Maple Leafs sniper Phil Kessel wants to finish his career in Toronto, his agent says

Phil Kessel wants to be a Maple Leaf for life.

So says his agent, Wade Arnott, who went on Toronto radio Wednesday to say so.

“Phil (Kessel) is still a really young man,” Arnott told the SportsNet Fan590. “He really enjoys living in Toronto and playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“This young man lives and breathes hockey. He was very excited to come here four years ago. I think if you asked Phil today, he’d love to finish his career here in Toronto. But it’s still young in his career right now.”

The 25-year-old Kessel, from Madison, Wisc., has led the team in scoring since his arrival from Boston in a controversial trade. He has one year left after this season on his five-year contract that will pay him $5.4 million next year.

In terms of average salary, he would be the third-highest paid Leaf behind Dion Phaneuf ($6.5 million) and Mikhail Grabovski ($5.5 million).

20 Responses to Maple Leafs sniper Phil Kessel wants to finish his career in Toronto, his agent says

  1. leafs_wallace93 says:

    I heard Bob McCowan praising Tyler Bozak yesterday too, maybe the Bell/Rogers is turning their stations in pro Maple Leaf propaganda machines in order to PR players into wanting to play here. Or then again maybe the media just doesn’t really matter in the first place.

    Leafs are playing pretty impressive given how hard injuries are hitting us. Add Frattin to Lupul, Gardiner and Riemer, can’t think of a team with that much out of their line up at the moment. So nothing to over react to (Tank Nation) if/when Carolina wins Thursday.

  2. doorman says:

    I am ok with resigning Phil. As I said before as long as he wants to be here great.

  3. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Looking down the middle with Bozak, Garbovski and Kadri have to think we’re in a great position for an upgrade given we could packag anyone of these three with Colbourne via trade and 1st round pick need be. Given all are pretty much interchangeable and Colbourne looks to be expendable.

    If could we found ourselves in a buyers position in the standing at the deadline? Who could we target? Or looking to target in the off season?

    Ottawa could fall off and go back to the youth movement? Spezza could look good between Kessel and JVR throw in a 1st round pick (again if we’re in a buyers position in the standings) with Garbo & Cobourne fair deal

    Washington will likely just retool next year along with their pending top five pick but if they hit reset the same package I suggested for Spezza will likely be the best offered for Backstrom.

    Philly will bomb all season long but will remain buyers like the Leafs would in that situation

    Florida, Weiss but is he really any better than what we have?

    Tampa, well Vinny might be a more interesting salary dump than Luongo

    Carolina, if they bomb could be looking for a major flip, I’d tweek the package to be a 1st, Phaneuf and Colbourne for Skinner

    NYI, Pens, Habs, NYR, NJ, Jets, Boston Sabres no real fits.

    As for the West

    Anahiem obviously Getzlaf, Colbourne, Kadri and no name prospect get it done for a rental

    Detroit, Franzen? might Holland want to relive some long term cap space, unless Garbo was going the other way would you want him as a long term 1st center?

    SJ, if they bust in 1st round could be looking for a shake up with Marleau (I get he plays the wing but a capable center), Thorton, Couture and Pavelski down the middle figure a package for Couture or Pavelski could be possible (obviously we’d have to give someone like Gardiner or Phaneuf).

    St.Louis, Steen?????

    Colorado, obvious Statsny and O’Rielly would be upgrades

    Edmonton, LA (figured they’ll keep that roster in place for a while), Dallas, Phoenix, Nashville, Minnesota, Columbus, Calgary, Van, Chi nothing really pops out as making sense.

    Not a lot there, hopefully a high profile center lands in the demand a trade territory. Leafs are in a good position if they continue to play well and virtually have no untradeable players.

    • doorman says:

      Ottawa is not trading Spezza let alone to us. We had our shot a couple years ago when they were down on him, that time has passed

    • mojo19 says:

      Colborne and Grabo for O’Reilly? I think O’Reilly has a shot at being a really great two-way centre. Maybe a Mike Peca or Ryan Kesler mould. He’s 21 years old, I think we should make a play.

  4. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    As far as Kessel goes, what do we expect his agent to say? i’m not suggesting Kessel doesn’t want to stay here, but I put no value on his agent stating he wants to remain a Leaf for his career.
    There are some players above that may be available, but I agree that the chance of Spezza coming to Toronto is a
    almost nil, if not nil.

    I’m a little surprised with how many times Gardiners name is coming up. When Rick Nash was available, I proposed Gardiner as the main piece to land Nash and many thought Nash wasn’t worth it(Actually everyone I think. I disagreed and still
    Just a question…Has Gardiner lost value in many of you guys opinions?

    • doorman says:

      IMO, i view gardiner the same as I did prior to the injury. I like the idea of not rushing players back. Let him play and play lots, Eakins is a great coach and will get him back to where he was. When we lose eakins to an NHL job and we will, it will hit the Leafs hard, IMO.

