Greetings from Montreal. Good to be back in this fine city.
I spoke to Phil Kessel’s agent, Wade Arnott, on the ride up Thursday night and got the latest on Kessel and his contract negotiations with the Bruins.
“Nothing really new to update,” Arnott said. “I wish I had some new news for you, but there’s really nothing major to report.”
Arnott said that he and Kessel have had some discussions with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli recently, but nothing serious. Both sides have made it clear that they would like to reach an agreement, but unfortunately, that has been about the only common ground found so far.
“We’ve had a few more discussions recently," Arnett added, "but are we any closer to an agreement? I’d have to say no at this point.”
Interestingly, unlike many, Arnott said that neither he nor Kessel believed the Aaron Ward trade was made as a precursor to re-signing Kessel.
“No not at all,” Arnott said.
So that is where the two parties stand. There were no reports of offer sheets, and while there have been recent rumors of the Islanders and Sharks inquiring about a Kessel trade and the Islanders possibly looking at Marco Sturm, follow-ups have turned up nothing substantial.
As of now, it appears both sides would like to make this work, but the chance is still very real that this might trickle into camp. With Kessel reportedly not due back from shoulder surgery until late November or December, a holdout is very possible. From the Bruins’ stance, Kessel is already out for almost two months into the season, so a holdout during that period would be rendered meaningless on the ice.
As for any moves by the Bruins, all is quiet. As Chiarelli promised last week, “I’m done for a while.”