There is a lot of truth to what you say and imply. Last year wasn't Kessel's fault and those who are trying to frame it that way are simply changing the story to suit their narrative... with a nice side of "I can feel better about this now that he's gone." He wasn't even the worst individual problem player. I'll give you one guess who that was. But he sure wasn't helping a lot of the time, either. And most importantly it was frustrating Malkin (more specifically Sully and Kessel's nonstop battles) to far past the point of distraction. I'm not as enthusiastic about getting rid of Kessel as some. But in many ways it's getting rid of the idea of Kessel that bugs me. It's getting rid of an elite offensive talent the other team has to account for and replacing him with a bunch of question marks and 3rd/4th liners that bothers me. Kessel himself by the end of last year had basically already saw himself out the door and for a multitude of reasons simply could not return. There was too much damage done on both sides. Too much toxicity. As for AG... we'll just have to see. I have never been a fan and frankly don't see much there but he has some attributes that Malkin could possibly tease the absolute best case scenario out of.