Hockey

Arizona Coyotes Phil Kessel May Be Heading Elsewhere

SAN JOSE, CA – May 8: Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81) skates during the San Jose Sharks game versus the Arizona Coyotes on May 8, 2021, at SAP Center at San Jose in San Jose, CA. (Photo by Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes are not moving forward with Phil Kessel and he is the subject of numerous trade rumors. