The Bruins have reached a deal that will send forward Phil Kessel to Toronto. The Bruins received two first-round draft picks — one in 2010 and one in 2011 — plus one 2010 second-round pick in exchange for their leading goal scorer.
Kessel reportedly inked a five-year, $27 million contract extension with the Maple Leafs.
General manager Peter Chiarelli and the Bruins have been engaged in a well-documented struggle to resign the 21-year-old forward for the better part of the summer. They were close to sending him to Toronto during the 2009 NHL draft, but that deal fell through due to miscommunications over draft picks.
According to reports, Kessel had been seeking a contract worth $4 million to $5 million. The $56.8 million salary cap made that an impossible demand for the Bruins to meet. Chiarelli insisted that he would not trade Kessel unless he received ample compensation, considering the caliber of a player like Kessel.
Last season, Kessel had a career year for Boston, registering a team-best 36 goals and 24 assists for 70 points. He will not play until at least November after undergoing rotator cuff surgery in the offseason.
Boston selected Kessel with the fifth overall pick in the 2006 draft.
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