The window for the Toronto Maple Leafs to negotiate a contract extension with Phil Kessel appears to be closing.
Kessel, 25, can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and he reiterated today that he doesn’t want to talk contract with the Leafs during the season.
Heading into training camp, he says there have been no talks so far.
Wherever he ends up signing, he wants to ink a long-term deal.
“I want to be somewhere for a long period of time,” said Kessel, per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
Kessel is one of the NHL’s top snipers; if healthy, he can be expected to score at least 30 goals per season.
Which is to say, with the salary cap expected to rise in the coming years, he’s in line for a mega-deal.
For now, it doesn’t sound like he’s ready to limit his options.
“It’s something I think all guys look forward to,” Kessel said of his potential free agency. “You can choose where you want to play. I’ll see what happens.”