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Updated: Kessel inks eight-year, $64 million extension with Leafs

Oct 1, 2013, 11:50 AM EDT

Phil Kessel Getty Images

Last night it came out that the negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and star forward Phil Kessel had intensified. Now the contract talks are almost finalized, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie.

UPDATE (11:48 a.m. ET)

It’s finalized. The Leafs have announced Kessel’s signed an eight-year deal, with various outlets confirming the $64 million price tag. The Globe and Mail reports it has a no-movement and limited no-trade clause.

At that cap hit, Toronto would have about $42 million committed to 11 players in 2014-15 based on Cap Geek’s numbers. That doesn’t factor in the restricted free agents they will have to deal with over the offseason, including Cody Franson and goaltender James Reimer.

The other half of Toronto’s goaltending tandem, Jonathan Bernier, as well as forward Nazem Kadri are set to become restricted free agents in the summer of 2015.

Signing Kessel now spares the Maple Leafs and Kessel a season of intense trade speculation, but it also obviously means securing a vital member of the team. Kessel has emerged as a point-per-game player over his tenure in Toronto and has managed to stay relatively healthy.

The Wisconsin-native reached the 30-goal mark for four straight seasons before the shortened campaign. In 2013, he tied for seventh in the NHL with 52 points.

Toronto’s next order of business is reportedly captain Dion Phaneuf. Those negotiations might be tough though, as Phaneuf wants $6.5 million annually at a minimum, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Good for Philbert. A point per game player is someone you pay good money too. Especially if they are starting to show the toughness.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      BUHAHAHAHAHA
      Once in his life he got a point per game, and I love how Leaf fans pretend that Kessel isn’t STILL one of the leagues worst defensive forwards.

      Another massive overpayment, just like Clarkson

      • andrewsabourin13 - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        you do realize thats the going rate for players of Kessels caliber right? or have you been living under a rock? He had 4 straight 30 goal seasons before last year (and he had 20 last year)… Get outta here troll

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        You just described Alexander Semin

        Bravo you know-nothing Leaf moron

      • borderline1988 - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        He isn’t one of the worst defensive players in the league…he made a major improvement last year in that regard.
        There’s no way Kessel would have got less than $7 million/year on the open market in a long term deal. This is one deal I like…he is a legitimate and proven top-10 offensive player in the NHL just entering his prime; these are the guys you need to win a championship.

        The Clarkson deal was a bit more confusing though. I’m not a fan of giving long-term deals to unproven players. These are the deals that can turn out to be disastrous.
        Just like Reimer or Cody Franson – I like both of them, but they are not proven enough to warrant expensive long-term deals at this point.

      • dueman - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        @andrewsabourin13 – imajagoffguy can’t help himself. He’s just a hater. They have no lives, so they are like magnets to any Leaf article. They spend their days in their Mom’s houses thinking up stupid things to say about the Leafs and their fans because for some reason it makes them feel like, for that one second in time that it takes to hit “post comment,” that somehow, their lives mean something. Then it goes away, and they realize that they are still useless, so they look for another article! I’m sure that there will be more of them showing up soon…beergold comes to mind, but hey, everybody likes to feel special once in a while, right? It’s best to just leave them alone, and let them have their thing.

      • goodolejr - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:48 AM

        Actually the past 2 seasons he was a PPG and over a PPG respectively. At age 26 (tomorrow) he’s in his prime years and will likely stay at a PPG, or close to it. And 4 consecutive 30+ goal seasons and a 20 goal 48 game season is a good reason he got what he got.

        I’m not a Leafs fan by any means, but he would have gotten at least the same AAV from any other team as a UFA. He wouldn’t have gotten 8 years for obvious reasons but I have no doubt he would have gotten 7 from anywhere.

        And this “imnotyourbuddyguy” character…wow. I hate it when trolls have decent usernames.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        One full season Opie, sorry, I don’t count 48 games as a full season, just like the rest of the world. Once and only once has Kessel been a point per game player for an entire season.

        And again
        Whoooooptee-doooooooooo 30 goal seasons while being some bad on D that you give back all 30 and more.

        And Toronto should have traded him and allowed some other stupid club to give him 8 million per year then.

        Because I promise you this, the BEST GM’s in the NHL, you know….the guys in Detroit, Boston and Chicago would have NEVER given him 8 million per year. That’s why they are winners, and the Leafs and any other team stupid enough to pay Kessel 8 per are losers.

      • sunderlanding - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        What do you know it’s you again. Don’t you have a life, or maybe this is it? Like I said to you before sometimes it takes a while to learn the defensive part of the game. It took Yzerman a long time. Well over 500 games. And as much as I realize Yzerman is a better player than Kessel it still took him over 500 games to learn to play defense, so if it takes Kessel that long it’s not like it’s never happened before. But you knew that already you just wanted to bash the Leafs, because your life has more to do with the teams you hate than the ones you like.

      • sabatimus - Oct 1, 2013 at 8:51 PM

        It’s amazing that some people still refuse to admit how Kessel is an absolute defensive liability. He can score and that’s it. He’s basically a one-way forward. At $8M/year? Gross overpay, something that I’d expect Burke to do. But the new GM is proving he’s just as dumb as Burke was.

  2. imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Kessel for 8 per and Clarkson for 5? LMAO
    Enjoy another decade of winning nothing of value Leaf fans.

    Just another buffoon GM after another in Toronto refusing to accept how every Cup Champion is built these days.

    Love it

    • andrewsabourin13 - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      Enlighten me on the “formula” for winning a Stanley Cup?

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        The Hawks don’t get Kane and Toews without accepting a rebuild, without building through the draft, without getting and keeping top 5 picks.

        The Pens don’t get Crosby and Malkin without the same

        The Kings don’t get Doughty and Kopitar without a rebuild either

        How many 8 year 64 million dollar contracts have the Bruins thrown around? Where is the Bruins Dave Clarkson overspending contract?

        Enlightened enough?

        The Leafs are copying their failed plan that they used with Sundin, it’s hillarious

      • sens101 - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        generally speaking. The formula is building through the draft and developing most of your players internally. See Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh etc. Though i dont think Toronto is necessarily too far away from that as all of those teams had many free agent signings and trades helping them out. But the “core” was developed internally

      • borderline1988 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        You’re cherry-picking examples for your argument…Boston hasn’t thrown around long-term contracts but all those other players you mentioned got big deals?

        All this proves that there is more than one way to win a Cup. There have also been a number of teams who went to the Finals in the past decade, who weren’t the product of tanking for a couple of years and getting super-lucky in the draft (Vancouver, New Jersey, Detroit, Anaheim, Carolina, Ottawa, etc.).

        And of course, the opposite works as well. There are plenty of crappy teams who pick near the top of the draft year after year, but get no-where.

        The Penguins chanced upon 2 of the best players in a generation (Crosby, Malkin) and 2 exceptional side pieces (Staal and Letang) within a couple of years. Chicago had a similar run of luck in the draft.
        It’s not as easy as it seems; luck matters more than anything else. Edmonton has spent years at the top of the draft, and picked some supposedly extremely talented players. But none of them are quite like Pittsburgh’s or Chicago’s stars, and I don’t see them winning a Cup with that core.

      • andrewsabourin13 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        soo winning a lottery is the formula? make sure you send that memo out to all you GM buddies eh?

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        A few problems with your “Cup winning recipe”

        1. Chicago didn’t turn into a cup winner overnight. Boston didn’t turn into a cup winner overnight, LA didn’t turn into a cup winner overnight. Toronto is one (half) season removed from their rebuild years.

        Is Toronto not allowed to develop their draft picks? or is that a privileged only non-Toronto teams get? Kadri was Burke’s first pick and he just had his 1st ‘full’ season last year. Leafs have 4 first round picks still in the system. 3 if you count that Morgan Rielly is starting with the team this year.

        2. NONE of those teams won exclusively by drafting their teams. Hawks don’t win their 1st cup without Sharp, Hossa, Ladd, Versteeg. LA doesn’t win without Richards, Carter, Stoll, Scuderi, Mitchell. Boston doesn’t win without Chara, Thomas, Seidenberg, Horton, Ryder, Peverley, Kelly, Thornton, etc.

        Leafs may not have drafted them but they’ve acquired players who were good draft picks. Kessel was a 5th overall pick, JVR was 2nd overall. Bernier was the 1st goalie drafted his year, 11th overall. Are the Leafs not allowed to trade either?

        There isn’t a team in the league that has ever won the cup purely through the draft. Trading and Free agent signings are just as important as anything else.

    • beergold - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      Who thinks, (other than the hockey god himself dooman) think that Kessel will be or is the leader the Leafs need to raise the Stanley Cup? The Laffs are a long long way from their charade down Younge Street.

    • hockey412 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      Your logic below is just plain stupid. No offense, just saying. You clearly would be the league’s WORST GM, ever.

