Toronto Maple Leafs: What If the Tomas Kaberle-Phil Kessel Trade Went Through?

Jeff Langridge@@JeffLangridge1Correspondent IIIJanuary 18, 2011

TORONTO,CANADA - JANUARY 3:  Tomas Kaberle #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates to the bench as members of the Boston Bruins congragulate teammate Nathan Horton #18 for scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs during their NHL game at Air Canada Centre on January 3, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

At the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, there was a rumored trade that would have sent Phil Kessel from Boston to Toronto in return for Tomas Kaberle. Apparently, Boston also thought it was getting Toronto's seventh overall pick in the draft and the trade fell through. Kessel would eventually come to Toronto in the infamous Kessel for two first-round picks trade.

What if the trade happened? How would the Toronto Maple Leafs be different? Or would they be different at all?

If the Maple Leafs had still tanked last year, which I'm pretty sure they still would have, they would have had the second overall pick in last year's draft. Therefore, we most likely would have Tyler Seguin on our first line instead of him being buried in Boston. Our first line would then consist of Seguin at centre, Kessel as the right wing and most likely Kris Versteeg at left wing.

Now, even with Seguin on the team, they still would tank this year. We would then pick one of Adam Larsson, Sean Couturier, Gabriel Landeskog or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Now if everything were to go right we would then sign Brad Richards on Jul. 1 of this year, we could move Versteeg down to the second line, put Seguin on left wing and have Richards between Seguin and Kessel.

With those additions, the Leafs' future would look a lot brighter than it is right now. The Leafs would most like begin to climb up the standings in the 2011-12 season, most likely making the playoffs for the first time in seven years.

But thanks to Peter Chiarelli's goof, the Leafs have to fight and crawl to just stay out of the lottery picks once again this year.

Thanks again, Boston. Thanks.