TORONTO - NOVEMBER 18: Kris Versteeg #32 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his goal against the New Jersey Devils during game action at the Air Canada Centre November 18 2010 in Toronto Ontario Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
My first reaction to the Kris Versteeg trade was that the Flyers made a gross overpayment to get him, but as the night's gone on and the taste has swirled around in my mouth a bit, I'm a lot happier with the deal.
I'm pretty convinced that the first round pick (hopefully 30th in the 2011 Draft) will be pretty inconsequential, even if there is a certain stigma in going three straight years without a first round pick. Our friends (I guess) over at SB Nation's Pension Plan Puppets seem to agree with that assessment.
[A reader with a username not relevant to BSH readers] put the trade as "Stalberg, Paradia, DiDomenico for a 1st and 3rd round pick" but that hides the fact that all that has happened is that the Leafs have traded three guys that were looking to be nothing into two picks that will likely turn into nothing. In the meantime, Burke has let an established, young NHLer go. Much like the Kessel trade, we'll really only be able to judge this move down the line once the picks have been made, have had time to develop, and we see where Kris Versteeg goes.
How will Leafs fans remember Versteeg? More on that after the jump.
From that same story:
Versteeg had a tough start to his Maple Leafs career with just two points in his first nine games and five in his first 13 games. Since then he'd added 12-18-30 in 40 GP or a 62 point pace but his start had labelled him a flop amongst the majority of Leafs fans and the anti-Leafs contingent. Today, shock at the move was met with variations on "not bad for a third liner on a shitty team!" which just belies the ignorance that we have to confront every day.
Kris Versteeg was only behind Fredrik Sjostrom among Leafs' forward for quality of competition at even strength, he was fourth in ice-time among forwards at even strength, he was fifth in points per 60 minutes of even strength ice time. He was clearly not a 'third liner' but who lets facts get in the way of slamming the Leafs?
Sounds like there was a lot of jumping down the throat of the poor guy in Toronto after a slow start. Wait, Leafs fans and media jumping to conclusions too soon?! In Toronto?! Never! All signs point to a fresh start and a new bit of motivation being good or Versteeg. I'm personally excited to see what he can do as a Flyer.