Phil Kessel trade: Penguins put disaster insurance on pick sent to Leafs

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Phil Kessel trade: Penguins put disaster insurance on pick sent to Leafs
Phil Kessel trade: Penguins put disaster insurance on pick sent to Leafs

The Pittsburgh Penguins made their trade of Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel official on Wednesday: Kessel, forward Tyler Biggs and defenseman Tim Erixon in exchange for Kasperi Kapanen, Nick Spaling, Scott Harrington and a 2016 third-round draft pick previously acquired from New Jersey for their signing of coach John Hynes. 

The deal also involves two conditional picks. And that’s where it gets a little complicated:

*If Pittsburgh qualifies for the 2016 postseason, Toronto will receive the Penguins’ 2016 first-round draft pick; and the Penguins will receive Toronto’s 2016 second-round selection. The second-round pick would be the one Toronto originally acquired from Pittsburgh for Daniel Winnik earlier this year.

*Should Pittsburgh miss the 2016 playoffs, Toronto will INSTEAD receive the Penguins’ 2017 first-round pick; with Pittsburgh getting Toronto’s 2017 second-round selection in return.

*If the Penguins were to miss the postseason the next two years, Toronto would receive Pittsburgh’s 2017 second-round draft pick and Pittsburgh would not receive a draft pick.

Everybody got that?

The last option is a fun one: If in fact this trade turns out to be a massive bust, and the Penguins completely implode and miss the playoffs for the next two seasons, the return actually gets worse for the Maple Leafs.

Sorry, Leafs fan, but you won’t have the Penguins’ lottery pick this year to go along with your own in the Auston Matthews derby. 

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