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Posts Tagged Phil Kessel
- Dmitry Chesnokov: Maple Leafs RFA winger Leo Komarov: “Won’t hide it – I’ve held negotiations with Dynamo [KHL], but I’m waiting for an offer from Toronto.”
- Luke Fox of SportsNet: Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson made $1.35 million last season and will be a RFA.
“The ball is in their court right now, so they got to get it moving,” Gunnarsson says of the Leafs, who have seven unrestricted and seven restricted free agents to figure out this summer. “The four years I’ve had here have been great. We’ll see what they want from me next year. I haven’t thought about what I want.”
Gunnarsson will meet with agent this week and go over their plan.
- Jeff Simmons of SportsNet: The Leafs have a current projected cap room of $19,495,833 according to CapGeek.com. They have to decide if they want to re-sign UFA Tyler Bozak, and if so, how much do they want to commit to him. They need to re-sign RFAs Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson. Kadri could be a tough sign.
UFAs: Clarke MacArthur future as a Leaf is up in the air after a disappointing regular season. Colton Orr showed improvement this season. Tim Connolly is gone. Ryan Hamilton could return with the Marlies. The Leafs will likely look for an upgrade on Ryan O’Bryne. Mike Kostka could be back as an No. 7 option.
RFAs: Joe Colborne is still a project but could be an eventual Bozak fill-in. Leo Komarov is a nice bottom-six piece. Frazer McLaren is a Carlyle favorite but easily replaced. Reliable Carl Gunnarsson should be back. Mark Fraser performed well but future unclear.
Free Agent Fits: Devils right winger David Clarkson would give the Leafs some size in their top-six. If the Leafs don’t re-sign Bozak, Mike Ribeiro could be a nice fit between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. Defenseman Rob Scuderi would bring the Leafs blueline some toughness and experience.
- Chris Nichols of SportsNet: Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said that Pavel Datsyuk won’t be heading back to Russia when his contract expires after next season.
“You mean how long is his deal and how much is he gonna make? Well, there’s this much possibility he’s going back to Russia,” said Babcock, making a zero with his thumb and index finger. “I mean, we’ll get it done (new deal) in the summer.”
Datsyuk’s agent and GM Ken Holland will talk about an extension in July.
- Jonathan Willis of Oilers Nation: Though they are very unlikely to get him, the Oilers should make a pitch for Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner.
- Craig Custance of ESPN: There have been no contract yet between Dave Nonis and Phil Kessel’s camp.
“He’s in my mind one of the top players in the league. Would we look to extend Phil? Again, he has a year left in his contract, there is no urgency in getting him signed to an extension,” Nonis said. “Phil Kessel is going to be a good player in this league for a long time. If there’s a deal there that makes sense for both of us, no question, we’ll look to bring him back for an extended period.”
It will be a challenge to find a deal that makes sense. Kessel will be entering the last year of his deal that is paying him $5.4 million and he’ll be looking for a nice raise.
“Kessel’s value will not go down,” he said, but added that Kessel’s game isn’t as well-rounded as that of some other stars, which may hurt him at the negotiating table.
“He doesn’t possess four or five tools,” he said. “He’s a guy who is a sniper.”
Alex Semin could be a comparable for Kessel. Semin signed a five year, $35 million deal this season. $8 million a year for Kessel could be their starting point.
- Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star: McGran notes that Maple Leafs Tyler Bozak could be the best center in this year’s UFA crop. He could be looking for a deal in the Mikhail Grabovski range, $5.5 million a season.
“My agent will deal with that stuff,” Bozak said of his contract status. “I would like to stay here. This is a place I like playing.”
Bozak might have to take a hometown discount if he wants to remain with the Leafs.
“If there is a contract that makes sense for us and makes sense for Tyler, we’ll sign him,” said GM Dave Nonis. “It’s not a situation where we have to sign Tyler Bozak. There are numbers that make sense for the team and there are numbers that make sense for Bozak.
Leafs GM Nonis thinks teams will be active trying to trade high-salaries players before or at the draft. If teams aren’t able to trade them, they may have to buy them out. Compliance buyout period starts 48 hours after the Stanley Cup and ends on July 4th, a day before the start of free agency. Players that are 26 and older receive 2/3′s of their contract, while players under 26 receive 1/3 of their contract.
