What to do With Kessel

Phil Kessel is currently the only unsigned Bruins player going into the 2009-10 season. He is also their top goal scorer from the 2008-09 season. Kessel, the Bruins 5th overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, finally took the next step in his development, scoring 36 goals and 60 points, almost doubling his previous career high of goals and assists.

Kessel is rumored to have asked for 5+ million per season, but he has denied those claims, and it seems he is looking for 4+ million. Kessel’s teammate, David Krejci, who came off an ever better season, signed a three year deal worth 11.25 million dollars, 3.75 million per season. The Bruins are looking to sign him to a similar deal, possibly even less per season.

Kessel is not arbitration eligible, so he can either sign an offer sheet, hold out or sign his qualifier.

The Bruins are in no rush to sign Kessel, as he is injured and won’t return for a few months, but he must sign before December 1st to be eligible to play this season.

Kessel is unlikely to hold out an entire season because next offseason, when he is arbitration eligible, he would make less money.

The Bruins could trade Kessel, but unless they receive a top prospect, they have no reason to move him. They cannot except a player who would instantly impact the team due to cap issues.

Kessel could sign an offer sheet, but teams are unlikely to do so because the Bruins would likely match and teams generally do not give out offer sheets.

In the New NHL, teams sign their young players to long term deals so they can have them a lower cap hit than they are worth. Most of these long term deals buy into UFA years, but he Bruins nor Kessel want a deal that long. The Bruins are not going to give Kessel big money without buying those seasons. The players Kessel compares himself to, have signed deals in which they buy into UFA years, thus inflating their cap hits.

The Bruins could force Kessel to sign his qualifier, as he has no leverage other than to hold out or sign an offer sheet. This would allow them to retain Kessel without having to trade any of their players.

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10 Responses to What to do With Kessel

  1. Habhater says:

    I think lo-balling Kessel by forcing him to accept his qualifier is a disgusting way of treating a young & upcoming player like Kessel. Sure he is not your prototypical Bruin type of player, but to achieve 36 goals in his 3rd season is no easy feat. He deserves better than the treatment he has been getting thus far. Ryder was treated the same way in Montreal despite his goal scoring prowess. However as he was not French, that was to be expected from a classless organization as the Habs. The Bruins exude class and it is time to prove it to Kessel. I realize we would have to move players to accomodate him, but that is the price of success in the new NHL. Mind you, if Kessel wants or expects more than Krecji, then lo-balling him is the way to go. Its give and take and Phil has to realize that he has only played 3 seasons and he has not ‘earned’ his way to be paid 4+ or 5+ M yet.

  2. Birdman2403 says:

    I agree ! Sign the same deal or beat it ! Some of these young stars have to realize sign for a little less and build a winner long term. That is the new NHL !

  3. bruinsfanupnorth says:

    I dot think they have treated him bad. Its hard to offer a contract when the money isnt available. Second he has only scored that many goals once. Wait till you do it consistently and then ante up.

  4. pekese says:

    Just a note, a qualifying offer for Kessel would only be $892,500. If the Bruins do not offer Kessel a qualifying offer, he would become an unrestricted free agent. If the Bruins do offer Kessel a qualifying offer and he rejects, he is still a restricted free agent.

  5. Latrappe says:

    There’s a lot of things in play and that we don’t know. I’m not quite sure why the Bruins are ” holding ” Kessel out but it might be related to the way he play vs the value the Bruins put into Kessel’s game and contribution. I’m already on the record for saying that Kessel will sign probably around the deadline of december 1st…

  6. barry says:

    kessel will be signed just before he is able to return.
    that will give the bruins time to see how the team is
    scoring.
    then someone will be traded to make room for kessel.
    hate to see anyone leave. 36 goals is hard to let go.

  7. Mook says:

    Screw Kessel. Trade his rights for picks.

  8. gikerboy13 says:

    i dont know if u guys heard the rumor couple wks ago of kessel to SJ, but i wish SJ cleared up space for kessel so we could trade his rights to SJ for setogouchi and a 1st or 2nd rd pick/. but i say trade away ference or stuart for picks and prospects.

  9. diehardbruin says:

    I hope they trade him away for picks if he wont sign. I used to love Phil until a good freind of mine who is a scout with Anaheim told me to actually watch him play and then tell you still love Phil Kessel. My freind knew once I did that my mind would change and he was correct. Phil will not put his body on the line. He avoids contact at all possible. He he is left with a choice to take a hit or avoid a hit and cough up the puck he will almost all the time cough up the puck and avoid tha hit. We no longer need him in my mind. He wants more than Krejeci not a chance Phil. Trade him for picks.

  10. Latrappe says:

    I hope they trade him away for picks if he wont sign

    The Bruins are not in a re-building mode and trading Kessel for draft picks make ZERO sense. If you’re about to trade kessel, you trade him for a young player with upside + picks in order to help your team now. 1st of december is the deadline and it’s working against Kessel, not the Bruins…

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