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Leafs' Kadri and Kessel not concerned about contract status

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TSN.ca Staff
7/24/2013 4:49:39 PM
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With the NHL's offseason nearly half over, Nazem Kadri is still confident that he'll be re-signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs before the start of training camp.

Speaking to reporters at the Canadian Open Pro-Am in Oakville, Ontario on Wednesday, the restricted free agent forward said that while there's no update yet, the negotiations should be fine as both sides are still working on a deal.

"Nothing yet, but I know we're still talking," Kadri said. "As long as there's progression, that's the important thing."

Depending on how contract talks have been going, Kadri - who completed his entry-level deal and has no arbitration rights - could either land a big multi-year contract like Carolina's Jeff Skinner and Edmonton's Taylor Hall, or sign a 'bridge' contract similar to what Montreal's P.K. Subban signed in February and Phildelphia Flyers centre Sean Couturier signed over the weekend.

"Yeah, there's always comparables," said Kadri. "But I don't think there's too much for me to worry about. I just handle what I have to do on the ice and let everything take care of itself.

Kadri, 22, was second in team scoring with 44 points in 48 games last season.

"All I can control is the way I play," Kadri added. "Obviously, I want to be here next year and for a long time to come so we'll see how it goes. You kind of want to get in the routine (of getting ready for next season), but I'm confident that something will happen."

Kadri's point production trailed only veteran winger Phil Kessel, who is also on the radar in terms of contract speculation. Kessel is entering the final year of his five-year contract signed with the Leafs in 2008, but his future status with the club is not on his mind as he appraoches unrestricted free agency next summer.

"I haven't even thought about it yet," he told reporters on Wednesday. "I've still got another year here and we'll see what happens."

Many have speculated that the club's decision to keep centre Tyler Bozak could be a factor in re-signing Kessel, as the two have had good chemistry on and off the ice. Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis locked up Bozak to a five-year deal worth $21 million on July 5.

"He's one of my good friends and it's good to have him back," said Kessel. "I'm looking forward to it. I think we have a real solid team and it's going to be a good year."

Nazem Kadri Phil Kessel (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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