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.”
Related: Kessel would ‘love’ to spend rest of career with Leafs, says agent
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?