Bruins and Kessel still at impasse

Kevin Paul Dupont

Opening Night now slightly more than three weeks away, speedy Bruins winger Phil Kessel remains without a contract, putting into doubt his statement last month that he would have a new deal in place by the start of the 2009-10 season.
“I can’t respond to that,’’ said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, here for this week’s rookie tournament that has brought together freshmen from Boston, Toronto, Ottawa, and Pittsburgh. “Phil is eager to get back in the mix, I guess. I respect the fact that he loves the game and wants to be back . . . and I guess he expects the ice will break because of the [imminent] end of the summertime cap.’’

As of Oct. 1, payrolls for NHL clubs must not exceed the league-mandated $56.8 million cap. However, prior to Oct. 1, clubs are allowed to exceed the cap by 10 percent, to a limit of $62.48 million.

The Bruins, with some $55 million committed for next season, have tried to convince Kessel to sign a deal that would increase the payroll to around $59 million, forcing Chiarelli to ditch a roster player in the minors or offload salary via trade. But thus far none of Boston’s offers has been to Kessel’s liking.

42 Responses to Bruins and Kessel still at impasse

  1. hockey_lover says:

    Really?  3 Kessel articles on the home page? Really?

  2. hockeyhead says:

    What do the Leafs and the Titanic have in common?
    A: They both look good until they hit the ice.

    What's the difference between the Toronto Maple Leafs and a cigarette vending machine?
    A: The vending machine has Players!

    What do the Toronto Maple Leafs and whales have in common?
    A: They both get totally confused when surrounded by ice.

    Why are the Toronto Maple Leafs like Canada Post?
    A: They both wear uniforms and don't deliver!

    Why doesn't Hamilton have an NHL team?
    A: Because then Toronto would want one….

    What do the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Argonauts and the Toronto Blue Jays all have in common besides being based in Toronto ?
    A. None of them can play hockey.

    What do you call 30 millionaires around a TV watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
    A. The Toronto Maple Leafs.

    What do the Toronto Maple Leafs and Billy Graham have in common?
    A. They both can make 20,000 people stand up and yell 'Jesus Christ'.

    How do you keep the Toronto Maple Leafs out of your yard?
    A. Put up a goal net.

    What do you call a Toronto Maple Leaf with a Stanley Cup ring?
    A. A thief.

    What do the Toronto Maple Leafs and possums have in common?
    A. Both play dead at home and get killed on the road.

    How many Toronto Maple Leafs does it take to win a Stanley Cup?
    A. Nobody knows … And we may never find out.

    This guy says to the bartender, “Can my dog and I watch the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game here? My cable is out, and my dog and I always watch the game together.”

    The bartender replies, “Normally, dogs wouldn’t be allowed in my bar, but it’s not very busy right now, so you and the dog can have a seat at the end of the bar. But, if there’s any trouble with you or the dog, I’ll have to ask you to leave.”

    The guy agrees, and he and his dog start watching the game. Pretty soon, the Leafs manage to score a goal and the excited dog jumps up on the bar, barks loudly, does a back flip and runs over to the bartender and gives him a high-five.

    The bartender says, “Wow, that’s pretty cool! What does he do when they win a game ?”

    The guys answers, “No Idea, I’ve only had him for 3 years.”

    The last time the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup most of their fans were in diapers.
    Coincidentally, the next time they win it those same fans will be back in diapers again!

  3. reinjosh says:

    leaf hate fail
    Leafs were mentioned once
    and the main premise of all the articles was the Bruins and Kessel with only one of them being the LEafs dumbass

  4. reinjosh says:

    I think the odds are stacked against the leafs regardless of what Burke does
    it would be amazing to get Kessel
    but Burke has to beat 28 other teams who might want him (maybe not all) and all of them didnt piss Chiarelli off
    even if Burke resorts to signing him to an offer sheet
    Chiarelli can match and then trade some other player in a salary dump deal to 28 other teams
    well unless Burke signs Kessel to an offer sheet on the 29th or 1st of october.
    either way Kessel has an increasingly smaller chance of staying on the bruins every day.

