Home Leafs News Kessel, Leafs working on contract extension; could get done tomorrow

Kessel, Leafs working on contract extension; could get done tomorrow

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As we talked about last week, there seems to be a concerted effort to get an inevitably massive Phil Kessel contract extension signed before the regular season begins tomorrow. Kessel is reported to have no interest in the distraction of negotiating during the regular season, which never made sense to me, because getting a deal done in Toronto is far less interesting to the circling mob of Toronto media members than it is to have him playing out the string unsigned. That’s like 8 months of question material out the window.

Darren Dreger, Chris Johnston and Bob McKenzie have all put some more momentum behind the story tonight with a series of Tweets:

Getting a sense Phil Kessel's contract extension in TOR could get done as early as Tues. Leafs and Kessel's agents working towards that.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 1, 2013

But no one has confirmed it's done yet. So we'll see. If it's done, I would expect it'll be $8M per year, give or take $500K, for 7 or 8 yrs

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 1, 2013

Neither Leafs nor Newport Sports (Kessel's agent) is commenting on extension speculation, however, sense is there will be news tomorrow.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 1, 2013

There’s really not a whole lot of mystery involved with this contract, it’s just a matter of getting it done before the season and not risking a whole bunch of things going wrong. Like Phil finally hitting the 40-goal plateau and demanding even more money, from a more leveraged position, or the Leafs having an unexpectedly terrible season and Kessel looking into other options, or Bozak and Kessel getting into a serious roommate argument over the dirty dishes, making Phil question a once-burgeoning bromance. Or, more simply, the risk of letting Kessel get within weeks of free agency once the seasons ends, and him knowing a name like his hitting the open market on July 1 is going to make 29 other teams in the league crash and bang into each other backing up their Brinks trucks.

Phil is going to get $7.5 million-$8.5 million over 7 or 8 years, and the Leafs have to give it to him. Simple as that.

Knowing it’s done and dusted would be a nice little gift before tomorrow’s season opener.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. Contact him at [email protected]

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479 comments
Loric76
Loric76

So Kessel's signed?  Do we know term and money yet?

Jordan29
Jordan29

If anyone can't understand that our best contending Window will be gone in a good 5 years or so from now should just shit and not complain about the Kessel extension. It's that simple

Dink
Dink

I can't make hide nor hair of capgeek anymore

mcloki
mcloki

OK Enough of the Kessel talk. Any pre season scouting on how well Price is playing and adapting to the new equipment?

mcloki
mcloki

Why do radio stations play fan comments. The fans are the last people you should ever put a mic in front of. 

Cloud09
Cloud09

Great to hear Kessel is locked up for the next 8 years. Sights set on Phaneuf now, $6.5M/5yr?? Can't really see him wanting to take a pay cut, not to mention captain of the team + #1 defender. I would be ok with that $ amount but wouldn't want it to go much higher than that. 

Dan39
Dan39

@Jordan29 Contending? Amazes me that that is now part of the dicussion with the Leafs. Not saying you're wrong, just been suffering for so long. 

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@The_Polish_Cannon How is makiung more then any of the comparables, except Perry, a steal? 7ish million would be average, 6 million would be a steal

Leafs rule
Leafs rule

@mcloki I hope its not well re price ,hoping for a shit month outa him anyways

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

@mcloki 

Unless his new equipment is a 6 by 4 sheet of plywood strapped to his back, he will suck. 

Cloud09
Cloud09

@mcloki KESSEL IS GOD!! 

And cowboy Price is in mid-season, Quebec swiss cheese form. 

Dangle_My_Berries
Dangle_My_Berries

@mcloki its like mic'ing up the TSN forums .....my eyes bleed whenever I make the mistake of reading that garbage 

mcloki
mcloki

@Cloud09 7 avv over 6. You can reduce Phanuefs salary in the later years but still have him keep his pride with a pay raise in the early years. And I can see Phaneuf saying he wants to stay around because he sees something positive happening.

