Phil Kessel Trade Rumors + Another tidbit

Phil Kessel trade likely

Sharks on verge of signing veteran Malhotra

Predators pursue Bruins’ Phil Kessel

Phil Kessel trade likely

Stephen Harris / Bruins Notebook

TORONTO – Because of the looming threat the Bruins [team stats] will not be able to match an offer sheet for free agent Phil Kessel [stats], two well-placed sources in Toronto said the team is close to pulling off a blockbuster trade involving the 21-year-old sniper.

According to the sources, the deal likely will be finalized within the next week, as four teams are in the running. Toronto and Nashville have made the best offers in talks with B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli. Minnesota and the New York Rangers also are in the mix.

The Bruins hoped all along to keep Kessel but could not re-sign him despite making a lucrative offer, so they are close to getting what they can for him and moving on.

“We’re obviously at an impasse,” Chiarelli said before last night’s preseason game against the Maple Leafs, where he expected to speak to Toronto counterpart Brian Burke.

The B’s wanted to remain patient with Kessel and wait for the best possible deal to come up, even if it’s during the season, but one big issue is getting in the way.

There remains a real threat of a team, likely the Maple Leafs, signing Kessel to an offer sheet just before the start of the season. Teams have to be below the salary cap on Oct. 1.

Sharks on verge of signing veteran Malhotra

David Pollak

The ongoing competition for a forward spot on the Sharks’ roster is getting a little tougher just as the exhibition season that determines who stays and who goes is about to begin.

Free agent Manny Malhotra, a 29-year-old center who has spent the past five seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, is about to become a Shark, according to an NHL source.

Malhotra, who immediately becomes a favorite for a spot on San Jose’s third line, won’t be in the lineup tonight when the Sharks face the Los Angeles Kings in Southern California but should be with the team in the next two or three days.

Unlike a year ago, when nearly every spot on the roster seemed filled before training camp began, this summer’s offseason overhaul has made for genuine competition among forwards and defensemen. And for those involved, that makes the exhibition season anything but meaningless.

“There’s a lot of guys right here competing hard to be on this team,” prospect defenseman Mike Moore said. “These games are very important. Guys prepare for them as they would regular-season or playoff games.”

Coach Todd McLellan said that the players themselves will end up making the decision for him in the seven games that will be played over the next 10 nights, starting tonight in Ontario — the Southern California city, not the Canadian province.

Predators pursue Bruins’ Phil Kessel


The Predators have offered a combination of draft picks and prospects to Boston for forward Phil Kessel, General Manager David Poile said Wednesday.

Now it’s time to see whether Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli chooses to deal Kessel to the Predators, to another team or — less likely — re-sign him.

“I certainly believe in being aggressive and persistent and going after what I want. But I’ve made it clear what we can do,” Poile said. “It’s fairly apparent what other teams are doing.”

There have been reports saying Toronto is willing to give up two first-round draft picks and a second-rounder for Kessel.

“If (Chiarelli) gets two firsts and a second, he’s getting really good compensation,” Poile said. “But it is all in the eye of the beholder for a 21-year-old player who scored 36 goals.’