Originally Posted by The Great Zo
Lockout? What lockout?
This is a go-to line but, really, Kessel's contract is the exact intended byproduct of the most-recent lockout. His cap hit, or AAV (average annual value), will closely reflect his yearly salary, particularly because the 8-year limit to contracts (for players you're attempting to re-sign, 7 for free-agents) prevents the back-diving salary figures that drove down the cap hits for stars under the terms of the previous CBA.
Kessel is being paid, salary-wise, what is probably close to his market value and Toronto isn't able to structure the deal in way for his cap hit to not reflect that.