Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Rumours: Kessel Rumours Continue to Circulate


Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Rumours: Kessel Rumours Continue to Circulate

Happy Phil Kessel roster bonus day! Err, I mean, happy NHL free agency! Canadian hockey fans will not only celebrate the birth of their nation today, but they will also have their annual debates about who got overpaid and by how much.

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For fans in Toronto, free agency might not be as exciting since the Leafs are entering a rebuild. However, trade rumours surrounding the Leafs have certainly heated up over the last couple days. Two players in particular are Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf. Numerous reports suggest that the Leafs are actively shopping both players, but to where and for what is the real question.

Let’s sort through some of the latest Toronto Maple Leafs trade rumours before NHL free agency officially begins.

Penguins Pursuing Kessel

According to The Fourth Period, Phil Kessel expects to be traded and several team are in hot pursuit of the 27-year-old sniper.

"According to multiple reports, the Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins have been in serious dialogue over a Kessel trade.Several Penguins players have been linked to a package that would be shipped to Toronto, including forwards Chris Kunitz and Brandon Sutter, and defenseman Benoit Pouliot.A source close to Kessel told TFP the star winger expects to be traded and is “just waiting for the phone call.” (H/T"

Retaining Money?

As the trade rumours started to heat up on Kessel, so to have the talks about the Leafs retaining some of his salary. According to Andy Strickland of Fox Sports, the Leafs have apparently told one team they’re willing to retain $2 million of Kessel’s salary.

Retaining this much salary for the next few seasons is a significant commitment that I don’t think the Leafs would actually commit too. Tim Chiasson at Editor in Leaf doesn’t believe that the Leafs would would do this either, reminding fans that they don’t necessarily have to trade Kessel.

Flames Kicked the Tires on a Kessel Deal

According to‘s Pierre LeBrun, the Calgary Flames kicked the tires on a Kessel deal last week at the draft.

"Food for thought: A source also told that the Calgary Flames kicked the tires on a Kessel deal last week at the draft. But in those talks, the Leafs were not willing to retain any of Kessel’s $8 million salary, although they were willing to take on player(s) from Calgary to alleviate the money, the source said. I’m willing to be proven wrong, but I just can’t believe the Leafs will ever be successful in moving Kessel unless they retain at least some of his salary."

I guess Brian Burke is just checking in with the Leafs about Kessel. We all know Burke loves Kessel as a player, so this really isn’t much of a surprise.

Kings Still Interested in Phaneuf

Prior to receiving his $2 million bonus on July 1, trade talks between the Leafs and Kings have heated up, according to David Pagnotta of

Although there is a long ways to go in completing any sort of deal, you have to figure that the Kings will seriously consider Phaneuf if they strike out on players like Paul Martin, Cody Franson and Christian Ehrhoff during free agency.

Arizona Intersted in Bozak

According to TSN‘s Darren Dreger, the Arizona Coyotes are still interested in Tyler Bozak.

What do you make of these rumours Leafs’ fans? Should the team trade Kessel or Phaneuf? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Next: Leafs: Goodbye Bernier?

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