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Trade Phil Kessel?

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

I believe Phil Kessel will be traded. It might not happen this week or this month or even this offseason. But I believe it will happen sooner rather than later.

Tocchet’s departure could hasten the process.

It was clear in June, by the end of the Penguins’ second consecutive Stanley Cup run, that the organization wasn’t thrilled with Kessel. He scored 23 goals in 82 games during the regular season, not nearly enough for a player with his marvelous shooting skills. He had a huge goal — one of the most significant of the postseason — to beat Ottawa, 1-0, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final but scored just two more goals in the final 11 playoff games. Even though he had 23 points in the 25 postseason games, it was hard to find anyone in organization to say he was playing well.

My belief is Evgeni Malkin wasn’t thrilled to play on the same line with Kessel. And Sidney Crosby? Sullivan acknowledged Crosby and Kessel have no chemistry together. None.

Kessel has to score goals to help the Penguins. He doesn’t help the team with his forechecking or his defense. He doesn’t play any type of physical game, a big reason he has been able to play in 610 consecutive regular-season games, the 11th-longest streak in NHL history.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

Comments

NHLJeff's avatar

I know he and Tocchet are close, but what a joke of an article (as usual from Cook). The Pens have won the Cup both years they’ve had Kessel—things littlerally couldn’t have gone better.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 07/12/17 at 07:09 AM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

I’m pretty sure this is just slow season clickbait. There is another article on the same site that has a different take: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/penguins/2017/07/11/rick-tocchet-coyotes-coaching-search-mark-recchi-penguins-mike-sullivan/stories/201707110162

Kessel has a cap hit of $6.8m and Toronto is paying $1.2m of his salary each year. The guy only had two points less than Malkin in the regular season, 23 points in the playoffs and he never misses games due to injury. I think it would be a mistake to trade a guy like that.

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 07/12/17 at 07:11 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 07/12/17 at 08:11 AM ET

Appreciate this type of rebuttal. crosby, letang, kessel, malkin are all late 20’s early 30s. And of course, theres Murray who is still young. The penguins window for the Cup is still open. They need to win (er, keep winning) now.

However, it is not open for much longer. I can see the Penguins falling out like the Red Wings have - except, to the untrained eye (and slanted to hockeytown, please forgive me), they don’t have a datsyuk/zetterberg to pick up after the yzermans and fedorovs. I am not sold on guentzel, sheary etc. especially if all they can do is play on the wing with Crosby & Malkin.

I’d be open to this idea if the writer made the case for the window closing, restock now instead of bottoming out in conjunction with kessel being a lazy skater. However, Pittsburgh did actually bottom out and that’s how they landed Malkin, Fleury, and Crosby, so maybe they are more accepting of the tank. raspberry

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/12/17 at 07:37 AM ET

Avatar

This guy has no clue.  Kessel has been terrific since joining the team and no chance he is traded at this point in time.  It makes no sense.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 07/12/17 at 08:11 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

I mean, I would grant that Kessel is probably the Pens most tradeable player.

He’s tradeable from the perspective of other clubs because:
- He has a NMC, but it is modified so he has to submit a list of acceptable destinations
- His cap hit is good, especially with what Toronto is covering
- His actual salary drops by $2 million next year
- He’s coming into what is only his age 30 season, so the chances he’s still a healthy, at least 20 goal man at the end of the deal are pretty high

He’s tradeable from the perspective of the Pens because:
- He’s not Crosby or Malkin
- His NMC is, as mentioned, modified, so he can’t block a trade completely
- His scoring is ostensibly replaceable by committee with the expected continued development of Sheary, Rust, and Guentzel

That said, this article’s angle still seems bunk. The Pens are back-to-back champs. They have two elite forwards in their primes, and Kessel is a borderline elite shooter (and underrated passer) that is also in his prime. They’ve developed numerous young players with affordable contracts that have allowed the team to be so good in spite of the money tied up at the top. It makes little sense for them to trade Kessel now unless it happened to be a “hockey deal” where they are getting someone in return that feels to them a better fit alongside Crosby or Malkin.

