Phil Kessel’s trade value is debated, plus the latest on Alexander Radulov’s possible return to the Predators. 


Could Burke trade Kessel?

TORONTO STAR: Mark Zwolinski reported on Phil Kessel’s potential trade value in the wake of his colleague Damien Cox yesterday suggesting the Leafs should trade the winger. Questioning “NHL insiders and GMs” about Kessel’s trade value, it’s believed he could perhaps fetch Columbus’ Rick Nash in a package deal, or a first round pick.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle recently reported Leafs GM Brian Burke is inclined to retain his first round pick this season, which could potentially be in the top three of this year’s entry draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The longer this speculation over Kessel’s trade value goes unaddressed by Burke, the more it’ll grow, especially for a Toronto media without a team to cover in the upcoming playoffs. Best for Burke to nip this in the bud now, rather than at season’s end. As for his first round pick, if it’s a high one, he’d better retain it, given the brouhaha generated by his trading two first round picks (one of which turned into Tyler Seguin) for Kessel.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports prodigal winger Alexander Radulov apparently wants to return to the Nashville Predators, but the holdup is his KHL team doesn’t want to let him go before his contract expires on April 30th. Predators coach Barry Trotz believes a decision on Radulov could come soon.

CANOE.CA: cited TVA Sports’ Bob Hartley claimed a Russian source informed him Radulov’s return to the Predators is all but set, as the only hurdle now is he’s awaiting his visa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of conflicting news over when Radulov might join the Predators this season, if ever. We’ll find out soon enough if Hartley’s source is correct.