LeBrun: Asking Price on Kessel Very High, Bernier Negotiations in Progress

In a double-dose of Leafs news in his rumblings blogs, Pierre LeBrun unveiled where the Leafs are at in regards to dealing Phil
Kessel, and what kind of deal they are looking for with Jonathan
On Kessel, and what the Leafs may be looking for in a return:

Kessel’s name will be bandied about as much as anyone’s in the next
week, in part because any trade the Toronto Maple Leafs make would preferably land them a pick or two in next week’s draft. Not necessarily, but preferably.

isn’t that big of a surprise. This draft class is loaded, and the Leafs
have said they want to add more picks. Moving Kessel is a way to add a
couple picks this year and/or next.

hockey executives from rival teams said that over the past several
weeks the Leafs have a price for Kessel that is way, way too high. So
the executives are staying away until it comes down. Can’t blame Toronto
for starting high. Why wouldn’t you?

all know that the Leafs are shopping Kessel, but this is a good sign.
It shows that the Leafs aren’t going to trade him just to do so – they
want a premium return, which they should get. If you don’t get that
magic combination in a return, you don’t have to move him. Kessel is
only 27, and is still an elite scorer.

“They’re going to have to eat more of his salary than they think right now,” said one of the rival executives.

The Leafs shouldn’t have to eat any of his salary. Take back salary to
make a deal work? Sure. But eating Phil’s salary shouldn’t even be in
the cards. Not only is it a miscalculation of his value by both teams,
but they need to save their ability to eat salary for the Phaneuf trade
and keep one in the backpocket when they decide to move Joffrey Lupul,
or another veteran.

of note, players with partial no-trade clauses have their agents
resubmit their lists before July 1 every year. Sometimes the list stays
the same, but I believe Kessel’s new list has already been submitted and
might have been tweaked slightly in terms of how it’s going look
starting July 1.

note here – if Phil’s list has changed, that could make things a lot
different. Most notably – if there is a new list, has Phil changed his
mind on wanting to stay here? Maybe he opens up to teams with cap space,
or finally going to Minnesota.
LeBrun’s column isn’t just about Kessel, it also has a little tidbit about contract negotiations with Jonathan Bernier.

and his agent, Pat Brisson, have no problem with the Leafs’ filing;
it’s all part of the business and, in fact, Brisson and the Leafs’ front
office continue to have good dialogue about a new contract, which would
make the arbitration filing a moot point.

My sense is both sides are looking at a two- or three-year contract.

is great news on two fronts – the two sides are negotiating pleasantly,
and the deal that they both want is shorter term. Smart for both sides –
that way the Leafs can see what they really have in Bernier without
committing too long, and Bernier can prove himself to be in line for a
bigger payday when he becomes a UFA, if he so deserves.

news sure is interesting this time of year, and with only a week left
until the draft, it’s bound to get even moreso every day.

  • FlareKnight

    Yeah, if some GMs are dumb enough to think the Leafs will eat salary on a Kessel deal they are drunk. He is paid at market value, Leafs don’t have to eat anything on that. Take a bad contract to make it work under the cap maybe, but not eating salary on the remaining years of that contract.

  • FlareKnight

    There is no way the Leafs eat salary on a Kessel trade, not in this life or any other. LeBrun should know better than repeating things he read on a bathroom wall as insider info from a rival GM.

  • FlareKnight

    Unless any of you have been in NHL magt, you can’t say with any authority that the Leafs won’t eat salary. You don’t know that, but the NHL guys are saying it so it must be wrong? Is that how this works. Blogger knows best? Also, and I hate to point this out, but the quote say “the LEafs will have to eat MORE salary. So that sounds like the Leafs are willing to eat some of it. I don’t like it either but just saying it won’t make the outcome different, I’ll defer to the guys that actually working in the NHL over anyone else. Leafs may not have a choice but to eat some salary to make a deal work. We can’t have the same cast as last year, we just can’t. It was awful hockey, and Kessel was playing like a guy who didn’t wan’t to be here, and the Leafs should make that come true, they’ll still save money in the long run.

