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article imageToronto Maple Leafs make minor trade, shop Phil Kessel

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 19, 2015 in Sports
The Toronto Maple Leafs are already active on the trade market in advance of next week's NHL entry draft. The Leafs traded a defensive prospect to the Florida Panthers for a scoring prospect and have been shopping disgruntled winger Phil Kessel.
Hyman: Scoring winger
The Leafs sent center Greg McKegg, who played four games with the big club (pointless) for unsigned Zach Hyman, a college player from the University of Michigan who has yet to play a professional game. They were both taken in the same 2010 entry draft, McKegg 62nd overall and Hyman 123rd. Both turned 23 this month.
Reports say the Leafs, who also get a conditional 7th round draft pick in the deal, must sign Hyman by August 15 or he becomes an unrestricted free agent. There is no news on whether he is leaning toward signing, but he had indicated to Florida he was looking for a quick path to an NHL opportunity. Should he have a good training camp, he may have a chance to make the Leafs
In the 2010-11 season, Hyman was named Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year while scoring 42 goals and getting 102 points with the OJHL's Hamilton Red Wings, good for second in league scoring. Last season in 37 games he led the Big 10 Michigan in scoring with 22-32-54.
Meanwhile, in his third season in the AHL, McKegg got 22 goals, 17 assists for 39 points while playing in 62 games. The former Erie Otter was a +9 on the season.
Bernier and Kessel news
The Leafs are also looking to sign RFA goalie Jonathan Bernier and reports say they will take him to club-elected arbitration. The club is likely looking to sign Bernier, who saw his numbers drop last season on an underachieving team, to a short-term contract; Bernier may be looking for something longer-range.
As expected, Toronto is shopping Phil Kessel. Two NHL GMs have told media the asking price is too high and they are waiting for it to come down. The Leafs will likely have to pick up some of Kessel's contract in a deal; next season his cap hit is $8 million and will remain at that figure until its completion after the 2021-22 season.
Last season Kessel, 27, had 25 goals, 36 assists for 61 points and was a -34.
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