The stalemate in negotiations between restricted free-agent winger Phil Kessel, his agent Wade Arnott and the Bruins' brass is turning the Hub of hockey's summer upside down.
And according to Kessel, it is likely continue on into the fall. Whether or not the B's retain their leading scorer from a season ago remains to be seen, and this late in the offseason, Kessel feels he's just as out of Boston as he is in.
''I don't know what is going to happen, to tell you the truth,'' he told the Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont, who was at Team USA's orientation camp in Illinois on Monday. ''It will be interesting, I think. I am not disappointed or
anything because, obviously, it's is a business for [the Bruins]. It is
kind of like we are at a standstill, and I think it can go either way
at this point.''
Kessel is one of the 34 Americans on this summer's orientation camp roster, but is unable to participate in any activities due to recent shoulder surgery he underwent about three months ago. With the Winter Games beginning in February, Kessel will be fully healed and remains eligible to represent his country in Vancouver.
"We'll see how it goes," said Kessel of his scheduled return. "Right now I would say early- or mid-Novemberish.''
That's roughly the first 20 games of the upcoming campaign. Despite the expected tardy slip, teams will be drooling over the 21-year-old winger — teams including the Bruins, who were second in the league in scoring behind the Red Wings a season ago.
Kessel has improved from 11 goals, to 19 goals, to 36 goals in his first three seasons in the Hub and notched an impressive plus-23 rating last year. Wherever he ends up this winter, Kessel expects to continue to improve and take whatever happens with the Bruins as a professional.
''If you get traded, you go to that team and do what you can for them," added Kessel, who expects to hit the ice in roughly a month. "It's a business.''