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Kessel’s agent says it’s too soon to talk about re-signing in Toronto

Feb 9, 2013, 3:41 PM EDT

Phil Kessel AP

Phil Kessel‘s future in Toronto is a hot topic amongst Maple Leafs fans and with good reason. The Leafs are struggling and with Kessel having one more year after this left on his contract, many think he could be traded if the Leafs fall out of the playoff hunt.

James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail asked Kessel’s agent, Wade Arnott, if there’s a chance he could re-sign with the team. Arnott was in no hurry to start talking about that.

“The season is just 11 games old,” Arnott said. “I know Phil is only focusing on the next game. We’ll see what the off-season brings, but I know he enjoys playing for the Leafs and living in a hockey market.”

Yes, it may be a bit too early to start talking about extensions, but Toronto is in an odd place between deciding if they’re going to push for the playoffs or rebuilding completely. It’s never not fun when it comes to the Leafs.

  1. soj83 - Feb 9, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    I think Kessel would benefit from going to a non-traditional hockey market. In Toronto and in Boston he is/was under the microscope. Look at Joe Thornton, different style of players, but both talented and capable of putting up huge numbers. Kessel has scored the past few years for TOR, but going to a place like Fla, Phx, etc may make playing easier on him with a less intense media/fan base.

  2. mclovinhockey - Feb 9, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    I agree with soj83, even a medium market like Washington might be a great move but could def see him doing great in Tampa

  3. pastabelly - Feb 9, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Market size had nothing to do with his problems in Boston. He refused to play two way hockey.

  4. tatdue - Feb 9, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    All you people talking about Kessel leaving Toronto are on glue….The guy has said many times that he loves playing in Toronto and in a major hockey market so him going to a non traditional market is nonsense. Lupol just resigned and Kessel is next. The guy is only 25 years old which makes him a perfect fit right where he is with a growing team. The media is just trying to make up a story here where there isn’t one…it makes me laugh when people buy into the drivel that the sports media pukes up….

    • macjacmccoy - Feb 9, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      um they are talking about trading too. Kessel really doesnt have much of a choice there. If the new GM doesnt think hes worth the money he will command in an extension then it doesnt matter if he wants to stay or not. If Toronto feels like they arent going to win this year then he can be traded to a non traditional market. Same thing goes for next year.

    • kicksave1980 - Feb 9, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      You may be right, but take a step back for a second. He’s playing in a city where every time a Leaf sneezes, it’s reported. Do you really expect him to say “Yeah, I hate it here. I can’t wait to leave.”?

      Of course he says he wants to stay, and he may want to, but a lot of guys have said that before bolting for the money.

  5. 604YVR - Feb 9, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    I wouldn’t blame him if he wanted out.

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