    • Nash has been playing great for us. I do wish he’d put more goals in the net, but I’m not sure I put the blame on him. At times he does seem a little gassed, but our coach is also using him on the PK, which can tire out a big body. His ability to drive to the net creates a ton of chances, we just haven’t seen his nasty wrist shot yet. I remember a few people here referring to him as a soft player, and believe me, he is anything but a soft player. He’s got no fear. I actually would’ve kept Dubinsky, and Anisimov, and just traded Gaborik for him. There’s a lot of games where Gaborik is just a prop on the ice.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        He’s a force that is almost impossible to find. Soft is ridiculous to call Nash.IMO Just because he is not a fighter doesn’t make him soft. You’re a better team with him (and I liked Anisimov). The guy drives the net, hard to knock off the puck, a good playmaker for a big man and a great shot. You CAN build a team around this guy…even though Columbus failed to do so.

        • True. Columbus also didn’t have 3-4 good Defesemen and an elite goalie to back him up. I think Columbus is having a lot more issues than finding guys to just support Nash. Hopefully stocking up on some first rounders can get them some top prospects.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            Exactly. Columbus did not build well. It’s as simple as that. It’s not Nash’s fault, the guy is a hard worker. It would be like blaming Sundin that the Leafs never won the cup when he was here. It’s called a team for a reason…because it takes a team to win. Otherwise it would be called singles hockey, like singles tennis.LOL NYR has a Team…Columbus did not.

  5. mapleleafsfan says:

    Really weak effort.

    That third line without Frattin is no good – we really missed him tonight. Kadri needs someone to set up and having another scoring line helps the others.

    Grabos line was bad – Phaneuf and grabo on that first goal were embarrassing. Macarthur was bad tonight too.

    I like having McClement on the fourth line – adds a bit more skill and a stronger fore check. Without him they are really slow – Steckel is horrible.

    Holzer was bad tonight too.

    Scrivens was pretty solid as a plus – could’ve easily been a blowout.

    Hopefully a weak sens team on Saturday gives us a good rebound.

    • toronto77 says:

      I agree, but it’s our first loss after a 4 game winning streak where we outscored our opponents 17-6, so tonights loss was acceptable.

      Kadri kind of screwed up on the third goal, even though MacArthur screwed up when he fell in the offensive zone and turned over the puck and then Liles screwed up when he pinched to keep the puck in when he should have been back checking and then created a 4 on 2, but although Kadri did a good job of skating back, but after Scrivens made the save on Skinner Kadri chased him behind the net, where if he stood in front of the net he could have blocked the shot from Staal.

      I would really like to know what are Nonis’s thoughts on Phaneuf and what it would take to ship him out?

      • mapleleafsfan says:

        Agreed, Kadri had a few blunders out there. I’m glad he got on the score sheet though, keep his confidence up while Frattin’s out.

        Kessel had a nice backcheck on Semin but definitely not his best game. It’s too bad that JVRs chance early didn’t squeak in – maybe woulda given us more of a spark.

        I’m not a big Phaneuf fan but it would take a hell of a lot at this point. We’re in the mix and our D is pretty weak. They’ve played over their heads, but Dion is far and away our best D at the moment. Imagine how anemic our D would look without him and with Gunnar out.

        Kostka – Franson
        Liles – Komisarek
        Holzer – Fraser

        That’s almost completely an AHL D. Have to say though, Franson is a gem. His shot is pretty unbelievable for how little he winds it up. He’s really establishing himself as a solid top 4.

        Kostka has pretty good poise for an AHLer, but he’s not that quick and could just be a flash in the pan.

        I don’t look to trade Dion unless we’re out of it big time by the deadline. Wait for the off season if we can get a worthwhile return and someone to fill his role.

        • Gambo says:

          You’re right, our D is absolutely terrible without Phaneuf. I’m still completely against trading Phaneuf at this point, for me the solution is to get another top line D man to help him out because he’s not playing terrible and is by far our best.

          And yeah Franson is looking great, I’m also against trading him. Him and Gardiner had chemistry last year and I can see them being a duo together for years to come.

          The only reason to me why we should trade Phaneuf is if by the deadline we’re completely out of it, like you said. Could cause some teams that are trying to win the cup overpay.

          Maybe Minnesota involving assets like Granlund, Dumba or draft picks. Or Washington if they can get back in the race. Forsberg and Kuznetsov are desirable prospects.

    • leafy says:

      Like I said the other day, Carolina is one of the best teams in the eastern conference. People look at the standings too much early in the season.

      If the Leafs had won today, despite the injuries, I REALLY would have been impressed. But you’re right, the effort wasn’t there…and you’re right they really miss Frattin.

      • mapleleafsfan says:

        Agreed, I was surprised when they got off to a slow start but they’ve really turned it around lately.

        With a top 5-10 goalie in the league and a one-two of staal-skinner and staal-semin, you have a pretty deadly core. And not a bad supporting cast either.

        Top 3 team in the East I’d say. If we do end up making the playoffs it’d be nice not to play them or the Bruins first round (wishful thinking).

        • toronto77 says:

          With all that talent is it’s hard to believe how BORING the canes are to watch. The important thing is they get the job done but man oh man are they friggin BORING, they have been like that for the last 10 years.

  6. mojo19 says:

    Glad to hear his agent say that. If Phil really does want to stay here then we should re-sign him. I hope they start to negotiate an extension in the summer. If we can bring some talent around him, maybe we can get him at a bit of a cheaper price.

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