  5. hockeyhead says:

    chill out spaz.

    he wanted something else to read hockey related so i printed it.

    you cant get a laugh out of it?  i feel sorry for you.

  6. reinjosh says:

    im not spazzing
    i just find it funny how leaf haters have nothing better to do then come up with lame jokes
    its really funny

  7. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    Not necissarily. As a matter of fact, I think his best days are the last week of september. on October 1 you have to be at or below the salary cap. So the Bruins could match any offer today easily, and have 3 weeks to shed salary. But an offer sheet on September 30 would be very problematic indeed.

  8. cam7777 says:

    what you're missing in that though, is that Kessel isn't as desirable as a lot of people seem to think he is.  He has, to date, received only one offer from Chiarelli, and no counters.  He has been on the trade block 3 times, and despite what Chiarelli says about wanting him in the lineup, he seems to be unwilling to do anything about it.  basically what i'm saying is that Chiarelli is bluffing, and league interest in Kessel is probably shockingly low.

    so few teams can afford to give up a massive package of picks and prospects (that have their own financial value in the fact that they can play for so cheap for 3 full years), to take on a player who is going to start making 5 million dollars immediately.  Factor in Kessel's injury that will keep him out the first 30 games of the season (and may present a number of additional problems), and some of the rumored baggage he carries, and suddenly it's not so appealing.  and that even discludes the argument about Savard being a big reason for his high production last year, and the fact that he was as streaky as Grabovski.

    Just consider how long Kessel has been sitting around dangling in the wind.  His value simply isn't as high as Chiarelli thinks it is, and Burke is trying to show that to him right now.  By making himself able to tender an offer sheet, he alerts every other team to what is going on with the situation.  Now Chiarelli is fielding offers, and finding out that:

    a.) no one will give him anything of significance for Bergeron or Kobasew – or those that will do a fair trade want to send salary back the other way which defeats the purpose.

    b.) interest in Kessel is lower than expected because the fiscal damage to most organizations would be too great.  Nashville for instance, rumored interested in Kessel, cannot afford to give away two good prospects and a good pick, and they cannot afford to acquire a 5 million dollar contract without sending back salary.

    c.) if he remains stubborn about what kind of return to look for with Bergeron and other would-be salary dumps, , he may end up losing Kessel for draft picks while his team is on the verge of a serious Cup run.

    My guess is that Chiarelli will either trade Kessel for a package that isn't as impressive as most seem to think he's worth, or he will look to trade someone cheaper, who does have value.  Perhaps a combination of Wheeler and Kobasew would return the proper value to organization, and still allow the team to get under the cap with Kessel in the fold. 

    Really, he would be smartest to just dump Bergeron for nothing, but for some reason, I just don't see Chiarelli doing it.  He's going to be stubborn to the end about what kind of return he can get for his players, and end up getting screwed for it. 

    I would personally prefer Wheeler over Kessel.  I think he's over-rated also, but he's very skilled, very large, and plays a vastly better two-way game.

  9. hockeyhead says:

    i dont hate the leafs at all.

    i found this on another hockey website.  insert any team you want i suppose.

    but the rumors of kessel to the leafs continue and i think they are far from the truth.

  10. reinjosh says:

    hence my post below
    i find it unlikely kessel will be a leaf

  11. hockeyhead says:

    wheeler is the keeper which allows kessel to walk or get traded.

    wheeler might not be as fast but he has the hands.

  12. reinjosh says:

    yah that makes a lot of sense
    I would love to have Begeron
    but I would settle for Kessel or Wheeler
    personally im really wary of Kessel pulling a Penner
    but who knows thats the risk we take if we go for him

  13. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    On another note, I can't believe Blair betts is still unsigned. He's arguably the best penalty killer in the game, and yet nobody wants him…I'm hoping Burke gives him a contract because he'd be a keeper.

