Sportsnet.ca reported Monday that negotiations on a contract extension between Kessel's agent and the Maple Leafs were taking place ahead of Tuesday's regular-season opener against the Montreal Canadiens.
The 26-year-old forward is now in the final season of a contract that pays him $5.4 million per year. Sportsnet.ca's Chris Johnston reported Monday that Kessel could make as much as $8 million per season for eight years in a new deal.
Kessel led the Maple Leafs with 52 points (20 goals, 32 assists) in 48 games last season. He had four goals in seven games in Toronto's first-round loss to the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.
— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com