Phil Kessel’s name came up in trade talks back in February ahead of the March 2 trade deadline and teams are once again calling Toronto to inquire about the price tag on the Leafs’ forward.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, with executives from all 30 teams being in Buffalo for the NHL Scouting Combine, discussions on Kessel’s availability are picking up steam. Despite the chatter, Friedman reports that a trade isn’t likely for at least a couple of weeks.
Kessel, who has spent the past six seasons in Toronto, scored 25 goals and 61 points to go along with a minus-34 rating in 82 games during the 2014-15 season.
As for what the Leafs may be looking for in return, the club is in the process of a major rebuild and will likely want draft picks and prospects in exchange for Kessel.
The 27-year-old has seven years remaining on his eight-year, $64 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $8 million.