But given the above analysis, the idea that trading Kessel could be a good move for both the club and the player say, one to two years from now, is pretty sensible, especially given the likelihood that the cap increases stay very muted and the aforementioned young guys eat up that space.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/12/17 at 09:18 AM ET

Avatar

they don’t have a datsyuk/zetterberg to pick up after the yzermans and fedorovs

Mario & Jagr were their Yzerman & Fedorov, Malkin & Crosby *are* their Datsyuk & Zetterberg

Posted by EthrDemon on 07/12/17 at 12:03 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I think it boils down to how much influence does Malkin have. Kessel has to play with either Crosby or Malkin.  Crosby is a no and I wouldn’t want an unhappy, angry Malkin.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/12/17 at 12:26 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by EthrDemon on 07/12/17 at 01:03 PM ET

Okay, and the Penguins only had to be in the tank for 15ish years to get their Datsyuk/Z.

But that completely misses the point.

Who picks up the slack after Malkin & Crosby? Because if they are going to count on Rust, Sheary, Guentzel…..lol.

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/12/17 at 12:28 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/12/17 at 01:26 PM ET

Not necessarily. remember how well Kessel played with Bonino. Obviously, they didn’t re-up Bonino, but the point is that in the last two seasons Kessel has actually shown a lot of comfort playing apart from Crosby and Malkin. I think everyone would agree that with Kessel’s shot and awareness he should probably have potted 30 goals, but he’s still been a 25 goal shooter—and this year a 70 point man—where those numbers put you among the 20 best forwards in the entire game. Nothing to scoff at.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/12/17 at 01:23 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/12/17 at 01:26 PM ET

You are probably right.  I still remember the arguing with each other while going to the bench and on the bench, but sports have changed. Kessel has always been a bit of a mental puzzle, IMO, lucky he is good at hockey.

I watched him in the World Juniors, I think it was Vancouver, he had all the tools but emotionally can go over the edge.

Not sure Pens want that circus coming back and Malkin is not going anywhere

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/12/17 at 05:53 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/12/17 at 06:53 PM ET

Been in the UP so long youve finally started talkin to yourseld, eh? wink

Posted by ThatGuy on 07/12/17 at 08:55 PM ET

Avatar

Okay, and the Penguins only had to be in the tank for 15ish years to get their Datsyuk/Z.
But that completely misses the point.

Disregards how importantant ownership and management makes on a team. 

Blue Jackets/Kukeleinen
Oilers/Chiarelli

Hell, for a microcosm look at the Panthers.  As soon as they stopped listening to a good GM amd shitcanning their hockey minds, their team.. the same exciting noise makers on the rise
.. shat the bed.

Tired of that arguement.  Youd have to admit, if you really think that wed flounder for 15 years if we get prime draft picks, you dont thinj KH is a capable GM.  However, if hes not, as weve seen with Florida, not even a capable team will perform.

Posted by ThatGuy on 07/12/17 at 09:04 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Posted by ThatGuy on 07/12/17 at 10:04 PM ET

Problem is KH created this mess selling picks to try and win a Cup. No Cup but a mess, (no depth, Contracts strangling any movement, heard the rest of it all).

Cut and paste blog entries for 4 or 5 years?? Not a good time for Red Wings Fans.  Forgot, use the spell check option, LOL

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/12/17 at 09:48 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by ThatGuy on 07/12/17 at 10:04 PM ET

Not quite sure what you are on. My premise here is that the Pens do not have the ability to recover from the eventual loss of their core. Yet (?)

So the Penguins can take the Ken Holland route and ride it out (rebuild on the fly) or start selling off and taking it (not right away, but eventually).

Anyone is welcome to disagree with me. Id just like to see a solid rebuttal, if anyone has one.

Bueller? Bueller?

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/12/17 at 09:56 PM ET

Avatar

The Penguins were not “in the tank for 15ish years.”  Yes, 15 seasons passed between their second and third Cups.  But for the first 9 of those seasons they remained a playoff team, won their division about every other year (4 times in 9 seasons) and racked up 7 playoff series wins.  Then they had a 4-season tank followed by a sharp ascent.

Put another way, their first 9 seasons you call ‘in the the tank” compare favorably as heck with the last 8 seasons of Detroit hockey (1 playoff whiff, only 3 rounds won, only one division victory).

If you stretch us back to 9 years ago, you capture the 2008-09 season, which was very good, so I guess you could cling to that to say that our last 9 years were better than those 9 years of “tanking.”

But that argument is going to go away when we stinks on ice again this year. 

Posted by captaineclectic on 07/13/17 at 05:40 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by captaineclectic on 07/13/17 at 06:40 AM ET

Duly noted.

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/13/17 at 06:33 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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