Phil Kessel doesn’t expect to sign a contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs any time soon.
The Leafs forward told reporters at the U.S. Olympic Camp Tuesday that he has not discussed a new contract with the team and he does not want to negotiate during the season.
Phil Kessel says the #leafs haven't talked about a contract extension with his camp. He doesn't want to negotiate during the season.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 27, 2013
Kessel, 25, is in the final year of his contract and is scheduled to become an unrestricted agent after the 2013-14 season.
The American sniper led the Leafs in scoring last season with a team-high 20 goals, 32 assists and 52 points in 48 games. He also added four goals and two assists in seven post-season games.
He played a major role in helping the Leafs end their post-season drought as the club made their first playoff appearance since 2003-04.
With a new division and a full 82-game season, Kessel told the Sporting News on Monday it will be more difficult for Toronto to return to the playoffs in 2013-14.
But Kessel also said he’s pleased with the Leafs’ current roster and isn’t worrying about the ongoing Nazem Kadri negotiations.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Kessel told Sporting News. “I think he’ll be signed here shortly. If he’s not, he’ll be (signed) close to camp. I don’t know—we don’t really talk about that stuff. I give him a hard time once in a while, but it’s not a big deal.”