Kessel wants to score 40 goals next year – Can he?

On a team historically bereft of big-time scorers, Phil Kessel believes he can achieve what only one Maple Leaf has been able to do in the last 15 seasons.

That’s topping the 40-goal mark.

“I think I can score 40. I could have had it last year if I’d have scored (consistently). I had a lot of chances, plus I missed quite a bit of games,” said the 22-year-old winger as he passed through town for the unveiling of Dion Phaneuf as Toronto’s captain and Tuesday’s opening of Real Sports Bar and Grill, MLSE’s playpen beside the Air Canada Centre.

Price to the Flyers for Giroux … not going to happen

If Montreal were to trade goalie Carey Price to the Flyers, it would want Giroux , sources said. That makes a deal with the Canadiens virtually impossible. . . .

These NHL GMs may heat up summer months

Last week, Glen Sather told Larry Brooks of The New York Post that the Rangers were not going to be a major player in free agency. I was relaying this news to a former player, who responded, “And you believe him?”

Upon further review, however, you can see how this might be the most boring free agency summer since the lockout.

There aren’t many difference-makers available, and there aren’t many big spending teams with cap room. Several other organizations (Carolina, for example) want to take their payrolls down to $44 million US.

So, if you’re a general manager looking to improve his team, you’re doing one of two things: hunting around the bargain bin or looking to make a trade. And, there are a lot of players available. Teams willing to take on a little extra salary will be in a position of power. They’ll be able to extract draft picks, prospects, maybe even good players that cap-strapped teams (Chicago) really don’t want to dump.

Quick Leaf Tidbit

Burke continues to hear offers for defenceman Tomas Kaberle , but denies reports he’s speaking specifically to the New Jersey Devils and old pal Lou Lamoriello … Though nothing is moving in talks with restricted free-agent winger Nikolai Kulemin , Burke stressed there was plenty of time for the two sides to reach a common number.

Tomas Vokoun looking more likely to stay with Panthers

Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon isn’t looking to trade goalie Tomas Vokoun.

Tallon called Vokoun on Monday night and assured him of that.

“He likes me, and he has no interest in shopping me or trading me unless there’s a great deal that would make sense,” Vokoun told the Sun Sentinel.