- James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: Maple Leafs Phil Kessel finally scored his 1st goal of the season on Thursday, and now things are brewing as to what will happen regarding his contract. He’ll be a free agent after next season, and people are wondering if he’ll remain with the Leafs longterm. Kessel is eligible to sign an extension on July 1st. It’s believed that new Leafs GM Dave Nonis hasn’t been offering Kessel around the league, but is listening to offers. The rumors will only increase if the Maple Leafs fall out of playoff contention by the trade deadline. Wade Arnott, Kessel’s agent, has said that it is “too early” to begin talks about the possibly re-signing with the team.
“The season is just 11 games old,” Arnott said. “I know Phil is only focusing on the next game. We’ll see what the off-season brings, but I know he enjoys playing for the Leafs and living in a hockey market.”
Kessel will need to figure out if he wants to stay in Toronto longterm. Nonis will have to figure out if he wants to commit big-money for a one-way scorer into his 30′s or look to trade for someone younger.
- Joe Haggerty of CSNNE: Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli indicated on Thursday that he’ll be working on extending goalie Tuukka Rask sometime during this season.
“Nothing is imminent and I can leave it at that,” said Chiarelli. “[The Thomas trade] has kind of been in the works for a while and it just coincidental that Tuukka had a terrific game last night.
“Breaching my own policy [of not discussing contracts], we will bring up talks with Tuukka at some point in this season, in hoping to extend him. I know the perception looks like one follows the other and I was waiting to pull the trigger based on a great game by Tuukka. We’ve been pretty open with Tuukka and Tim as far as when we would see them ending up, I call it a succession plan.”
Haggerty thinks Rask’s deal could between Ondrej Pavelec’s 5 year, $19.5 million contract and Carey Price’s 6 year, $39.5 million deal.
- Brian McNally of the Washington Examiner: Capitals GM George McPhee has met with Capitals ownership, Ted Leonsis and Dick Patrick.
“Had some real good discussions with ownership over the last couple of days. They’re obviously not very happy. But they’ve been supportive,” McPhee said. “At times like this ownership can pile on and make things worse. Or ownership can say ‘How can we help and what we can do to make it better?’ And it’s been the latter. It’s been ‘How can we help, what can we do to make it better?’ And I provided some options and they provided some real fair direction, which was great.”
“The opinions that matter are the coaching staff and our pro scouts and ownership. We’re all on the same page,” McPhee said. “We’re disappointed with the way things have started. It’s not over.”
- Vicki Hall via twitter: Leland Irving will start in net for the Flames against the Canucks.
- Stephen Whyno via twitter: Braden Holtby will start in net for the Capitals today against the Panthers.
- Lou Korac via twitter: Brian Elliott will start in net today for the Blues against the Ducks.
- Pittsburgh Penguins via twitter: Marc-Andre Fleury will start in net today for the Penguins.