  14. reinjosh says:

    not likely
    hes probable going to let some of the rookies go for that role
    and then save the cap space for a forward later on
    betts will get signed before the season starts
    count on it
    he was to good a penalty killer not too

  15. the_word says:

    Do Leafs fans want Kessel or the mystery box (1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick).

    The mystery box could be anything, it could even be a potential Phil Kessel.

    Burke cements his stellar offseason if he puts out an offer sheet on Kessel, worst case scenario he makes Chiarelli's life more difficult. I'd also be happy to see Burke burn that bridge, its not like Chiarelli is willing to make any deals unless he rapes his trading partner.

  16. 93killer93 says:

    I would rather package Kaberle with some other players on draft day to LA for schenn, Teubert and their 1st and 3rd. Then make Price an offer sheet of 4.5mil per giving montreal LA's 1st and 3rd. then give Toews an offersheet of probably around 5 mil and give Chicago our first 3 picks. It's very unlikely this happens but i hope Burke can pull something like this off.

  17. the_word says:

    It hard to asses his actual value as we have a small sample of him playing at an elite level. Similar to Bouwmeester, no matter who signs him he'll be a bit of a gamble. I think both lean closer to the safe bet rather than flash in pan.

    I'm curious to know our competitors for Kessel, haven't heard much from any other camps.

  18. lafleur10 says:

    i put these up here over amonth ago!that is where you got them from

  19. lafleur10 says:

    you won't get price keep dreaming! we'd match any offer for him but he'll be resigned long before that point.

  20. 93killer93 says:

    Montreal already have about 47.5 million commiter to the 2010/2011 season with only 14 player signed. Price will probably make 4-5 after this year. Good Luck trying to sign Halak, S.Kostitsyn, Plekanec, D'Agostini, Latendresse as well as some other RFA's to about 3-4 million.

  21. Kramer says:

    The trainers and cooks are an important part of the team and their salaries should count toward the cap.  Can the players play good if they're feeling sick or eat bad food? No they can't so there you go.

  22. reinjosh says:

    if Gustavvson plays well enough we wont need Price
    and id rather sign D'Agostini instead
    we could offer him a 4 year 10 million dollar deal
    and only lose our second

  23. reinjosh says:

    Bettman is the biggest, filthiest, liars in the league if not in all of sports
    The bastard is too damn proud to admit that Phoenix wont work and even though its becoming evident it wont work, eh jumps in and says the league will buy the team
    So now he turns on previous statements and says that the league plans on selling the team after it can fix it and yes it might be moved in the process.
    This completely proves that Bettman does not care about anything else in this process but him and his vendetta against Balsillie
    He just cant accept that Balsillie is better for the league than he is and most fans like Balsillie better than he does
    He would rather the judge turn down a deal worth 100 million more than his own deal (the league is the same thing) even though Balsillies deal would cover all the creditors whereas Bettman's screws Moyes and Gretzky's money. plus he will likely end up screwing Glendale out of their lease in 2 years max and the fans of Phoenix also. He is even turning down a second team worth as much as the leafs, something that would bring in loads of money.
    all because he hates Balsillie
    he can deny it as much as he wants
    but the evidence speaks for itself

  24. cam7777 says:

    picks in offer sheets can only be your own, and only from the very next draft.  essentially, you cannot make two offer sheets in the same off-season, unless you manage to get someone for a 1st and a 3rd, and someone for a 2nd (most teams match on the players in the 2nd category).

    price has a long way to go, and I'm not willing to pay him 4-5 million dollars after what i've seen from him so far.  I'd rather run with Toskala and Gustavsson – both should be able to be resigned for an affordable price next off-season.  And if not, there are about a dozen other goalies out there that can do a quality job at a much smaller price.

    montreal will not let price go, and chicago will let patrick kane go if they have to choose between one of their 3 stars (keith being the third).  kaberle will likely be here for the long haul unless burke finds a stellar young puck-mover at a discount rate sometime in the near future.