      Is that you, Milbury?

    • sunderlanding - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      …who did the Bruins get for their rebuild again? And the Red Wings? When was their rebuild? Oh that’s right you only use the examples that help your point. Face it your wrong. You don’t HAVE to rebuild to win the cup. It’s one way, but it’s not the only way.

  3. imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Watch as the cluelsss homer Leaf fans come flocking in, So happy to over-pay for their one trick pony. They will say stupid things like “He score goals”. Yup, so does Alexander Semin. So does Jeff Carter, but I don’t see anyone giving those two 8 years 64 million.

    Leafs just paid Kessel like a top 5 player in this league when it’s a FACT that he isn’t even a top 15 forward in this league.

    Oh and before any moronic, kool-aid drinking, know-nothing Leaf fans says something stupid like “Kessel is a top 15 forward”

    Datsyuk, Bergeron, Kopitar, Towes, Kane, Crosby, Perry, Getzlaf, Malkin, Giroux, Tavares, Neal, Ovy, Stamkos, St.Louis, Eric Staal there’s 16 better forwards.

    Leaf fans are and always have been the most out-to-lunch idiots in pro sport

    • andrewsabourin13 - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Most of those guys you just mentioned are making north of 7 million per. The last 2 season Kessel has finished in the top 10 in scoring, how is he not atleast a top 15?

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

        Dur, because scoring isn’t everything and Kessel is a liability on the ice when he doesn’t have the puck?

        And Kessel makes more than everyone except 3 guys?

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        Things Kessel doesn’t do
        Hit
        Block shots
        Make those around him better
        Play defense

        “Durrrrrrrrrrrrrr but he scores goals, so making him one of the highest paid players in the league is SMRT”

      • andrewsabourin13 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        I bet you loved RNH’s contract tho eh? Just because the leafs do something you have to hate on it

      • andrewsabourin13 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        Look at bozaks number from last year too, how does Kessel not make those around him better?

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      Oppps forgot the Sedin twins, they are better than Kessel too, so if Hall and Eberle have another solid season, you can put them ahead of Kessel too which would be Phil outside the top 20.

      Hilarious stuff paying Kessel 8 million per season.

      • andrewsabourin13 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        Hall has never scored 30, Eberle has done it once, and since I know you love the defensive statistics, Eberle and Hall are defensively liabilities as much as Kessel apperently… They both have only finished above even in +/- once.

    • borderline1988 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      I’d take Kessel over Bergeron, Kopitar, Perry and Neal. He’s had more points than all of those players for each of the past 2 years.
      – Neal scores goals because he plays on Pittsburgh – Kessel would probably have 60 goals if he played with Crosby.
      – Bergeron is injury prone and not the scorer than Kessel is (although he brings other skills to the table).
      – Perry is over-rated and simply not as good as Kessel.
      – Kopitar is an excellent player also but I’d give Kessel the nod by a hairline.

      Kessel is on the same level as Getzlaf, Giroux and Tavares. None of them are particularly good 2-way players, and they all score around the same as Kessel.

      Datsyuk, Towes, Kane, Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Stamkos, St Louis, and Staal are better than Kessel.
      That makes Kessel a top-10 forward in the league.
      And he probably plays with the weakest linemates of any of the players ahead of him, but still puts up comparable numbers.

      • freneticgarfieldfan - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:34 PM

        you might be quite alone with that opinion

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        Sure is a lot of stupid here,if you would take LMAO Phil Kessel over Kopitar or Bergeron you’re a know-nothing BUFFOON who has no clue what-so-ever about what wins Stanley Cups.

        Talking about two of the best 2 way centers in the game vs a WINGER, Phil Kessel doesn’t play center because that would be a laughable joke.

        Seriously, I can’t take anything seriously from some guy who thinks Kessel is better than Selke caliber players who play a much more important position.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        Oh and Getzlaf, Giroux and Tavares can handle center and make those around them better, while Kessel can only play wing to hide his horrid defensive play. Others got to work harder with Kessel on the ice to cover up his inability to play without the puck.

        So again, more buffoon know-nothingness coming from clueless people who have no idea what wins in the playoffs.

      • borderline1988 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:47 PM

        It takes teamwork to win a Stanley Cup. Bergeron didn’t win a Cup himself, and neither did Kopitar. And while 2-way play matters a lot, it’s a lot more important for defenseman to be good 2-way players, and most important, for the goalies to be good. When your goalie is Jonathan Quick or Tuuka Rask/Tim Thomas, it makes everyone look like outstanding 2-way players.

