Phil Kessel (Update)
Last week we all started hearing rumors about the Pittsburgh Penguins trying to ship out winger Phil Kessel. After four years with the Penguins “Phil the Thrill” has been ruffling a few too many feathers it seems. Last week we heard that there were disagreements between Kessel and his coach Mike Sullivan and with teammate Evgeni Malkin.
We also heard that the Penguins had shopped Kessel to the Minnesota Wild for Jason Zucker. But now we’re finding out that the trade was nixed by Kessel because he felt like Minnesota wasn’t good enough (subscription required).
Kessel, rightfully so, wants to win. And Minnesota, according to Kessel isn’t a team that’s poised to win. The Penguins, on the other hand, still could. They have great players throughout the lineup. But it’s clear that Kessel has over-extended his welcome in Pittsburgh.
They are actively shopping him, but aren’t getting anyone to bite. The offer I made for Kessel last week still stands (here’s the offer if you want to look it up). But I’m going to make a slight change.
The Penguins get two young players. One who can play wing or center and could break into a top-six role. The other is a young defender that’s ready for the NHL. Something the Penguins have in short supply.
That should be a fair deal simply because it gets Phil Kessel out of Pittsburgh. Sure it’s in the conference and even in the division, but he’s no longer the Penguins problem. He’ll also be on a team that with his skill would be competing for a cup.