NHL Rumors: Kessel’s Name Was In The Rumor Mill, But Has Been Pulled Back
The Pittsburgh Penguins may have put Phil Kessel name out in the trade rumors mill earlier this season, but have pulled it back of late.

Kessel’s name was out there but has been pulled back of late

Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Elliotte Friedman recently reported that the Pittsburgh Penguins put Phil Kessel’s name out there earlier this season.

The only way trading Kessel makes sense is that the return makes them better, and it may be ‘nearly impossible’ to trade Kessel and make them better this season.

There are few teams that would be willing to give up substantial assets for the 31-year old.

Kessel recorded 92 points last season – 50 at even strength, 42 on the power plays.

He carries a $6.8 million cap hit teams usually don’t want to give up a lot for someone over 30. If the Penguins wanted to trade him, they may have to accept a deal that included “a high pick, a prospect, and a lesser player.”

Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: There have been multiple reports about the Penguins at least being open to the idea of trading Phil Kessel.

Starkey doesn’t agree with the idea of trading Kessel: “If the charge is that Kessel has a difficult personality, who cares? He’s still producing points, despite a recent slump. He had 92 last season and has as many as Sidney Crosby (29) so far this year. He is incredibly consistent, putting up double-digit points in every full month since the beginning of last season. About 10 days ago, he was on a 100-point pace. One big week and he’ll be on it again.”

Starkey lists a few other reasons to not trade him. You wouldn’t get a bigger return if they moved him and they are not looking to rebuild. Don’t believe that he is looking to get out of Pittsburgh.

Chris Nichols of Nichols on Hockey: Elliotte Friedman on his 31 Thoughts podcast with Jeff Marek were talking about rumors from the Board of Governors meeting this past week.

Friedman notes that the Pittsburgh Penguins may have put Phil Kessel’s name out there earlier, but “pulled it back.” Socially Kessel may not be comfortable and he may be a guy who after four or five years needs to move on.

“And also, if they really are going to change themselves, they have to trade something like that.

“So I think they looked at it, and then they pulled it back.”