        The Kings and Bruins had (historically) great goalies during their Stanley Cup runs, and perhaps the most dominant defenseman in the league at the time.

        Patrice Bergeron brings a lot to the table as a 2-way player, but how much is it worth in terms of added offense? For instance, would you take Bergeron over Malkin, who is also a poor 2-way player?

        Kessel also makes those around him better. It’s a myth that he can’t pass..his assist totals outnumber his goals.
        Anyways, let’s revisit this argument halfway into the season. I have a feeling that Kessel will score 90 points this season, which will be 30 more than Bergeron will get, and 15 more than Kopitar.

      • slobberface - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        I’m not saying this to be a leaf hater, but anyone who thinks Kessel is better then Bergeron, Kopitar and Perry and thinks he’s on Getzlaf, Giroux and Taveres level knows nothing about hockey. It’s not just about goals, it’s so much more then that. Way, way better hockey players. …….Neal, maybe.

        This coming from a guy who hates Cory Perry.

      • borderline1988 - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        Kessel had:
        2009/10: 25 assists
        2010/11: 32 assists
        2011/12: 45 assists
        2012/13: 32 assists (in 48 games!)

        He’s obviously not just a scorer, he’s a very balanced offensive player. You need to get your head out of the sand. And goals are harder to come by, since there’s only one goal statistic awarded to each score, as opposed to 2 assists. Getzlaf has never scored more than 25 goals in his career, nor has he even hit the 20 goal plateau since 2008/09. And Getzlaf plays with much better linemates than Kessel.

        I don’t see how Getzlaf is so much better than Kessel.

      • slobberface - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        For the record, I’m fine with the Kessel contract. They overpaid but what choice did they have. He’s a good scorer and they are hard to come by. But he is not one of the very best players in the league. ONLY LEAFS FANS THINK HE IS. A couple of years ago he was on the ice for the most goals against 5 on 5. Ever since he’s been in TO (without Boston’s league best defensive play around him) he’s been on the ice for more goals against per 60 mins played then goals for per 60 mins played. You want to look at stats, that is a horrible stat. Getzlaf is huge, physical, kills penalties, wins faceoffs and puts up points. Yeah, he puts up points and that’s valuable, but there are huge holes in his game. Huge holes. Take off your blue and white glasses and look at it objectively.

      • borderline1988 - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        Getzlaf won 48% of his faceoffs last year. He’s also 2 years older than Kessel.

        Granted, he’s a better all-around player (which is why he got a better deal). And his linemates are world-class compared to Kessel’s.

        Kessel’s defense has improved since last year. If he wasn’t on the Leafs, I don’t believe people would think he’s as bad of a defender as they may him out to be.

      • slobberface - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        OK, so Getzlaf is average at faceoffs. But, you said it yourself, he’s a better all-around player plain and simple. No GM would rather go through a playoff run with Kessel then Getzlaf or Kopitar. I don’t care about the Leafs. He’s a great player, I’m just saying he’s not one of the best players in the league. And he isn’t. You are clearly a Leafs fan and that’s why you disagree.

        Do you watch these other players play or just look a stats?

      • borderline1988 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        I have watched Anaheim play, although obviously not nearly as much as Eastern Conference teams.

        That Anaheim first line had 3 all-star calibre players, and arguably 2 top-15 forwards. Kessel would probably get 100 points if he played with all-stars on a nightly basis. Instead, he gets Tyler Bozak (a 3rd line centre on most playoff teams) and James van Riemsdyk (a one-dimensional Philly castoff).

        Getzlaf is obviously a bigger and better defender. But I don’t know how much extra you pay for that defense. I think Kessel is a better offensive player than Getzlaf, and he’s younger and still getting better. That’s why I think they’re comparable.

        Oh yes: How far did Anaheim get in the playoffs last year? Please remind me. Defense from your defenseman matters more than from your forwards. And great goalies matter the most.

    • hockey412 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      Why do the Leafs upset you so? I’m worried about you – you’re not even making any sense.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        I’m going to LOL from the next 5 years watching the Leafs be a .520 to .480 team, struggling to make the playoffs yearly and never being good enough to win a cup.

        Goodluck on improving the core of the team with these contracts and picking 15th to 24th yearly.

        The Sundin years all over again

      • hockey412 - Oct 1, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        So you think this team that was within what, seconds of going to the second round of the playoffs (and very much out-played the Bruins) this year should become sellers NOW, that the younger guys like Kadri/Fransen/Reimer are maturing and winning….to get the high pick?

