kessel_opeecheeLess than 48 hours before training camp the rumors and innuendo on the Phil Kessel front are multiplying faster than a wet magwi.

First came the Boston Globe report from Kevin Paul Dupont that Kessel called off negotiations with the Boston Bruins and decided to instead sign an offer sheet with one of the other 29 teams in the NHL. But then Mike Brophy of Sportsnet.ca reached Kessel, who denied the Globe report.

“I don’t know who is saying that, but it’s not true,” Kessel told Sportsnet.ca.

Regardless of what’s true, it’s obvious Kessel and the Bruins are headed toward a bitter divorce. To me, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has to take the best deal he can from a non-divisional team and do it before an offer sheet comes from Toronto. But as Kevin Allen of USA Today points out, Toronto is still the most likely destination because of their cap space and GM Brian Burke’s efforts to make sure he had the correct draft picks to provide compensation for an unmatched offer sheet.

The Bruins really need to clean up this mess before camp opens. The players and coaches can talk all they want about it not being a distraction, but we all know that the longer it lingers the more everyone has to talk about it, the more rumors and accusations will surface, and a team can get sidetracked.