Kessel signs eight-year extension

by Betsy Helfand

Former Minnesota men's hockey player Phil Kessel signed an eight-year extention with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team announced Tuesday. The extension will begin at the start of the 2014-2015 season. 

"Phil Kessel is one of the premier wingers and elite goal scorers in the National Hockey League today," said David Nonis, the senior vice president and general manager of the Maple Leafs, in a press release. "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." 

TSN reporter Darren Dreger tweeted this morning that the contract is approximately eight million dollars per year.

Kessel played for the Gophers in 2005-06. He was drafted in 2006 by the Boston Bruins, and was traded to the Maple Leafs in 2009. Kessel is the older brother of Gophers forward Amanda Kessel, who led the nation in scoring en route last season en route to a NCAA title. 

The 2013-2014 NHL season begins tonight.