Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager Kyle Dubas said Monday that trade talks were furthered at the NHL Scouting Combine, and reports are that forward Phil Kessel is involved.
"Last week at the Combine, we started to have a lot more conversation with other teams, and chatter starts to pick up; that's just the way it goes," Dubas said. "… I didn't know that until we got there last week, and you start to feel your way around and start to see that other teams are starting to talk now that the [NHL Draft] is coming up, the salary cap is starting to be set."
The combine for draft prospects, held in Buffalo, ended Saturday. Sportsnet reported trade discussions for Kessel picked up over the weekend, and that the Maple Leafs could be seeking draft picks and prospects for the 27-year-old right wing.
Dubas was asked about Kessel twice during a media availability Monday but did not address him specifically.
"In any trade we are talking about -- and I won't get into specific players and rumors -- any trade that were going to be making, we're going to be looking to add as much as we can back to the organization," Dubas said. "That's not to say we won't be looking for good present-day players. We can't just lose year after year. That's not the plan to lose, that just brings up our players in a losing environment and that's not good."