  25. mojo19 says:

    Ya especially after the insulting trade offer of Kessel for Kaberle and the 7th overall pick.

    I would love to see an offer sheet thrown out there.

  26. mojo19 says:

    If Carey Price was put on waivers and was making $4.5 million per season, I would pass. He's not worth that. Nevermind the compensation you'd have to give up on an offer sheet for him….

    jeez, 93killer93 are you a dumb Leafs fan or Habs? Hard to tell.

  27. cam7777 says:

    It's not true that Bettman is doing this out of some twisted personal dislike for Jim Balsillie.  The fact of the matter is that Bettman is right when he says that the damage to the league would be far beyond the $195 million dollar max relocation fee he is asking Balsillie for.  A franchise in Hamilton is easily worth closer to a half billion dollars, and everyone is on board for Balsillie to buy it at what is essentially a quarter of that.

    For 242.5 million, Balsillie would not only receive a team that is fully functioning and deep in young talent, and probably on the verge of breaking through towards being an elite franchise, but he would receive the 2nd most profitable organization in the entire league.  That's just simply not fair to the players of the NHL, or the ownership groups around the league that would otherwise see about 4 times that much money come back into their pockets.

    The only way anyone should be able to put a franchise in that area, is with an absolutely absurd sum of money.  Even at 500 million, whoever made the purchase would start seeing a return on that investment within 10-12 years (possibly sooner).  After that, the team is a gold mine.  Except at 500 million, the owner would still have to purchase a team, and pay everyone on the staff to run it.  So really, it should cost Jim closer to 625 million to buy that team, but everyone is content to see the league and players screwed out of nearly 400 million dollars.

    We as Canadians are too caught up in our blind desire to have a 7th team here, and take our game back from Gary Bettman and the evil Americans.  I understand the feeling, and I've agreed with it on so many occasions.  The problem is, that Bettman finally agrees with us, and we still hate his guts.  Bettman realizes that Phoenix is failing at this point, and that the team will likely have to be moved, but he doesn't have the luxury of being able to say that, because his bid is contingent on keeping certain people happy.  It's also why he can't come out and say that the team has expansion plans for Southern Ontario, and block Jim that way, because otherwise he'd be facing an even bigger lawsuit from the league's richest and most powerful team (and the Sabres too).

    I have a solution for Balsillie and Bettman that works for everyone :

    1.) Bettman agrees to make Balsillie an NHL owner, and awards him an expansion franchise in Hamilton (or somewhere in Southern Ontario – Kitchener if need be to avoid Maple Leaf intervention).

    2.) Balsillie pays a reduced fee from my proposed figure of 500 million – 300 million.

    3.) Balsillie agrees to withdraw his bid from the Phoenix auction, and instead commits his company, Research in Motion, to the NHL's bid of 140 million.  In order to help the NHL avoid further controversy over the Glendale lease arrangement, he has his company leave the 50 million dollar buy-off for the city of Glendale as part of the NHL's bid (now the only bid).

    4.) The NHL agrees to return any profits on a sale of the Coyotes franchise over to Balsillie's fund for building, or remodelling an arena for his new franchise in Southern Ontario.

    5.) The Coyotes are purchased by the NHL and Research in Motion (at 140 million plus the 50 million dollar buy-off for Glendale), and sold to True North Sports and Entertainment for 165 million.

    6.) In 2010/2011, there is a team in Southern Ontario, and the Coyotes move back to Winnipeg.

    What this means for Jim Balsillie:

    -Instead of the meagre 242.5 million dollar pice he had originally intended to invest in a complete team, he has now spent 350 million on the rights to a franchise.

