Brian Burke Expresses No Regret in Phil Kessel Trade


March 4, 2010

The Toronto Maple Leafs sent two first-round picks and a second-round pick to Boston to acquire Phil Kessel last September — everybody knows that. What everybody gathers is that general manager Brian Burke spent at least part of his day on Wednesday trying to get at least one first- or second-round pick back in a deadline-day deal.

He didn't, as the Leafs picked up a fifth-, fourth- and two seventh-round picks, while the biggest name in Toronto trade rumors, Tomas Kaberle, once again stayed put in Toronto.

Yet Burke made clear in his post-deadline news conference that trading for Kessel is a move for which he has absolutely no regrets.

"I would do it again and again and again if I had to," Burke said, as quoted in the Toronto Sun.

With the Leafs having the second-fewest points in the NHL, and that first-round pick looking more and more like it could net a franchise player for the Bruins, Burke said that such an occurrence would only make the deal better in his mind.

"I would be happy if [Bruins GM] Peter Chiarelli got either [Tyler] Seguin or [Taylor] Hall," Burke said, in reference to the likely top-two picks in June's draft. "The best trades are those that benefit both teams, and, in our case, we got a 21-year-old kid in Kessel who scored 37 goals in the National Hockey League.

"Like I said, I'd do it again."

All things considered, would the Bruins? It won't make a frustrated Boston fan base happy, but the answer won't be known for at least a couple of years.

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