        I’m also cofused because Kessel WAS a high draft pick at 5th overall, yet you compare him to bergeron, who was a 2nd round pick, and Datsyuk, who was a 6th round pick?

        If you can’t compete without the complete rebuilds, how does Detroit compete every year with Datsyuk and Zetterberg?

        It sounds like you just don’t like the Leafs. That would be a relief, actually…because you’re not making sense otherwise.

  4. storminator16 - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    The lockouts never happened.

    I don’t get this. If Kessel hit the UFA market, he wouldn’t get 8×8.

    • dueman - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      Yes he would.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        Only from stupid teams that will never win a cup during the length of the contract.

      • beergold - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        cause you say so and know everything about hockey right dooman! Year after year of futility but the Laffs are thankful for doowits who keep throwing out the cash and blindly following a team going no where. Pathetic!

      • dueman - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        It’s so friggin hard to resist calling out you two turds, as the absolute morons that you are, but I’m going to take the high road and not feed into your stupidity, and instead wish both of you Richard Cranium’s a wonderful day! :)

  5. supercoop8 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    It seems like the GMs roughly know how much the cap is set to go up with the contracts that have been offered this offseason. Either that or the lockout was a pissing contest grounded in futility.

    That said, Kessel better pot at least forty if he doesn’t want a pitchfork laden toronto media at his doorstep.

  6. imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Oh and Kessel definitely comes off as a guy who will get paid and NOT take his game to the next level.

    Kessel got paid and what you see is what you will get, if he feels like it.

    • timsabourin - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      wow, as of me writing this you have made 9/20 comments on this article. how butt hurt are you about this? please make 23 more comments in the next 20 minutes so we REALLY know how you feel.

    • hockeyflow33 - Oct 1, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      How many new, stupid comments can you make in a single post?

  7. 950003cups - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    What’s with all the Clarkson hate? That’s still my number one dawg you guys are gettin’ on. So back off.

  8. bigdaddy44 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Kessel never would have got this kind of deal if he had stayed in Boston, playing under Julien’s defensive scheme. Good defense might win more games, but goals equal dollars for an individual. Seguin could profit from this equation someday, if he can take his mouth off the bottle. Almost makes you wonder if he drank his way out of Boston on purpose. Nah, that would be giving him too much credit for thought.

  9. jpelle82 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    its really simple in my book. kane 6 mill per year, steven stamkos 7.5 per year, sidney crosby 8.7 per year, ovechkin 9 per year, malkin 8.4 per year. is kessel worth mentioning in a class with these guys? 8 per year makes him pretty elite for a forward and i can think of at least 20 other guys i’d rather pay that kind of money to? tavares is making 5.5 and i’d rather have him any day, bergeron is making 6.5 and he’s more valuable than half of the guys listed above. i just dont see justifying 8 million for a 30 goal guy with no real accomplishments or hardware to speak of

    • borderline1988 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Kane, Tavares and Stamkos are all still on their first extension deals, so they don’t count for your argument. They will almost certainly be getting deals in the $8+ million/year range in the next few years.

      Bergeron is a terrific defender and face-off guy, but he’s only a 60 point per year player. And though he’s been relatively healthy since 2011, you still have to consider him an injury-risk. He’s also 2 years older than Kessel, which matters in the context of an 8 year deal. Had Bergeron signed a 6 year deal, he may have been able to up his salary to $7.5 million/year.

      Kessel is being signed in the absolute prime of his career (from age 26 through 34). He is now a proven scorer, who will get you 35 goals and 80 points minimum. Those offensive numbers have been climbing virtually every year that he’s been in the league, and his 2012-2013 campaign was his best on a ppg basis. He hasn’t missed a game in 3 years. His defense improved over the past year, and his passing game is also improving significantly. Give him a top-flight centre, and he could be getting you 40 goals and 90 points.

      If you want to give out a long-term deal, this is the type of guy that it makes sense for.
      Maybe you could argue that he’s really worth $7 million per year instead of $8, but no way he’s worth any less than that.

      • rrsm53 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        keep telling yourself how great he is, oh give hima top line center and he would do this and that, your dreaming and obviously a homer toronto fan. He is pathetic and not a very good two way player, dont even try to compare him to Bergeron who does more for the Bruins overall to win games and a CUP than Kessel every will for your Leaf team. He is not worth8 mil a year, 5 mil maybe that is a stretch. You watch this year someone will clean his clock for him and he will be useless all year.