    -Despite the new figure, Jim gets 25 million dollars towards constructing or renovating an arena for his new team.  He also has the Commisioners support, and finally, backing of the BOG to be an NHL owner

    -Assuming the team runs a cost of 125 million with player, personnel and other expensses in the first year, Jim will have spent 450 million dollars on achieving his dream.  True, it is nearly double what he set out to spend, but he has done in the right way, made everyone happy, still saved himself 175 million off what it should have cost, and now owns the 2nd most profitable team in the league.

  28. cam7777 says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention, this plan assumes the NHL also starts to close the door on either Nashville or Atlanta.  Atlanta is probably done anyway if Kovalchuk doesn't resign. 

  29. mojo19 says:

    What do you think of this? Watch the video clip, don't just read the text. Burke mentions that he specifically informed Chiarelli ahead of time that he was reaquiring his 2nd round pick.

    Then goes on to say that he is not against offer sheets at all, just that he doesn't think you should blindside another GM, which is what his issue was with Kevin Lowe.

    So read between the lines. He did however say that right now, making an offer to Kessel isn't his plan or something to that effect… so we'll see. Just saying its definitely worth keeping an eye on.

  30. DandoEagle says:

    oh I know the Laffs nation is going to come out of the woodwork and barate me on this one but.

    Can you explain to me what it is exactly that makes Kessel so flipping amazing?

    Let's compare a person who is very similar to Kessel.

    Mike Comrie –

    First 3 seasons in the Oilers

    2000-01     Edmonton Oilers     NHL     41     8     14     22    
    2001-02     Edmonton Oilers     NHL     82     33    27     60    
    2002-03     Edmonton Oilers     NHL     69     20    31     51    

    Kessel firrst 3 Seasons as a Bruin

    2006-07     Boston Bruins     NHL     70     11     18     29    
    2007-08     Boston Bruins     NHL     82     19     18     37    
    2008-09     Boston Bruins     NHL     70     36     24     60    

    Now I know people are going to say "well Kessel was an 18 year old when he started in the leaegue – he was bordering on 19 and Comrie was all of a year older at 20.

    Both guys are looking for outraygous contracts – both have good career years and both will ahve played for the Islanders by the time they retire LOL

  31. reinjosh says:

    the thing is balsillie wil spend close to that 500 million mark
    and he will cause very little harm to the league
    He pays 242.5 million for the team
    then he pays 50 million to Glendale (bettman is going to screw them in a couple years anyways)
    plus he pays 100 million to the league for the move (which is a ridiculous figure by the way)
    so thats 400 million dollars
    he still has to pay the lease at copps and the upgrade fee
    so after all this he is paying 450 or 500 million dollars for a franchise worth no more than 130 million dollars in phoenix and maybe 400 million in hamilton
    so he overpays but will make money in 10 years (not like it really matters for a man who owns over 4 billion dollars in assets)
    he pays all the creditors and at an increase over what any one else will
    Glendale gets 50 million. In the NHL's deal i guarantee you that the team will move within 5 years at the max, so Glendale would lose more money if the NHL wins than if Balsillie wins.
    and the damage he causes is what?
    the players move? not a bid deal.
    a limited number of fans lose out on the NHL? again not that big a loss
    the damage is minimal. that is why BEttman and the NHL havent once mentioned any cases of how the league would suffer any damage. they wont
    they will actually make a lot more money this way.
    the league is bluffing and you know it.

  32. reinjosh says:

    unlike comrie, kessel improved in 3 seasons
    comrie did not
    and kessel lost his friggin ball
    comrie did not
    personally id be happy with or without him

  33. reinjosh says:

    Bettman also put himself into this position
    the man is an idiot
    he should never have been allowed to keep his job past the lockout (or even halfway through it)
    everything he does now just proves it more and more
    and makes him out to be a liar

  34. cam7777 says:

    If you think not getting full value for what would be the most valuable franchise not named the Toronto Maple Leafs isn't damaging, than you just haven't explored all the facts yet, or imagined the backlash from the people who stand to lose in such a situation.

