Monday, July 29, 2013

2014 NHL Free Agents - Phil Kessel

Update:  Phil Kessel was signed to an eight year contract extension worth $64 million, making it the richest contract in Toronto Maple Leafs history according to Sports Illustrated.  

Phil Kessel is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July of 2014.  The young winger for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and former fifth overall pick in the 2006 NHL entry draft by the Boston Bruins, is in the final year of a five-year, $27 million contract.

Kessel, who was dealt to Toronto by Boston in 2009, was seventh overall in NHL points scored for the shortened 2012-13 campaign.  In 504 regular season contests over his career, he has notched 379 points.  In his first playoff series as a member of the Maple Leafs, Kessel contributed six points in seven games.

Outlook
It has been previously indicated by Kessel's agent, Wade Arnott, that he would like to finish his career as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  There is a long way to go however, as Kessel is just 25 years-old entering the 2013-14 campaign.

The Maple Leafs will have a few free agents to address in 2014, including Kessel's teammate, defenseman Dion Phaneuf.  Even considering that, the Leafs will have the room to sign Kessel.  Much will depend on how his season pans out for 2013-14.  He has led the Leafs in scoring since coming over from Boston, and they appeared in the playoffs, with his contributions, for the first time in a long while.  Assuming his contract requests are in line with comparable players, look for Kessel to remain in Toronto for the foreseeable future.  

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