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Kessel still not talking contract extension with Leafs

Sep 11, 2013, 11:22 AM EDT

Phil Kessel AP

The window for the Toronto Maple Leafs to negotiate a contract extension with Phil Kessel appears to be closing.

Kessel, 25, can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and he reiterated today that he doesn’t want to talk contract with the Leafs during the season.

Heading into training camp, he says there have been no talks so far.

Wherever he ends up signing, he wants to ink a long-term deal.

“I want to be somewhere for a long period of time,” said Kessel, per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

Kessel is one of the NHL’s top snipers; if healthy, he can be expected to score at least 30 goals per season.

Which is to say, with the salary cap expected to rise in the coming years, he’s in line for a mega-deal.

For now, it doesn’t sound like he’s ready to limit his options.

“It’s something I think all guys look forward to,” Kessel said of his potential free agency. “You can choose where you want to play. I’ll see what happens.”

Related: Kessel would ‘love’ to spend rest of career with Leafs, says agent

  1. ballistictrajectory - Sep 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    How about spending a “long period of time” in front of the opponent’s net?

    • timsabourin - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      how about no? dummy

  2. hockey412 - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    If they spent $5.2M on Clarkson, $4.2M on Bozak, and then let Kessel walk….something is wrong. They might want to start thinking about a conversation with his agent.

    • ballistictrajectory - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      He’s not in Boston for a reason. Maybe he won’t be in Toronto for the same reason.

    • rsmaggiemae - Sep 12, 2013 at 1:45 AM

      I think he is just waiting until next year so that maybe he could sign with the Wild as his sister is a star player for the womens Minnesota Gopher hockey team and then he would be able to see his sister play if he were to live here.. makes sense to me since he is from’Wisc but we would love to have him here. I am sure of that…
      His sisters name is Amanda Kessel and she is really a great player, the womens team is
      49-0 for two years and won the NCAA championship both years…. hope they repeat this years….
      Just a thought as to maybe why is not talking contract until next year…..

      • hockey412 - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:26 AM

        I guess with Heatley’s contract up next year that’s not all that far fetched.

      • lbeezyse - Sep 12, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        It is a nice thought, but it is highly unlikely the Wild would make a serious push for Kessel. I see him getting a fat contract offer from Jersey, LA, or a team like Edmonton. The Wild are going to make a push for Vanek. If that fails & Kessel is on the market….who knows, maybe it could happen.

        I’d would love to take Gardiner off the Leafs hands though!

  3. jcmeyer10 - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    His negotiation tactic is to sit there posing like he did for the USA Olympic jersey photo shoot until Toronto becomes so uncomfortable they give in to his terms.

  4. channelguy - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    If Kessel leaves, it won’t be the Leafs’ choice. It would be because his agent has got intimations from a US-based team that they would be willing to sign him to a crazy deal like $10 million a year, OR because Kessel wants to go back to the U.S. and will only play there. Either is possible. Neither is that likely. And regardless what Kessel says about not negotiating during the season, the Leafs will know if he’s signing by trade deadline, and if he won’t sign, they will move him.

  5. avfanforlife - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Av’s are doing fine in the Forwards dept., but I’d take Kessel in a heartbeat!

    • btlpper68 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      Prett sure every other team would

  6. bosoxfan15 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Kessel is a one-way player. If you want him to sacrifice himself to win, he’s not going to do it. That is why the bruins got rid of him.

    • sunderlanding - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      He was when they got rid of him, but he’s slowly learning the other side of the game.

    • dueman - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      bosoxfan15 – Has it really been 5 years since you’ve watched a hockey game? Your comment proves your ignorance of today’s NHL. Kessel is no one-way player anymore. You obviously didn’t even watch your own team in the playoffs last year!

      • beergold - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:19 PM

        Yep the dooman might just be on to something here folks! Kessel is definately learning to be the all around NHL franchise player the Leafs have been searching for. He was only minus 3 last year and that IS a hardcore improvement for a career minus one dimensional player. And once again slamming anyone who may have an opinion other than his doochness self!

    • duffsterca - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      That was a long time ago, look at his defensive style now is much better, he was checking Chara & others and made many defensive efforts to save shots on goal in the playoffs last year and in the regular season. People change, opinions of them should too.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      Don’t make fun of bosoxfan. It’s always nice to hear the classics again. :P

      Remember “Kessel can’t get points without Marc Savard”? That takes me back! Always good for a laugh.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      This is the dumbest argument ever, you’re listening to too much Felger.

      His one dimension is goal scoring, please tell me how that’s bad.

  7. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    “It’s something I think all guys look forward to,” Kessel said of his potential free agency. “You can choose where you want to play. I’ll see what happens.”

    This line scares me. Sounds like he has no intentions of re-signing and every intention of testing the market and moving on. Time to start shopping him around. If Kessel walks for nothing, the Leafs go back into the dark ages.

    • timsabourin - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      literally lifted out of a tweet. easy to take 140 characters out of context.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        I hope so. I want Kessel signed long term… but the threat of losing him for nothing is an issue. You can’t just replace that kind of offensive talent… and considering how much they gave up to get him in the first place.

  8. denverwally - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    I’m a Bruin’s fan but I would take him back. Nothing wrong with having a legit sniper busting in off the wing for your team. But I doubt if Julien would want him back, unfortunately. Kessel will play a little D, but Julien requires a LOT of D out of the forwards. Hence, Seguin is now in Dallas.

  9. canadianguest - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Imagine Kessel in Pittsburgh.

  10. rpettit123 - Sep 12, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    Imagine Kessel trading teams with his sister ROFLMAO

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