The Bruins arrived at the NHL draft Friday night poised to deal Phil Kessel to the Maple Leafs for veteran defenseman Tomas Kaberle, according to sources with first-hand knowledge of the negotiations that took place over the course of two days last week.
The Bruins believed they were sending Kessel, destined to become a restricted free agent on Wednesday, and Boston’s first-round pick in the June 2010 draft for Kaberle and Toronto’s first pick, No. 7 overall, in this year’s draft.
Boston GM Peter Chiarelli learned early Friday evening, some 2 1/2 hours prior to the start of the draft, that Toronto GM Brian Burke never intended to include the No. 7 pick. The proposed deal ended there, with the Bruins unwilling to give up Kessel and their first-rounder next June for Kaberle alone.