    At this very moment, Chris Chelios and his croney's are collaborating to take over the NHLPA (if they haven't done so already) and return to Chelios' platform of "Strike for as long as it takes!"  That would be absolutely crippling, and potentially fatal to the NHL.  This league simply cannot afford to go into another lockout so soon after the last one.

    If you think for one second that the PA will be pleased to hear that the NHL sold possibly the most valuable asset they have (rights to a team in Southern Ontario) for a fraction of what it's worth, think again.  Chelios or no Chelios, losing hundreds of millions of dollars directly effects the players and their salaries.  Sure we'd have a 7th team, but 36 months from now, there may not be a league for that team to play in.

    Now think of the ownership groups around the league.  So many of them are struggling right now.  Even the once mighty Colorado Avalanche are in hard times, having to take payments from the league after suffering losses this year.  Columbus, Nashville, Phoenix, Tampa Bay, Florida, Atlanta, Colorado, Los Angeles, and I believe Carolina all suffered losses this year.  Most of those teams suffer consistently massive losses.  Still, those owners buy into the league with the faith that the sport will sort itself out and become profitable.  They have faith in the commisioner to get their product on TV, and make the most of their assests.

    Oh, and those teams mentioned above, those are just the teams who lost enough money to collect reparation money from the league (paid for by the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Rangers, and a handfull of other over-profiting teams).  Several other teams either broke even, or lost a small amount.  All owners want to be paid for their investment, not just the ones massively losing money.

    If they divide 100 million dollars between 30 teams, that's like throwing a bucket of straws at a train.  It's going to take closer to 500 million to right the financial damage that has gone on the last few years.

    Furthermore, moving the franchise there will cost the league millions and millions of dollars in legal battles with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  You know that Peddie and the teachers will literally fight tooth and nail to get as much as they can from the league for this blatant violation.  100 million might not even cover the damages from that one situation alone, and after that Bettman will still have to answer to the lawyers of the owners who voted down Balsillie and then saw him become an owner anyway, and then the PA and their demands for money.

    The damage will be enormous if Balsillie wins.

  35. Kramer says:

    Everybody is asking how come the Leafs don't make an offer to Kessel?  They first gotta wait for the underworld to give the ok sign.  This is gonna affect the bets placed at the start of the season and "they" don't wanna take a hit from bad wagering. It's gotta be good business otherwise the guys who screw up could get whacked like Bugsy.

  36. cam7777 says:

    I agree that this is all his doing, and that he is a blatant liar.  At this time though, he is lieing because he has no choice.  He can't say he wants an expansion in Southern Ontario, or he would have to take on Peddie and the teachers of Ontario, as well as one of Canada's richest men in Jim Balsillie.  He can't say he wants to move the team back to Winnipeg ASAP, because the city of Glendale wants to keep it there and force someone to lose money for as long as possible – he now has to be underhanded to get his way.

    Still, he is doing the right thing now, past mistakes aside.  He should be removed once this dispute is settled.

  37. the_word says:

    Finally some sanity, he's on mediocre season away from becoming irrelevant. We'll see how clutch he is this year.

  38. the_word says:

    Burke's an asshole and I respect him for it.

  39. blaze says:

    Come on a team in Hamilton hardly effects the players locking out again, that's quite the stretch. Whatever fees the NHL charges the PA, especially individual players, won't see.

    Another cash cow franchise would help raise player salaries if anything and what player wouldn't want that.

  40. hockeyhead says:

    you dont know what makes kessel amazing?

    must be because you cover your eyes when he is scoring goals on the habs.

    was mike comrie a number five draft pick?

    you dont believe in the kessel hype….i dont believe in the price hype.

  41. cam7777 says:

    player's salaries are directly effected by league revenues.  if the league sells the rights to a team in hamilton for 100 million, and the PA determines that they could have sold it for 500 million, they will be none too pleased. 

    yes, there needs to be a team in hamilton (or southern ontario), but that doesn;t mean that balsillie should be able to buy it for a fraction of what it should be worth. 

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