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Former Leaf and current UFA generating interest from teams, likely to sign a new contract


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Ryan Smitheram
September 15, 2023  (10:23)
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A couple of weeks ago, former Leaf and three-time Stanley Cup champ Phil Kessel made it known to teams that he is willing to forego continuing his NHL record ironman streak to continue his career during the upcoming season. Kessel has skated in 1,064 straight regular season games, a record which he set last season, surpassing Keith Yandle's record which he set the season prior. The former Leaf is also just 8 points away from joining the 1000-point club.

Kessel, 35, is coming off of a 14 goal, 36 point campaign with the Vegas Golden Knights. He may not be the 30-goal scorer he once was, but can still provide a contending team with some cheap, depth scoring.
According to TSN's Chris Johnston, his sources have informed him that Kessel is generating some interest around the league, with teams no longer having to be concerned with being the ones to end the historic streak. The interest is significant enough that he may not even have to sign a PTO to get a deal.
Last season, Kessel joined the Vegas Golden Knights on a 1-year deal that saw him earn $1.5M for the season. His next contract, should he sign one, will likely be closer to the league minimum as contending teams are very tight on cap space.
Given that Kessel is 35, he does have the ability to sign a league-minimum deal filled with bonus clauses that could be pushed to next year's salary cap, which is supposed to rise significantly. The case would be similar to what the Bruins did with Patrice Bergeron last season, albeit not as rich of a deal.
There is no word on which teams are interested in Kessel just yet, but it would not come as a surprise if he signs over the weekend as training camp is scheduled to begin on September 20th.
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15 SEPTEMBRE   |   74 ANSWERS
Former Leaf and current UFA generating interest from teams, likely to sign a new contract

Which division will Phil Kessel sign in when he finally puts pen to paper on a new contract?

Metropolitan1621.6 %
Atlantic3040.5 %
Pacific2229.7 %
Central68.1 %
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