“We are in fairly good position cap-wise,” said Nonis. “We have some players we have to re-sign. That’s going to eat in to cap space a little bit. We’re not in a position where we have to shed money, which some teams clearly are.
“I would expect the weeks leading up to the draft are going to be fairly busy. The draft itself will be busy. It usually is with player movement. I think you’ll see some bigger movement this year, just because of the cap situation.”
- Michael Grange of SportsNet: Leafs GM Nonis plays things a little differently than former GM Brian Burke.
Nonis, for example, said he would trade Dion Phaneuf, the team’s captain and the best defenseman albeit in a fairly shallow pool. And he said it without flinching. I asked him and Nonis said an unblinking “yes” before I’d even finished the question.
That’s not saying that he will trade him, but he would consider it.
“I’ve always felt the word untouchable is really silly in this sport,” said Nonis. “There are players you would be unlikely to move and players we see as being long-term solutions to success here. But untouchable doesn’t help you if you’re looking to get better. You look at the some of the teams that have gotten better and been good for a long time, they’ve moved some people that may have made fans shake their head, but they’ve gotten better doing it.”
The Leafs have $45.1 million committed to 12 players and a Mike Komisarek or John-Michael Liles buyout could give them more flexibility. They could use help at center and on the blueline.
- Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun: Maple Leafs Phil Kessel will have a $5.4 million salary and cap hit. He can’t sign an extension until after July 5th, and Koshan thinks the Leafs would foolish to not extend him. Kessel’s agent indicated that he wants to remain with the Leafs.
- Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star: Leafs GM Dave Nonis will have some offseason questions to consider. Do the Leafs look to extend Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf and James Reimer. Kessel could look for upwards of $7 million a season. Can the Leafs even ask their captain to take a pay cut from his $6.4 million salary? Reimer would be due for a big raise from his $1.8 million salary if he’s a No. 1 goalie.
The Leafs UFA list includes: Tyler Bozak, Clarke MacArthur, Colton Orr, Ryan O’Byrne and Mike Kostka. Bozak could be looking for Mikhail Grabovski-type money. MacArthur didn’t have good regular season and the Leafs are deep on the wings. Orr will likely be back. O’Bryne will likely be gone. Kostka’s play declined as the season went on, but could be brought back for depth.
The Leafs RFA list includes: Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson, Leo Komarov, Joe Colborne, Matt Frattin, Carl Gunnarsson and Mark Fraser. The Leafs could play hardball with Kadri in attempt to keep his salary low. Franson led the Leafs defenseman in scoring. The others are likely to be back. Frattin could be MacArthur’s replacement on the third line. Colborne appears to be ready for the next step.
Compliance Buyout Possibilities: Mikhail Grabovski, Mike Komisarek and John-Michael Liles. Komisarek may be no-brainer, freeing up his $4.5 million cap hit. Liles has 3 years at $3.875 million a season. Grabovski has 4 years left at $5.5 million a season. Nonis may look to trade both Liles and Grabovski.
- Howard Berger of Berger Bytes: Berger thinks the Leafs should save the money on Tyler Bozak, give Joe Colborne Bozak’s spot, and sign David Clarkson or make a trade.
“Colborne has enviable skill,” an Eastern Conference scout told me this week. “If he can bring his emotional game to a similar level – even half the time – Leafs won’t have to worry about a No. 1 center. From what I hear, they like the kid, and I think he’s worthy of a long look in the NHL. There aren’t going to be a lot of centers with decent price-points on the market in July.”
UFA center options are not that young: Patrick Elias (37), Andy MacDonald (35), Nik Antropov (35) and Mike Ribeiro (33). Stephen Weiss and Derek Roy are 30, and will want more money.
The Leafs and Devils could talk about Clarkson before July 5th about obtaining his rights to discuss a long-term deal before he hit the open market.
Injury Notes: Eller, Crosby, DeKeyser, Franzen, Schneider, Emery, Bolland, Kostka, Kessel and Franson
- Ton Marinaro: The Canadiens confirmed that Lars Eller suffered a concussion, lost consciousness, and has facial and dental fractures. He will remain in the hospital for observation.
- Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune: Penguins Sidney Crosby took regular shifts with Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis yesterday at practice. He also worked with the top power play unit.
- Ansar Khan: Red Wings Danny DeKeyser broke his hand last night and will be out for the remainder of the playoffs.
- Ansar Khan: Red Wings Johan Franzen said he had to pass a concussion test, which he did, before overtime started last night. He was ready to return when Gustav Nyquist scored.
- Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun: Cancucks Cory Schneider didn’t take part in the teams full team practice yesterday, meaning that Roberto Luongo will get the start in Game 2. It appears that Schneider may have suffered a setback. His injury is still not known. Pap wonders if it’s a groin injury. Before yesterday he had skated in four consecutive days and practiced the previous three.
“You can interpret what you want at this time,” Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault stated cryptically. “Cory is day-to-day.”
- Brian Hunter of the Chicago Tribune: Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery briefly worked out yesterday, but he won’t be available for Game 2. Dave Bollanddidn’t skate yesterday won’t be available either.
“We’re going to rule them out,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said after practice. “Bollie didn’t skate but he’s getting real close to getting on the ice. (Emery) felt good, too. It was good progress.”
- Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun: Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Kostka will miss the remainder of the series with a broken finger. Jake Gardiner or Ryan O’Bryne will replace Kostka. Phil Kessel had a maintenance day for a suspected left wrist injury. Defenseman Cody Franson was limping around with a bruised foot.
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Coyotes Mike Smith, GM Don Maloney and coach Dave Tippett don’t have contracts for next season. Smith is seeking $6 million a season.The Sabres could fire GM Darcy Regier and replace him Rick Dudley. Regier could be kept on in a consultants role.The Canucks won’t amnesty buyout Roberto Luongo. GM Mike Gillis still believes that someone will trade for him. Luongo may have to expand his list. The Oilers made a pitch last summer, but he didn’t want to go there. Same with Toronto.
Players in St. Louis may be getting tired of coach Ken Hitchcock’s antics. The picking them apart and calling them out is getting old for some.
Oilers GM Craig MacTavish may look to make a trade that has immediate results. Two players that teams may target are Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky.
Jarome Iginla could end up signing with the Kings after July 5th.
- James Mirtle: It seems unlikely that the Maple Leafs won’t re-sign Phil Kessel before his contract runs out after next season.
From twitter unless noted otherwise
- Joe McDonald of ESPN: Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli this morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s,
“I can tell you this: I’m not trading Malcolm Subban,” Chiarelli said. “He’s young. He’s a very good goalie prospect and I see him in our future and being a big part of our future. We’ve got some goalie depth, but I’m telling you I’m not trading Malcolm Subban. There are other players, and we’ve got a fairly well-stocked cupboard of prospects, but I’m not trading Malcolm Subban.”
Chiarelli said that it’s “two to three years” or “might be sooner” that Subban would ready to play in the NHL.
- Joe Haggerty of CSNNE: Mark Streit would be the perfect player for the top of the Bruins wish list for defenseman. Keith Yandle would also be nice, but it would take a huge package to get him. Jay Bouwmeester and Dan Boylewould be nice, but they have big money for next season. Oilers Ryan Whitney is an intriguing name.
“Whitney doesn’t skate as well he as he did prior to having some foot problems, but he can still play in this league,” said one talent evaluator that’s watched him play. “He can make every pass in the book and he’ll produce offense if he’s in a lineup like the Bruins.
“He could be a good fit there, but it all depends on if Claude [Julien] and [Peter] Chiarelli like him as a player.”
The Oilers did have scouts at two recent Bruins games. There are rumors that Hemsky could be one of the Bruins backup plans if they don’t land Iginla.
- Jim Matheson: Teams are keeping eye on Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin at the trade deadline.
- Nick Cotsonika: (Thinking out loud) – What if the Penguins brought Steve Sullivan back to play with Evgeni Malkin and moved Brenden Morrow to the left side of Sutter?