The_Polish_Cannon
The_Polish_Cannon

6 million would be a steal but so would him playing for free. Got to keep it realistic considering he could command 9 million in free agency

The_Polish_Cannon
The_Polish_Cannon

He has actually making less than them all when you average out each players term and dollar and he has also out produced all his comparables except for gaborik

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@The_Polish_Cannon I agree, 8 million is less then he could have gotten, but its hardly a steal. Its a good value, though still more then I would have paid. 

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@Murph2417 @Greg Fenton @The_Polish_Cannon But those aren't the numbers they signed for, and who knows if thats what they would have gotten if the 8 year cap had been in place then. 

Parise, for example, might not have been able to get 9.16 a year, he still might have only gotten 7.5. 

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@The_Polish_Cannon But ultaimtely who cares what he is making, the cap hit is whats important, and until we see the contract its logical to assume it will be 8 million for 8 years, which puts him at the high end of that list. He maybe be the second highest producer on that list, but I certainly wouldn't call him the 2nd best player on the list. 

If go by TSN's list, made by people in hockey, Kessel would be 6th best (of 10) on that list. 

I don't think 8 million is bad for him, I think he certainly could get/have gotten more (if thats what he signs for), but its not a steal. 

Cameron19
Cameron19

kDefenders improve as they age.  Defender prime is 28-34.  Why would you be in the least concerned about term?

-

Also, 7M cap hit would put him as a high cap hit, but pretty low on the actual salary chart.  People need to realize the new CBA changed the way cap hits work.  Yea, DIon is going to have a higher cap hit than Keith, but he'll still be making less money.  You can't expect him to take less just because the rules changed.

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@The_Polish_Cannon Except that he is overpaid......

And I'm not saying they shouldn't sign him because he migh regress, I'ms aying why worry about it with Phaneuf and not Kessel?

The_Polish_Cannon
The_Polish_Cannon

Kessel will be 34 when the contract is up. He hasn't missed any games as a leaf and has never been injured. There's no negatives to this signing so quit looking for one. Some could argue Corey Perry has regressed already yet has been locked up for more

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@The_Polish_Cannon Heatley was scoring very close to that level in Atlanta and was still part of that line when he started to regress. 

I'm just pointing out that sometimes (not often, but sometimes) players start to regress because they are in their 30's, and it seems weird to be to be concerned about signing Phaneuf until he is 35-37 years old but having no problem with Kessel being locke dup until he is 35 years old. There could be 2-3 years of an 8 year Kessel deal that just kill the team. 

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

@Dan39

Pffff...  given the discussion thread, i thought you meant Phil Kessel.  You mean Subban.  Carry on, sorry

The_Polish_Cannon
The_Polish_Cannon

Heatly was part of one of the best lines in hockey when he was scoring at that pace. Kessel has put up great Numbers with a boat anchor playing center. He also put up 37 goals with Mitchell and Joey crabb on his line

Dan39
Dan39

@MaxwellHowe @Dan39 Ideally, we see the Subban -Plekanec/team soap opera escalate and he gets alienated and falls out with management - it could happen, PK has a huge ego, he's tempermental. 

Dan39
Dan39

@mcloki @Dan39 @MaxwellHowe @Greg Fenton @Cloud09 Good point, he certainly does seem to like Toronto and if there's some bad blood with Montreal - you never know. At a minimum, he should bend them over the barrel at contract time. Have to hope that situation gets worse though.

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@MaxwellHowe @Greg Fenton @Cloud09 @mcloki Who knows when Kessel will regress. Heatley went from a 50 goal, 100+ point player until he was 26 and then started to regress. 

Saying you don't want to pay a player because the contract will take him to his mid 30's isn't really a valid argument against a contract, its just the realities of running an NHL team. 

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@Cloud09 @mcloki Unfortunately those are the realities of the NHL and paying players. 

If Kessels deal is for 8 million for 8 years that means he'll have an 8 million cap it into his mid-30's (the contract would be up when he is 35). Just how it goes. 

mcloki
mcloki

@Cloud09 @mcloki One that's an average. I'd pay less for Phaneuf in the later years. 2 Contract explosion has just started. This new CBA is going ot add a ton of cap to teams. Yet the roster is going to stay at 23 players. Adding 15 million to a teams cap adds a lot of cash for all players. 

The idea of worth is directly related to the size of the cap.