The talented sniper had 20 goals and 52 points in 48 games last year, and has no doubt been the heart and soul of this team with no offense to Dion Phaneuf. The Leafs avoid having to deal with free agency as they get Kessel signed well before next offseason, and before the game against the Montreal Canadiens tonight. The Leafs’ Twitter later confirmed the signing.
After getting Tyler Bozak and Cody Franson re-signed and bringing in David Clarkson and Jonathan Bernier, it was a good deal by general manager Dave Nonis to get Kessel for that price. Kessel is one of the more talented scorers in the league and if the Leafs want to stay competitive, getting one of their most talented if not their most talented player signed is a must. The Leafs can now turn their attention to Dion Phaneuf who is an unrestricted free agent after this year. No doubt, the recent playoff performance of Kessel was a factor in the signing as he showed he can perform on the big stage, even against the Boston Bruins.