By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Puck-heads like myself often go back in history to see the progression of a single trade and the “tree” of personnel moves that branched out of it. For a hockey obsessive, it’s an oddly satisfying undertaking.
For the Boston Bruins, the Phil Kessel trade continues to grow as they sit with several prospects resulting from subsequent trades involving Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton, among others. The Bruins drafted Seguin and Hamilton with first round picks acquired in the Kessel deal that happened shortly before the start of the 2009-10 season.
The Bruins technically got a Stanley Cup win out of the deal, as Seguin had a solid postseason in his rookie year when the Bruins won it all, so you may view it as a win no matter what happens from here. But, it’s the Seguin part of the trade tree that really depreciates the overall value.
While it is generally agreed upon that the Bruins did not get enough value on the return in the trade that sent Seguin to the Dallas Stars, there is a chance that the team signs Loui Eriksson to a contract extension and Joe Morrow still has time to potentially develop into a solid NHL defenseman. The Dougie Hamilton trade, however, resulted in three prospects that are at least a year or two away from even cracking the Bruins’ roster, so there is still plenty of time for those players to grow.
If the Bruins decide not to re-sign Eriksson and lose him via free agency, the team will be left with a handful of young prospects and borderline NHL-caliber players. They’d better hope that the younger pieces pan out.
The full Kessel “trade tree” is below, but click here for a high-resolution version.
(Graphic by Matt Dolloff)
So, assuming Eriksson signs an extension, he acts as the de facto “centerpiece” of the Kessel trade tree. If he leaves Boston via free agency, this is what the Bruins are ultimately left with from the Phil Kessel trade:
Hayes has been a serviceable third-line winger for the Bruins while Morrow could still become a viable starting defenseman at the NHL level, but Phillips was acquired for former second-round pick Jared Knight and has yet to add any value to the NHL club.
The remaining three prospects are far away from proving whether or not they are NHL-caliber players. Senyshyn and Forsbacka-Karlsson, however, project to eventually be top-six forwards at the NHL level. If one of them develops into a top-line player, does that make the Kessel trade a win?
The Bruins may not have gotten good value for Tyler Seguin, but the original Kessel trade was a definite win for the Black & Gold. With players still developing and Eriksson unsure of his future, it’s unknown just how good or bad this trade tree ultimately looks.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at email@example.com.