- Jimmy Murphy: Murphy thinks the Bruins need a top-four defenseman just much, if not more, than a top-six or nine forward.
- Howard Berger: Berger has a hunch that the Maple Leafs are quietly asking teams about Phil Kessel before the trade deadline, but otherwise will only make minor adjustments. Kessel is their only hope for a blockbuster deal.
- Lisa Dillman of the LA Times: With the salary cap going down next season, it may be part of the reason Jarome Iginla doesn’t fit. The Kings have 8 restricted free agents. The price to acquire him just as a rental appears to be too high.
Ales Hemsky – Edmonton Oilers: March 25th
Possible Destinations: Oilers, Red Wings and Devils
Possible destinations: Tampa, Boston and NY Rangers.
Possible destinations: Canucks, Flyers, Senators, Rangers, and Penguins
Possible destinations: Penguins, Canucks, Red Wings, Maple Leafs and Ducks
NHL Rumors: Malkin, Smid, Hemsky, Horcoff, Blackhawks, Capitals, Red Wings, Panthers, Lightning, Leafs, Devils and Scouting LA-CAL
- Elliotte Friedman of CBC: The Penguins can talk to Evgeni Malkin about a contract extension, but can’t re-sign him until the summer. Same goes for the Blackhawks and Jonathan Toews. There hasn’t seemed to be much conversation between the Oilers and soon to be UFA Ladislav Smid. Ales Hemsky’s name will likely come up again this year in trade rumors. Friedman wonders if the Oilers would consider moving Shawn Horcoff.
- The Fourth Period: The Blackhawks would like to add a 2nd or 3rd line center, and their options are growing. Though it’s unlikely he’ll be dealt, the Blackhawks have shown interest in Blue Jackets Derick Brassard. GM Stan Bowman could look at Capitals Mike Ribeiro, who will be a UFA at the end of the season. The Hawks could also look to add a depth defenseman for their 3rd pairing.
- The Fourth Period: Red Wings GM Ken Holland has been trying to bring in an impact player for awhile. He’s looked at Flames Jay Bouwmeester and Coyotes Keith Yandle, but the asking price has been too high. The Wings could look at Sabres Robyn Regehr and Oilers Ladislav Smid. Holland wouldn’t overpay for Ducks Corey Perry as a rental, but may look at Sabres Drew Stafford or someone from the Flames.
- Jeff Gordon of the Post Dispatch: The Panthers are looking to move salary, and the Capitals and Lightning are falling out of the playoff race. The Blue Jackets are in rebuild mode, and the Flames could be following suit. The Blues are looking for a top-four defenseman, but there aren’t many options at the moment. Trade targets for teams that might be interested in adding salary are: Corey Perry, Roberto Luongo, Mike Ribeiro, Jarome Iginla, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryane Clowe, Kris Versteeg, Clarke MacArthur, Jack Johnson, Brian Campbell, Jay Bouwmeester, Jussi Jokinen, Mike Komisarek, Tyler Bozak and Keith Ballard.
- Pierre LeBrun via twitter: Lightning GM Steve Yzerman isn’t giving up on the season just yet. He’s been working the phones.
“To sit here and say, ‘I’m going to do something big,’ there’s nothing big that can be done at this time,” Yzerman said. “It’s not like we just sit here and do nothing all day. You talk to people, you see if there’s anything that makes sense. For a lot of reasons it’s difficult to find a fit, to find the right players, the right salaries to make a trade. You don’t just do something to do it.”
If Yzerman is to make a deal, look for it to be a traditional hockey deal and not a move for a rental.
“Rental players cost you draft picks or young players, we’re not interested in that,” Yzerman said. “That’s why we signed free agents in the summer, to fill those places. If there’s a trade that makes sense where a team has a need and we have a need, then it would be addressed that way.”
The Panthers will listen to offers for Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann. Fleischmann has two years left at $4.5 million per season and he has a modified no-trade clause. Versteeg has three years left with a cap hit of $4.4 million, but salaries of $4.6 and 4.7 million.
- Bill Watters via twitter: Watters wonders if it’s time to move Phil Kessel. He’s a UFA after next season and this trade deadline may be the ideal time to move him. You’re not going to build a team around him so you do it.
