Predators General Manager David Poile confirmed as much on Friday, saying he's talked with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and Kessel's agent, Wade Arnott, in recent days. "He's a young player that scores goals,'' Poile said, "and that's very much of interest to us.''
The Bruins still hold the rights to Kessel, meaning they could match any offer made by another team. But the Bruins are considering trading Kessel because they are less than $2 million under the NHL salary cap and Kessel is reportedly looking for a contract worth $4 million or more.
Poile said he doesn't think he'd be interested in making an offer sheet for Kessel, since compensation for signing him would be a first-, second- and third-round pick in the 2010 draft.
So if it's the Predators, it's a trade, and John Glennon of The Tennessean offers up the rights to defected winger Alexander Radulov(notes) as another possible carrot in the deal. TSN reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are still expected to be aggressively after Kessel, as are the New York Rangers.
The Nashville Predators, making a play for the biggest RFA still on the market. Hey, we're heard crazier things ... like Darren Dreger saying the Chicago Blackhawks are in play for Dany Heatley. Please commence with your Brian Campbell's(notes) massive salary plus draft picks for disgruntled Heatley uber-swap theories (H/T Puck Buddy Corey) ...
- Peter Chiarelli
- Nashville Predators
- The Bruins