Report: Panthers interested in Maple Leafs' Kessel
That interest, however, is apparently not deep enough to part with one of the team's young stars, meaning Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and, of course, Aaron Ekblad won't come back in a deal for Kessel.
The Panthers, who struggle to land talent through free agency, do represent an ideal trading partner for the Leafs. They typically require creative means to land top-end skill and have plenty of space under the cap.
Kessel owns a partial no-trade clause as part of his eight-year, $64-million contract signed in 2013.
A deal involving Kessel and the Panthers is unlikely to happen before the summer, Sportsnet's John Shannon reports.
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