We could be watching Phil Kessel’s final days, weeks, or months in Toronto, but if he is on his way out, where will he go to? One destination that’s popped up recently is the Florida Panthers and it’s not hard to see why. Unlike the Maple Leafs, Florida is a team on the rise and Panthers GM Dale Tallon recently listed his greatest need as a “sniper or scorer with a little more speed on the wing” on The Fan 590.
All the same, Kessel might not be heading to Florida anytime soon, if at all.
“Florida general manager Dale Tallon and Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis have not had one specific conversation about Phil Kessel, and they did actually talk (Monday), but not about Kessel,” TSN’s Bob McKenzie said.
McKenzie characterized the Panthers’ interest in Kessel as general in the sense that they want a player like him and would pull the trigger under the right set of circumstances, but nothing’s likely to happen until the summer. Even then, they might not be a good fit for Toronto as the Panthers reportedly don’t want to break up their young core, which might kill any potential trade.
These rumors were also brought up when The Fan had Tallon on.
“Well I don’t want to pay any big fines. Phil Kessel’s a (heck) of a player, he can score a lot of goals, but I don’t know where that (the rumors) coming from,” Tallon said. He went on to say that he’s planning to stay the course when it comes to the trade deadline and even raised the possibility of being a seller despite the fact that the Panthers are still in the race for a playoff spot.
So perhaps nothing is imminent, but then again, nothing has been decided yet either. There’s still a week and a half before the deadline and we might be in for some surprises and blockbusters. After all, it certainly wouldn’t be the first major in-season trade to send shock waves through the league.