Leafs and Kessel closing in on new contract

It appears the Leafs and Phil Kessel are trying to get some ink on paper prior to the start of the regular season tomorrow night. From Sportsnet:

Sportsnet.ca has learned that negotiations on a contract extension between the star winger’s agent and the Toronto Maple Leafs were taking place ahead of Tuesday’s regular season opener in Montreal. With the player unwilling to engage in talks once the schedule is underway, the sides held discussions to see if a last-minute deal could be reached before that happened. As of Monday night, it was unclear whether they would be able to agree on a long-term extension in time.

It’s interesting that this would surface all of a sudden on the eve of the season. I’m not quite sold on Kessel insisting he won’t negotiate once the games get going, but with this late push, it appears Nonis doesn’t want to find out. If something could come together quickly, this would be great news for fans heading in to tomorrow night’s game. Keep an ear out.

And now some updates from Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger in the late hours. Looks like this deal could be done:

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