Phil Kessel, Leafs have deal

Updated: October 1, 2013, 7:28 PM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

MONTREAL -- The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed top offensive star Phil Kessel to a $64 million, eight-year extension before the puck drops on the new season.

"I'll be on the hook for some team dinners here or there, but I don't mind," Kessel said at a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday. "This is the place I want to play. I want to finish my career here. It's a great city, the organization's unbelievable, and I'm really excited to continue here."

The two-time All-Star, who will turn 26 on Wednesday, was drafted by the Bruins with the fifth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. His new deal includes a limited no-trade clause.

He was dealt to Toronto four years ago for two first-round picks and a second-round selection. The Bruins used the picks to draft Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight.

"The one knock that Phil had on him, that I think was totally unfair, is that he wasn't a great teammate," Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis said. "That's completely untrue. He's quiet, maybe he's not outgoing as some of the people in a Canadian market would like, but he's a great teammate. He's well-liked by everybody in our room."

TSN in Canada was the first to report a potential deal.

Kessel, whose previous contract was to expire after this season, had expressed a desire to get a deal done before the opener or halt negotiations until after the season. The Leafs open Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens.

Kessel, expected to play for Team USA at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, led the Leafs in scoring last season with 52 points (20-32) in 48 games. He has led Toronto in points in all four seasons since coming over from Boston.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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