NHL Rumors: Only a Matter of Time Before Phil Kessel Trade Announced

The Arizona Coyotes are doing whatever they can to stock pile draft picks for the next three seasons and it sounds like they are heavily involved in some trade talks that include forward Phil Kessel.

The Coyotes have made it known to the rest of the league they want a king's ransom for young defenseman Jakob Chychrun, meanwhile teams are also inquiring about Kessel, who is having his worst season offensively since his rookie year. The two-time Stanley Cup champion has only recorded 13 goals in 2021/22 but has been getting a lot of attention for his role on the young team and despite his reserved personality has become quite the mentor to the 'Yotes youngsters.

Hockey insider Frank Seravalli had Kessel listed on his top-20 draft board recently and had this to say about Kessel leaving the grind in the desert:

There’s no way they’ll hang onto him. And he’ll cost mere pennies in actual dollars, since his salary this season due by the Coyotes is just $850,000 ($150,000 paid by Leafs) – it could cost somewhere around $250,000 in cash plus acquisition cost to roll the dice on Phil the Thrill, depending on when the trigger is pulled.

The trade deadline is Mar.21 but expect to see a team jump on the deal long before to get Kessel accustomed to the roster in lots of time before the playoffs begin. Some teams to consider include the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche. As much as Kessel loves the Zona weather, he may have to toughen it out in a brutal winter if he wants another shot at winning the Cup. 

The 34-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent and holds no-trade protection to keep him away from eight teams of his choice. Because of everything he's done in Arizona and especially this season off the ice, perhaps management gets the veteran sniper involved in the trade talks so he can choose his next set of jersey colors.

Photo credit:  Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports