There will be negotiation both ways, but 8X8 will get it done. It's fair for both sides, IMO.
I'm sure Kessel will want more and I'm sure the Leafs will want him cheaper, but both sides need one another. Kessel knows he can only et the extra year from Toronto, and Toronto's media/ownership/fanbase will throw a hissy fit if he leaves via free agency.
Then why would he sign for that. So he would just play the last year for 1 mill???
To show loyalty to the team that he's currently playing for or if he actually likes the city. This happens every year that players go UFA and get over paid. It's not him making 1 million for the extra year, its some crazy GM offering him some crazy contract. If Kessel went UFA there would be a lineup of teams trying to outbid each other regardless of what us "experts" on this message board think.
Kessel @ 8x8? Have you all gone insane. 5 years @ 6m max or let him walk.
8m for Phil Kessel? Wtf?
One dimensional wingers who have won nothing and can't carry a team should not be paid 8x8. Period.
Well first of all I disagree with your assessment of him but besides that, the Leafs don't really have a choice. Much like many other teams like the Pens with Letang or (soon) the Rangers with Lundqvist don't have a choice. Similarly to them, the Leafs can't replace Kessel and therefore will give him what he wants and hope for a little decency from his side. It's that simple.