by Patrick Hoffman on 06/25/09 at 02:58 PM ET
From Michael Russo at The Minneapolis Star Tribune:
The players on the market seem to be fitting into two categories: marginal players with exorbitant salaries, such as Philadelphia’s Joffrey Lupul (four more years at $4.25 million) and Buffalo’s Jochen Hecht (three more years at $3.53 million), and top players who warrant big raises on expiring or soon-to-be-expiring contracts.
One player who falls into the latter category—and one who might intrigue the Wild—is Bruins sniper Phil Kessel, the former Gopher who scored 36 goals in 70 games last season.
The 21-year-old Madison native is a restricted free agent and seeking a deal worth between $4.5 and $5 million a season. While the Bruins plan to meet this week with agent Wade Arnott in hopes of re-signing Kessel, the Bruins are $6 million shy of the anticipated salary cap for next season, and have several other key players to re-sign.
According to numerous sources, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is fielding offers, but because he can’t take hefty salaries back, he’s looking for a first-round pick and at least one top young player. If the Wild was to enter the fray, it would likely cost at least the 12th overall pick and James Sheppard or Tyler Cuma.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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