Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/11/09 at 09:55 AM ET
from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,
It’s believed he wants to join the Leafs and he’s already familiar with Burke and head coach Ron Wilson through his association with the U.S. Olympic program.
But the fact he doesn’t want to play for the Bruins doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for the Leafs to get their mitts on him.
For starters, the B’s can match any free agent offer sheet for Kessel, something Chiarelli has said he would do. The Bruins’ GM is apparently no longer crazy about dealing Kessel inside the Northeast Division, and Kaberle can no longer be included in any trade proposal now that his no-trade clause has kicked in again.
Burke and Chiarelli have held trade talks and it’s believed the Leafs are willing to pay more for Kessel than the compensation required if he were signed to an offer sheet. If a contract offer came between $3.9 million and $5.2 million per season, the Bruins would receive first-, second- and third-round draft picks as compensation.
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