the next two or three weeks everything seems to go wrong for Phil. Thats just the way it is. The Leafs signed Kessel for the long haul under the premise, seemingly, that his potent production would be impossible to replace. But that assumes that the good outweighs the bad and that may not be the case, especially if Kessel assumes the role of the teams best and highest-paid player. It also ignores the grander question of whether Kessel can help a team achieve the ultimate goal of winning a Cup. Boston, facing cap troubles in the fall of 2009, decided not. They pulled the trigger to move Kessel after he scored 36 goals as a 21-year-old. They won their Cup two years later. Claude Julien, Ron Wilson, Randy Carlyle, they all tried to change Kessel into something he was not, to mold him into a piece of a winning product. They could not. Whats to suggest then that something will change under the next head coach in Toronto? You never change a leopards spots, Wilson said. I think you paint over some of those spots, but theyll eventually shine through the paint and thats just too bad. Kessel is an incredibly capable and gifted player and he could probably be a piece on a winning team, just not the piece. Could he play the Patrick Kane role on a deeper team? Perhaps and perhaps thats the type of team willing to spring for his talents. Beyond just the burdensome decision of even trading Kessel is the potential return. What kind of value does Kessel have in a trade with the amount of money hes owed and the questions surrounding his performance and personality? How many teams would even be interested? And for a team like Toronto, one thats not contending for a Cup anytime soon, what kind of risk is there in hanging on to Kessel as he nears and then surpasses age 30, when the gifts that make him such a special talent start to wither if even a little? Kessel is the biggest piece of a web that needs to be untangled. The Leafs have too many flawed players locked up for too long, a core thats proven barely good enough to qualify for the playoffs, let alone win a Cup. Kessel is not the only problem – far from it – and on a different team he may not be a problem at all, but he also may not be part of the solution either, especially as the leading act. Is it worth sacrificing his tremendous gifts, though, for the betterment of the team in the long-term? These are really difficult questions. Moving on from Kessel is not a simple decision. Not many players, simply put, can do what he does. The Leafs would be worse, far worse really, without Kessel in the short-term. But theyve also been a badly flawed team with him at the forefront and that seems unlikely to change anytime soon. Kessel, ultimately, is the elephant in the room that Shanahan and the teams front office will have to confront one day, if they havent already. Moving on from the player, personality, and contract is a decision they probably should make given the bleak history of his time in Toronto as the front man, but its certainly no easy choice. This whole job is a high-wire act without a net, said Burke, Shanahans predecessor as team president, on the day Kessel was introduced. Every deal we make were betting on a human being, were betting on Phil, taking a chance. Thats how it works. I dont think were taking much of a chance. Antonio Gates Youth Jersey . MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez also will attend the session, which was announced Monday. The league has discussed placing its next two expansion teams in Miami and Atlanta. Joey Bosa Jersey . You can catch all of the action LIVE on TSN2 at 6pm et/3pm pt. The Heat reached that mark Saturday night when they ruined the Philadelphia 76ers home opener. http://www.prochargersteamstore.com/Youth-Doug-Flutie-Elite-Jersey/ . Reyes, 26, was traded from Atlanta to Toronto in July 2010 and spent the remainder of the season in the minors. He began 2011 in the majors and made 20 starts with the Blue Jays, going 5-8 with a 5.40 earned run average before he was waived on Aug.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers will try to extend a perfect start to a five-game homestand when they host the sliding Toronto Maple Leafs in Saturdays battle at Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers have matched a season-high winning streak by going 3-0 to begin this stay in South Philadelphia. Craig Berubes club picked up its most recent win with Thursdays 5-2 decision over the Winnipeg Jets. Nick Schultz picked up the game-winner in the second period against the Jets, while Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier scored in the third to help Philly improve to 14-7-3 as the host. Wayne Simmonds and Chris VandeVelde also scored for the Flyers, winners of four of their last five. Schultzs goal was his first marker since he tallied for Edmonton back on April 8, 2013. The defensemans score on Thursday snapped a 2-2 tie and halted his goal drought at 125 games. In his first start since Jan. 8, Steve Mason picked up his second straight positive result thanks to 36 saves. Mason made his return from a lower-body injury with a victory in relief of starter Ray Emery on Tuesday against Arizona. I feel really good. The injury hasnt been a problem which is great, Mason said of his knee issue which kept him sidelined for more than two weeks. More importantly I thought my game felt sharper than last night or the night before rather, which is obviously a positive sign as well. Flyers forward Michael Raffl sat out Thursday with an illness and is questionable for tonight. After this evenings game, the Flyers are off until completing this homestand with Thursdays game against the New York Islanders. Toronto is mired in an eight-game losing streak and the club suffered its seventh regulation defeat of the slide on Thursday despite carrying a 1-0 lead into the third period against visiting Arizona. The Coyotess used a three-goal third period to halt a seven-game slide of their own and drop Toronto to 0-7-1 over its last eight. Philip Rivers Youth Jersey. Arizonas Oliver Ekman- Larsson scored a short-handed goal five seconds into the third period to tie the game and kindle the game-winning rally. Martin Hanzal netted the go-ahead goal for the Coyotes 3:42 after Ekman- Larsson scored and Sam Gagner added a power-play marker to pad the cushion. Phil Kessel scored in the first period for the Maple Leafs, who are 3-15-1 in their last 19 outings and 1-8-1 since Peter Horachek took over for fired head coach Randy Carlyle on an interim basis. The Coyotes peppered Jonathan Bernier, who stopped 32 shots in two periods but allowed three goals on 13 in the third. Bernier fell to 0-5-1 over his last six starts and allowed three goals or more for the fourth time during that span. James Reimer could get the call in net tonight as the Leafs begin a three-game road trip. Reimer is 2-3-0 with a 3.11 goals against average in his career against Philadelphia, while Mason, a native of the Greater Toronto area, is 3-3-1 with a 3.64 GAA in seven lifetime appearances versus the Leafs. The Flyers posted a 7-4 win in Toronto on Dec. 20 behind four-point nights from both Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. Giroux had two goals and two helpers, while Voracek notched four assists. Voracek leads the NHL with 58 points and 41 assists, while Giroux has 52 points on 16 goals and 36 assists. Philadelphia has claimed two straight and eight of the past 12 meetings with the Leafs, who have lost eight of their last 11 at Wells Fargo Center. Toronto is just 7-13-4 on the road and has lost eight in a row as the guest since beating Boston on Dec. 31. The Leafs will continue their swing Tuesday in Nashville before visiting New Jersey on Friday. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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