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Maple Leafs sign Kessel to eight-year extension

<p>Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed forward Phil Kessel to an eight-year contract extension that will commence at the start of the 2014-15 NHL season.</p>

Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed forward Phil Kessel to an eight-year contract extension that will commence at the start of the 2014-15 NHL season.

The deal will have a reported average annual value of $8 million, and include a limited no-trade clause.

Kessel, who turns 27 on Wednesday, is in the final season of a five-year contract he signed after being acquired by Toronto from the Boston Bruins in September 2009.

Kessel played 48 games for the Maple Leafs last season, leading the team in goals (20), assists (32), points (52), powerplay goals (5), game-winning goals (4) and shots (161). He added four goals and two assists in seven playoff games.

"Phil Kessel is one of the premier wingers and elite goal scorers in the National Hockey League today," said David Nonis, senior vice president and general manager of the Maple Leafs. "He wanted to be a Maple Leaf long term and we're very pleased that Phil will be a part of our core group of players in Toronto until the 2021-22 season."

Originally selected by the Bruins with the fifth overall pick in the 2006 draft, Kessel has 185 goals and 194 assists to go along with 139 penalty minutes in 504 NHL games with Boston and Toronto. In 22 playoff games, Kessel has 13 goals and eight assists.

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