- Bill Watters via twitter: Why are people on Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis to trade John-Michael Liles and Mike Komisarek? He couldn’t give them away due to their lackluster play and bad contracts.
- Brian Huddle via twitter: TSN lists Clarke MacArthur and Nikolai Kulemin as names likely to move at the deadline
- Todd Cordell via twitter: Doug MacLean named the Devils as a potential suitor for Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier.
- Vicki Hall via twitter: Scouting the Kings – Flames game: Rangers, 2 from Boston, Sabres, Penguins, Lightning, Canucks, Blues, Ducks, Predators and Avalanche.
NHL Rumors: Iginla, Kessel, Kulemin, Burmistrov, Johnson, Kennedy, Ribeiro, Oilers, Blackhawks, Red Wings, Flyers and Wild
- Todd Cordell via twitter: TSN’s Bob McKenzie said last night that it’s more likely that Jarome Iginla gets traded at the deadline than at any time in the past. Darren Dreger said Maple Leafs Phil Kessel and Nikolai Kulemin could be available if the right deal comes along. Dreger added that Alex Burmistrov could be trade bait for the Jets.
- Aaron Portzline via twitter: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen on trade rumors involving defenseman Jack Johnson and the Penguins: ”It’s silly. I don’t usually repond to this kind of stuff, but this is just silly. I went to watch a game. (Pens GM) Ray Shero is a friend of mine.”
- Will DePaoli via twitter: Penguins forward Tyler Kennedy is in the last year of his two year, $4 million contract, and the next couple of weeks will be crucial regarding his future. There have been internal discussions about his current and future role with the team.
- The Fourth Period: As the trade deadline approaches, Capitals center Mike Ribeiro could become a target of several teams. The 33-year old will be a UFA at the end of the season. With Panthers Stephen Weiss out for the season, Ribeiro may get more interest. Teams that are interested in adding a top two center include: Ducks, Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Senators, Red Wings and Canucks.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: (mailbag) If the Oilers are out of the playoff race by the trade deadline, they’ll look to move out people. Ryan Whitney is the most likely to be traded. The Blues could be looking at him with the feeling that he’d be better right now than Ian Cole and Wade Redden. Nikolai Khabibulin could be the next guy after Whitney to be moved, if his groin can hold up. It appears as of now that they want to re-sign Ladislav Smid and Ryan Jones, both who would be UFAs at the end of the season. Teams are interested in Smid. Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky could be in play, but more likely in the summer if they decide they’d like to get bigger.
- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman:
“I always find that I’m usually the guy that’s more interested in making moves earlier and most of my counterparts are more interested in waiting it out, so it’s not that unusual for me,” Bowman said with a chuckle Tuesday on the line from Chicago.
A lot of teams in still waiting to see if they are buyers or sellers.
“The standings dictate how much movement there is, separation or lack thereof,” Red Wings GM Ken Holland told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “You look at the West, from third to 11th this morning, there’s just three points separating those teams.”
“Ultimately, the next two to three weeks will determine certainly my thinking for the Detroit Red Wings,” Holland said.
Teams are still trying to figure out what they have with their own team.
“It’s hard to evaluate, you get the injuries everyone is dealing with, it’s though,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “For sure you don’t want to do anything that hurts anything long term.”
Chicago Blackhawks: They don’t have many holes, but could look to add some depth up the middle.
“We’ve identified players that we think would help us,” Bowman told ESPN.com. “I’ve called to let those teams know: ‘This is a player we’re interested in, you may not be interested in moving him now or ever, but …’ they take note of it. Nobody I’ve talked to yet has wanted to talk further about it, they filed it away. So it’s a waiting game.”
“I’m probably more looking up front, depth maybe at center,” Bowman said. “Not high-end but more a role-playing type center.”
“We’ve got young guys knocking at the door,” he said. “But I guess most of our depth is young guys, so if we add a forward, it’ll be a more experienced guy.”
Red Wings: The Red Wings have been hit with a lot of injuries this season.
“If we can get all our guys back, that’s almost like a deadline addition or two,” Holland said.
