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Reports: Leafs, Kessel could be close to lengthy extension

Sep 30, 2013, 10:40 PM EDT

kesselgetty Getty Images

Phil Kessel doesn’t want to talk about a contract extension once the 2013-14 season begins, but he didn’t say anything about cramming in a deal right before it starts. Multiple reports (including from TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston) indicate that the two sides are hammering out details and might just be close.

At the moment, the money is falling in the $8 million per season range (“give or take $500K”) and the term could be either seven or eight years, McKenzie reports.

TSN reporters McKenzie and Darren Dreger emphasize that nothing is set in stone and neither the team nor Kessel’s agent will respond to the rumors, but both believe that some kind of news will drop before Tuesday night’s opener.

Kessel, 26, is one of the two enormous free agent considerations for the Leafs alongside defenseman and captain Dion Phaneuf. Adding Kessel’s raise to the 2014-15 Leafs roster would bring the cap payout to about $42 million for 11 players, according to Cap Geek’s estimates.

(Being that the Leafs 2013-14 cap total is around $62 million at the moment, it’s obvious that Kessel and Phaneuf aren’t the only guys looking to earn new deals, though.)

Be advised to attach all the “plenty can happen in the next 24 hours” and “don’t assume anything yet” modifiers, because they’re probably applicable. Still, this would be a huge signing that would pour a quart of icing on the top of a summer full of bold and memorable moves.

Johnston provides more in the video below.

  1. bunglesandbears - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Please please don’t do that! We’ll need the money to pay for the quality rfa’s we do have and that locks us down for way too long.

  2. barkar942 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    And if Nonis doesn’t pony up the cash, he had better have his shin and ankle guards on!

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:37 AM

      Just don’t make any sudden movements.

  3. jb8588 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    $8 mil a year for a one-dimensional player like Kessel? Pass.

    • hockeyflow33 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:04 AM

      No kidding, who needs goal scorers?

    • joey4id - Oct 1, 2013 at 7:36 AM

      Right! Way too much money this guy.

  4. earpaniac - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Wow. If he’s an $8 million a year player, I’m not looking forward to when Toews and Kane become FA.

  5. fahmundamahbalsaq - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    Heard the lengthy extension was with the Blue Jays. They took one look at the two-handed ankle swing and want him at Spring Training.

  6. druhlman - Oct 1, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    Holy crap, $8 million for Kessel? That puts him in too close to Crosby for a guy I couldn’t even put in a class with Pavel or Zetterberg… $6 million is do-able 8 is way too much!

    • dueman - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      Except for the fact that he has scored more points then Datsyuk, or Zetterberg in both the last 2 seasons! His defensive play has improved by leaps and bounds, but i forgot, he plays for Toronto, so he must be worthless, right? Also don’t forget that Crosby at 8.7 mill was a home team discount. All you people on here hating on the guy need to get over yourselves, because whether you like it or not, he’s one of the best players in the game.

  7. jcmeyer10 - Oct 1, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    I think we need to keep in mind there is a strong consensus that the salary cap is going up. That having been said, 8 million today is less than 8 million in a couple years. Salary’s in a capped situation need to be evaluated against the proportion of team salary they take up.

    Maybe Kessell is a 9 million dollar man when the big number goes up and the Leafs are being smart here.

  8. mshantz22 - Oct 1, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    On any other team with additional forward talent, like Vancouver, Detroit, Chicago, San Jose, etc. Kessel is worth maybe 6-6.5 mil a season. Toronto will have to add an extra 2 million on to that simply because as of right now, they lack a comparable skilled forward. If Nonis was smart, he would trade him early in the season.

    • dueman - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      You need to lay off the crack!

      • mshantz22 - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        Say what you want, but the guys has had 1 positive +/- season of his career. Also I don’t believe there is really anyone in the NHL, other than Stamkos and Crosby that are worth much more than 8 million a year. I don’t think that the leafs will be making a good move if they sign Kessel for that much. Too many other guys wanting more money / having been paid too much money (see Clarkson and Bozak).

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