      • borderline1988 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:49 PM

        $5 million is a stretch for a guy who’s top 8 in scoring in the NHL for 2 years running, aged 26?

        You’re obviously a Leaf hater. That’s fine, but try not to let it cloud your objectivity. You have no clue what you’re talking about if you think Kessel is worth $5 million.

  10. bauxjangles - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Wow, congrats to Kessel on the hefty contract, certainly nothing to swing a stick at. I mean shake….

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      Don’t worry, It’s Rogers and Bell Corp that are ankling the bill… I mean footing the bill.

  11. ajsjr40 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Kessel is a very good hockey player. Is he the kind of player who can lead a team to the Stanley Cup? At $8 mil/year that’s what he needs to be and I am just not certain he has the grit to be the leader during the grind that winning a Cup will be.

    • flyerspsu - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      well said, hes a good player but giving someone that money means you expect them to lead you to a cup, kessel doesnt seem like that player to me

      but if Phanuef got a big money long term deal that would be the worst, this deal would look good of Toronto decided to do that

  12. withseidelinn - Oct 1, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    How does this “imnotyourbuddyguy” dude have time to write all these comments?? Never seen so much angst on a website haha.

  13. dirtyback - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Haters gonna Hate!!!
    Y’all just mad that your team didnt sign Phil the Thrill in free agency! With the added depth and experience the leafs added this year, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
    BTW to all you haters, we don’t pay Phil to play defense, we play to score goals and this has been something he has consistently done throughout his young career. Hopefully are leagues best goalie tandem can step up and keep the rubber out of out net.

  14. channelguy - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    It’s clear anyone who thinks Kessel just scores goals and there are no other parts to his game didn’t spend much time watching the Leafs last year.

    A year ago, that MIGHT have been fair, but last year Kessel’s playmaking skills became noticeable for the first time. There’s a REASON the Leafs had a high% of shots go in. It wasn’t just a statistical fluke that will even out. They had a lot of tic tac toe passes that put the puck in an open net, and while Kessel was far from the only part of that, he was a key part.

    Secondly, Kessel really did work on his backchecking. No one will ever confuse him with Bob Gainey out there, and he’s sure not a PHYSICAL player, but he put a consistent effort into his defensive game all year long, and if you watched the games it was pretty obvious.

    I suspect that the people whining about the Leafs resigning Kessel are just miffed he didn’t walk as a free agent, so they could post OMG LEAFS TRADED TWO FIRSTS AND A SECOND FOR NOTHING!!!! THATS WHY THEY SUCK!!!!!

    He got a lot of money and a long term, but it’s a going rate for a star of his caliber, and he’s STILL a young player — not like they are giving 8 years to a 32 year old. It’s a good signing..

  15. deezenucks - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Kessel is just meh to me, good shot, quick release but outside of that, too many weaknesses in his overall game. I think Toronto as a team is much improved and Bernier is a great pick up over Reimer, but I would be disappointed in my team if he was the “face” of the franchise, and even more so being committed for 8 years. Between him and clarkson leafs made some poor long term decisions.

  16. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    I don’t know, but as a Leaf fan the one thing I love about Kessel is how he just keeps proving his haters wrong.

    When the Leafs first got him, people said “He’s useless, he’ll never be able to score 30+ again without Marc Savard setting him up”

    Then he proved he could. Then the story changed to “He’s one dimensional, worst defensive player ever, never backchecks”

    Then the Leafs fired Wilson, hired Carlyle and suddenly Kessel was backchecking.

    Ovechkin laughs in his face at the All Star game two years ago. Guess who has more points since that ASG? Kessel 164, Ovechkin 152. Ovechkin can’t even demotivate this guy. You haters have no chance.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      correction: Ovechkin had 154 pts since the ASG. Keep in mind that Ovie plays with Backstrom while Kessel plays with Bozak. Kessel must really be a terrible player to pull that off.

  17. flyerspsu - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Too much money for him in my opinion, hes a good player but for a 1 dimensional guy like him that doesn’t always show up its awfully a lot, but corey perry got an even bigger deal so i guess its not too bad compared to around the league, considering hes the teams best player i guess its not too bad

    but if the Leafs sign Phanuef to a long term deal THAT would be horrid, easily the most overrated dman in the game, if you have Kessel, Phanuef, Clarkson and Bozak all signed to long term big money deals thats a problem

    Kessel would be the only one somewhat deserving of the money but the rest would be overrated and overpaid guys signed long term to the core

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