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Finally! bobbyshow's Take On Phil "The Thrill"

I've been wanting to get around to writing this piece for awhile now. Now that Phil Kessel is showing Toronto Maple Leafs' fans his worth, I can.

* The Disclaimer: I am a HUGE Phil Kessel fan. So, if you came here thinking I was going to bag on him, you can stop reading now.

The draft.

I knew something was going down last year at the draft and, when it fell apart, I told my buddy that the deal wasn't dead. Buy my buddy a beer, he'll tell you.

We had to wait until the fall for the deal to be completed and Kessel was injured, but "The Thrill" came to Toronto. Yes, we paid a heavy price but, I feel, we'll get a heavy return.

I've always liked Kessel. When he came to Toronto, I was excited, and that excitment has only grown since I've been watching him on a regular basis.

The shot.

I love that shot. Everytime he lets it go I am reminded of Wendel Clark, my all-time favourite Toronto Maple Leaf. I know he doesn't hit like Wendel, or fight like Wendel, or lead the troops like Wendel did, but his quick release on those wrist and snap shots never fails to bring me back.

The price.

The two first-rounders Brian Burke gave up to the Boston Bruins, to me, are the only drawback to the Phil Kessel deal. Of course, noone predicted the Leafs would be this bad. Well, maybe some Habs fans or Sens fans did, but they always do.

The silver lining.

The upside in this whole mess is that Kessel has a chance to play a role in authoring his own Maple Leafs' legacy. With 11 games remaining in the Leafs' season, Kessel can be a factor in deciding where the Leafs will end this miserable season.

All I have wanted, since the debacle that was the first ten games of the season, was for the Leafs to not finish in one of the final two spots. Just keep Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin off the Boston Bruins. Let Phil Kessel have a great career, here in Toronto, without the spectre of this season and "the trade" hanging over him.

We have some ground to make up, but the Leafs look like a new breed right now, and the fans are responding to it. I think there is a consensus among us Leaf fans that we'd like to see these young upstarts claw their way up a few spots.

I mean, we're pretty much screwed when it comes to catching anyone in the west, but the east has four teams that might be reachable... with a little help along the way. Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders are all pretty bad teams too. I'm a Leaf fan, I've got to believe that my Leafs can catch those teams!

Besides, what else have I got to cheer for?

- bobbyshow

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