BOSTON — So now we know the one X factor we didn’t during the entirety of the Phil Kessel saga. The speedy winger, Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli revealed today, asked for a trade in early July.

Unlike the Dany Heatley trade demand that played out as a public soap opera almost all summer, this one stayed a little more private and helped the Bruins receive an ample bounty of two first-round picks and a second-round from Toronto last night in exchange for the holdout restricted free agent.

For my complete coverage of Chiarelli’s morning press conference, check out my blog at

Now that we know that there was no way Kessel was going to be back — both because of his hefty demand and his desire to leave — you have to appreciate Chiarelli’s ability to maximize his asset. The Leafs are not figured to be Cup contenders any time soon, so those three picks should all be in a nice position when the drafts roll around. And they also make for great trade chips.