Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday!
This week in 2015 (July 1), the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins alongside Tim Erixon, Tyler Biggs and a 2016 second-round pick (Kasper Bjorkqvist) in exchange for Nick Spaling, Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington and first (Sam Steel) and third-round (James Greenway) picks in 2016.
The wild Kessel era in Toronto had finally come to an end and in a big way. Toronto moved on from a great player that put up 394 points in 446 games.
The only piece of that trade that really remains in Toronto is Kasperi Kapanen, who has flourished into a great scoring winger. While he hasn’t produced near the level Kessel did, in the last two years he’s had strong seasons scoring 44 and 36 points respectively.
The 2016 first-round pick was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in the deal that brought Freddie Andersen to town as he’s flourished into one of the top goalies in the league.
Kessel went on to win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2015-16 and 2016-17 scoring at a slightly better pace in Pittsburgh that than of Toronto.
The Penguins traded him to the Arizona Coytoes alongside Dane Birks for Pierre-Oliver Joseph and a 2021 4th round pick in 2021 in June 2019.
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