        • FlareKnight

          Andrew, your my comment was not meant to put you in your place however I was wondering…when did you become the spokesperson for the Leafs or hold a position on an NHL team or become an expert on the salary cap? Pierre LeBrun is no better than Eklund when it comes to spreading BS rumours.
          “We can’t have the same team we just can’t”
          sniffle sniffle.
          Brendan Shanahan will do what is best for the team, The End.
          Did you need to look up who Tanya Harding was on Google?

          • Gary Empey

            Google. Wasn’t that her boyfriends name? Anyway, you did not read what I said. Nowhere did I say that I knew anything. I only pointed out what was in the quote and that none of you, or me know at this time if we will be eating his salary. You can guess, you can pontificate, bloviate, throw mud at the wall and see what sticks, but you don’t know more that I or Lebrun. If we have the same team as last yr, I won’t be watching, if we do, we will never ever see a cup. Also, Shanny has how many cups as a builder? To have blind faith in a guy that has never put a team together is bonkers….what if he turns out to be another JFJ? He kept Carlyle and wanted to resign Bolland, only Fla stepped in and saved us from our selves. Pretending you know more that I do without facts is called Magical thinking. Google it.

          • Gary Empey

            Re- Also, Shanny has how many cups as a builder? To have blind faith in a guy that has never put a team together is bonkers….what if he turns out to be another JFJ? He kept Carlyle and wanted to resign Bolland, only Fla stepped in and saved us from our selves.

            Brendan Shanahan may be Irish but he didn’t just get off the boat yesterday.

      • FlareKnight

        I am sure Sahanahan and Co. Will find a taker for Kessel WITHOUT retaining salary. When was the last time LeBrun actually broke a story. Repeating rumours from his third cousins babysitter who’s friends sister slept with someone who played junior hockey with the nephew of the guy who cuts Dave Nonis’s grass does not mean $hit

        • FlareKnight

          I hope you’re right. But even that slim connection you described is than you or I have. I also think we are going to have some cap to play with over the next2-3, 10 years or however long it takes to rebuild the core. Eating say 7 mil over the next 7 yrs and getting assets in return, is better than buying out the 32 mil he’ll be owed in the last four yrs of his contract. That’s what I’m afraid of. HE’ll slide even further and that last yr was the beginning of the end of his peak, probably not, but I’d rather not take the chance. Burn it to the ground.

  • Gary Empey

    “Leafs news sure is interesting this time of year, and with only a week left until the draft, it’s bound to get even moreso every day.”

    moreso vs more so : Common Errors in English

    “More so” should always be spelled as two distinct words. It is also overused and misused. Wherever possible, stick with plain “more.”

    Don’t get paranoid but you are being watched.

  • Gary Empey

    I doubt the real sticking point is salary. Just some cheap GM’s looking for something for nothing.

    Leafs are looking for good draft picks and top prospects.

    In return they will send you an elite winger ready for prime time.

    Ante up and the deal is done.

    Otherwise ” Shut the (censored) up!!!!

  • Gary Empey

    The reality of the situation is that any team looking at Kessel to get them over the hump is facing a cap crunch. That leaves only two options. The Leafs either eat part of his salary or take salary in return. And by the way, you can stop dreaming about saying goodbye to Phaneuf. There’s no way Babcock is letting him go.

  • silentbob

    I just hope they don’t make the mistake of sticking to an asking price that is too high and thus draw this out over 1-2-3 years, most likely getting less in the end then they could have right now.

    When you a trade a player, the buyers set the market. A player is only worth what other teams are willing to give up for him. They shoudn’t trade him for the first offer they get, they should/need to shop him around and get that price up as high as possible. But if the best you can get isn’t as high as you thought it would be, that doesn’t mean you hold on him longer it means you are over valuing him; and you need to take the best offer that is out there.