The price isn't right.
According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, the Maple Leafs asking price for their star forward is currently a stopping point in getting a deal done.
Two hockey executives from rival teams said that over the past several weeks the Leafs have a price for Kessel that is way, way too high. So the executives are staying away until it comes down. Can't blame Toronto for starting high. Why wouldn't you?
'They're going to have to eat more of his salary than they think right now,' said one of the rival executives.
Kessel still has seven years remaining on his current contract at a cap hit of $8 million.
He also has a partial no-trade clause which is a factor.
LeBrun cites TSN's Bob McKenzie, who reported a list of teams Kessel would accept a trade to.
|Los Angeles Kings|
|New York Rangers|
The teams could change since Kessel can resubmit a list before July 1, an assumption LeBrun believes Kessel will do.
Also of note, players with partial no-trade clauses have their agents resubmit their lists before July 1 every year. Sometimes the list stays the same, but I believe Kessel's new list has already been submitted and might have been tweaked slightly in terms of how it's going look starting July 1.
Toronto's need to get a deal done before the draft presumably indicates they'd be looking for draft picks in return for the sharp shooter who has secured 520 points in 668 NHL games.