Let's take a look at the Phil Kessel trade:
Toronto gets: Phil Kessel
Boston gets: 1st and 2nd round picks in 2010, 1st round pick in 2011
Let's look deeper. A team desperately trying to rebuild sacrifices three early-round picks for the next two years. In exchange, they get a young player who, while good, will not aid either in rebuilding or in mentoring the developing players. Toronto's GM, Brian Burke said, "Bringing Phil Kessel aboard, it's a statement to our players that we intend to be competitive right away".
That's very nice Brian. I intended to be the starting RW for Les Canadiens. Somehow my intentions and reality did not mesh.
On the other hand, a team with a bonafide star, and not at all in the midst of rebuilding, mortgaged that player for picks that have no guarantee of paying off to the degree Kessel did. And even if those picks do become stars, they won't come into their own for several more years. So the Bruins, after last year's success, and presumably hoping to build upon it, are instead acting like a rebuilding team.
OK, so maybe Kessel was not long for Boston. That's fine. Just look at the Senators--you can't blame them for trading away a cancerous teammate. (Ouch--I meant that figuratively.) But for the Bruins to trade away a star while they are fast becoming a contender, and get nothing back for the immediate future, is ridiculously stupid. Meanwhile, the Leafs just don't get it either.
Of course, the benefit for this Montreal hockey fan is that I get to laugh at both the Leafs and Bruins. Just goes to show that Montreal doesn't have a monopoly on bad management.