LeBrun doesn’t think the Wings are interested in adding a depth defenseman, but if Holland adds one, it could be a top-four guy, which aren’t easy to come by.
Flyers: Never shy on making a big move, but not wanting to trade their top young talent.
“We’re probably like a lot of teams, looking around for something that makes sense for now and the long term,” Holmgren said. “But we think we have a good group of young players that we prefer not to mess with.”
If the Flyers make a move, they could look at adding someone who would be able to play with them into next season. They could use a puck-moving, top-four defenseman.
Wild: The Wild could use a veteran defenseman, but GM Chuck Fletcher does not want to give up any of his high-end futures.
“We’re not looking to trade our top prospects at this time,” the Wild GM said. “If there’s something we can do to help our team over the next month, we’ll look at it but we’re not looking to make wholesale changes, that’s for sure.”
Fletcher has little interest in trading Matt Cullen.
Kessel Trade Rumors Persist … At Least Five Could be Interested in Iginla … Komisarek Submits Trade List … Sabres Should Explore Bernier
- Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe: Trade rumors persist that Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis may unload Phil Kessel before the April 3rd trade deadline. Dupont says that after three plus years in Toronto, he has convinced many in Toronto that he’s neither a leader nor a core performer. If you put Kessel on a team with a deep lineup with a coach who emphasizes offense, like the Blackhawks or Ducks, he could be a 60, 70 or even an 80 point guy. An ideal Kessel trade would bring the Leafs a franchise center.
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Penguins GM Ray Shero is expected to look for a winger and defenseman at the trade deadline. The Pens will likely go after Jarome Iginla to play with Sidney Crosby. The Bruins, Flyers, Stars and Sharks would also be expected to make a trade pitch.
- Andy Strickland via twitter: Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek gave a list of 12 teams that he’d accept a trade too. Strickland was told that Komisarek wants to plays and would pretty much accept a trade anywhere. Strickland notes that even if the Leafs took back 50% of Komisarek’s salary, there may not be a lineup of teams wanting to take on his contract. A compliance buyout is the most likely scenario.
- Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun: Komisarek has bee a scratch the last 14 games. When asked about the reports that he submitted a list of 12 teams he’d accept a traded to:
“I’m curious to see where you guys get your stuff,” Komisarek said. “We will see how it unfolds. Right now I am just taking it day by day. I’m sure you guys will be the first ones to know. It must be a slow news day.”
Komisarek has a $4.5 million cap hit through next season. Even assuming 50% of his contract, it may not make trading him any easier. John-Michael Liles has been a healthy scratch the past seven games.
- Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News: Gleason thinks the Sabres should see what the asking price for Jonathan Bernier is. The Kings aren’t in a rush to trade Bernier, but they could use help on their blueline. The Sabres have plenty of defenseman, and should look at life after Ryan Miller. Miller’s contract ends after next season and he may want to test the open market. If they were to trade for Bernier, they could then explore trading Miller. The Bruins and Blues could be among the teams making a trade pitch for Daniel Briere. Briere may not be willing to waive his no-trade clause, but a going to a contender may change that.
Kessel’s agent says he’d love to finish his career as a Leaf … Pens cap space … Iginla’s ‘fire’ gets questioned
- Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star: Phil Kessel’s agent, Wade Arnott, thinks that Kessel would like to finish his career in Toronto.
“Phil (Kessel) is still a really young man,” Arnott told the SportsNet Fan590. “He really enjoys living in Toronto and playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“This young man lives and breathes hockey. He was very excited to come here four years ago. I think if you asked Phil today, he’d love to finish his career here in Toronto. But it’s still young in his career right now.”
The Leafs are not able to negotiate with Kessel until July 1st. Some have suggested the Maple Leafs should trade him. The Leafs have $47 million committed to 13 players next season. UFAs include: Tyler Bozak, Clarke MacArthur, Mike Kostka, Colton Orr and David Steckel. RFAs include: Nazem Kadri, Frazer McLaren, Carl Gunnarsson, Cody Franson and Mark Fraser.
- Jesse Spector via twitter: Spector is just noting that the Penguins have more than $8 million in salary cap space and there might be a “fiery right wing” who could be a good fit.
- Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun: Jarome Iginla’s former teammate, Rhett Warrener questions Iginla’s fire this year and thinks he should be traded:
“His greatest asset was his shot but more importantly his compete-level — his refuse-to-lose attitude — and now you are watching and … it’s not there,” said Warrener on his Sportsnet FAN960 morning show Tuesday, a day after a Flames shootout loss that saw Iginla turn the puck over for the Minnesota Wild’s only regulation goal.
“He’s not Dany Heatley-slow, but he’s not getting there. I don’t know if he’s slowed down and his compete-level has followed, but you don’t see that compete and fire in his eye now. I think you see frustration setting in.
“As a captain, he’s not a rah-rah guy or ‘let’s talk it out’ — it’s ‘Watch me, and hop on my back, and follow me.’ I haven’t seen that at all this year.”
Warrener thinks the Flames have to trade Iginla.
“It’s a contract year, and people have to look at this and ask what the plan is going forward — if you don’t trade him, then what’s Jarome willing to accept to stay here?” asked Warrener after his show.
“Does he want $7.5 million? Because I don’t think they can pay him that. My opinion is he can’t be a shut-down player. Even if he takes $4 million, where are you playing him? He wants to be a top scorer, and that’s what’s driven him. Maybe I’m out to lunch, but I don’t believe he’d want to spend his last years here as a checker.”
Decisions for Kessel and Leafs … Bruins to talk extension with Rask … GMGM talks with ownership … Starting goalies
- James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: Maple Leafs Phil Kessel finally scored his 1st goal of the season on Thursday, and now things are brewing as to what will happen regarding his contract. He’ll be a free agent after next season, and people are wondering if he’ll remain with the Leafs longterm. Kessel is eligible to sign an extension on July 1st. It’s believed that new Leafs GM Dave Nonis hasn’t been offering Kessel around the league, but is listening to offers. The rumors will only increase if the Maple Leafs fall out of playoff contention by the trade deadline. Wade Arnott, Kessel’s agent, has said that it is “too early” to begin talks about the possibly re-signing with the team.
“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.”
Kessel will need to figure out if he wants to stay in Toronto longterm. Nonis will have to figure out if he wants to commit big-money for a one-way scorer into his 30′s or look to trade for someone younger.
- Joe Haggerty of CSNNE: Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli indicated on Thursday that he’ll be working on extending goalie Tuukka Rask sometime during this season.
“Nothing is imminent and I can leave it at that,” said Chiarelli. “[The Thomas trade] has kind of been in the works for a while and it just coincidental that Tuukka had a terrific game last night.
“Breaching my own policy [of not discussing contracts], we will bring up talks with Tuukka at some point in this season, in hoping to extend him. I know the perception looks like one follows the other and I was waiting to pull the trigger based on a great game by Tuukka. We’ve been pretty open with Tuukka and Tim as far as when we would see them ending up, I call it a succession plan.”
Haggerty thinks Rask’s deal could between Ondrej Pavelec’s 5 year, $19.5 million contract and Carey Price’s 6 year, $39.5 million deal.
- Brian McNally of the Washington Examiner: Capitals GM George McPhee has met with Capitals ownership, Ted Leonsis and Dick Patrick.
“Had some real good discussions with ownership over the last couple of days. They’re obviously not very happy. But they’ve been supportive,” McPhee said. “At times like this ownership can pile on and make things worse. Or ownership can say ‘How can we help and what we can do to make it better?’ And it’s been the latter. It’s been ‘How can we help, what can we do to make it better?’ And I provided some options and they provided some real fair direction, which was great.”
“The opinions that matter are the coaching staff and our pro scouts and ownership. We’re all on the same page,” McPhee said. “We’re disappointed with the way things have started. It’s not over.”
- Vicki Hall via twitter: Leland Irving will start in net for the Flames against the Canucks.
- Stephen Whyno via twitter: Braden Holtby will start in net for the Capitals today against the Panthers.
- Lou Korac via twitter: Brian Elliott will start in net today for the Blues against the Ducks.
- Pittsburgh Penguins via twitter: Marc-Andre Fleury will start in net today for the Penguins.