Arizona Coyotes

Could Phil Kessel Move This Deadline?

This is the fourth time in Phil Kessel’s career where the trade topic has come up for the two-time Stanley Cup champion.

The veteran looks to move ahead of this year’s trade deadline. He’s finishing off the final year of his 8-year contract signed back with the Maple Leafs in 2013. A return to a rebuilding franchise is doubtful.

As of now, we should be familiar with what Phil Kessel brings to an NHL club. Although age is a question, he’s proved capable of filling the net. He proved himself to be a dependable 30 goal scorer way back in his younger days.

Kessel thrived in Steel City, where the spotlight was on Sid the Kid and Gino. He put up a career-best of 92 regular-season points and quickly became a fan favorite. Kessel would always find a new level when released from the pressure of being the team’s number one. When free from the spotlight and becoming a lower depth option, he thrives, where he led the Penguins to back-to-back cup victories and was a crucial piece to their success dating back to the ’16-17 seasons.

In Arizona, Kessel has had a rough go. Now 34, the veteran has scored 40 goals throughout his two-and-a-half-seasons with the Coyotes. Having just six goals and 33 points this season, the veteran looks at the talent around him – and it’s fair to say that he has more to give than the numbers he’s producing.

Putting up another season of 30-40 goals seems nothing of a longshot to Phil at this point in his NHL career. It’s evident that he wants another shot at the cup, and it’s without question that the 34-year-old will be of use to a team with enough talent to use the full range of his skill.

But At What Cost?

The winger from the desert has an 8 million cap hit whom the Leafs are covering about 1.2 million, making his salary a whopping 6.8 million. Most teams won’t be willing to take Kessel in on that price (no matter the caliber of the player). Some research suggests that the Coyotes are willing to pay fifty percent of his salary for a third-round pick and maybe a prospect.

That’s crucial, a 3.8 million dollar salary for the price of a third-round pick! That makes Kessel a more attractive deadline acquisition for the league’s top teams. Kessel has a no-trade clause which allows him to submit an eight-team trade list. Plus, if the deal is still in play, that is a good deal for the league’s buyers at the deadline.

Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, and the Boston Bruins are a couple of teams interested in adding Phil Kessel to their club.

To be honest, any team in the league that adds Phil Kessel is automatically better than they were a couple of weeks ago. Before, they added Kessel.

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