New Deadline Set for Kessel Signing With Bruins? Is free agent Phil Kessel issuing an ultimatum? Or did he just reveal something that agent Wade Arnott and Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli have so far chosen not to reveal?

Kessel is currently at the USA Olympic Orientation Camp in Woodridge, Ill. On Monday, the restricted free agent told USA Today's Kevin Allen that there has been no progress made in negotiations with the Bruins on a new contract.

"It's at a stalemate and I don't know what's going to happen," Kessel told Allen. "I think it could go either way at this point."

Kessel reiterated that he wants to stay in Boston but understands this is a business and hinted once again that a trade is a possibility. But there was also an interesting quote from Kessel and a new twist to what has been a summer-long saga between him and the B's. In this report, Kessel claims a deal will be struck before the Bruins open their season at home on Oct. 1 against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

"There is no date," Kessel said when asked for a timetable. "Either way it will get done before the season for sure."

That's interesting because in an interview with Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, Chiarelli didn't give any indication that would be the case. He simply repeated that he wants Kessel to remain a Bruin and will do what is a necessary "within reason" to make that happen.

"Right now, there is nothing going on," Chiarelli told the Globe. "This is a player that we still covet, and we'll do anything to keep him — within reason, including matching an offer sheet and shuffling our roster around."

Arnott, Kessel's agent, has also never really intimated that there was a deadline.

So which is more likely: that Kessel's assertion that the matter will be resolved by Oct. 1 is a slip of the tongue, his opinion or an ultimatum for the Bruins?

The common theory among many lately is that — although the Bruins would like to find a solution that keeps their leading goal-scorer from last season in the black and gold — they're in no rush. See, Chiarelli holds all the cards right now because, as Kessel told USA Today, he will not be ready until at least "early or mid-November," making a holdout preposterous. The Bruins are already preparing for at least a month without his services to start the season and they actually have until Dec. 1 to sign him for the remainder of the 2009-10 season.

Neither calls to Arnott nor an e-mail to the Bruins were returned, but it would be interesting to see if the agent could elaborate on his client's most recent comments. A response from Chiarelli might also shed some light as well.

The one thing that seems to certain here, though, is that Kessel and the Bruins are in the same spot they have been all summer long: far apart.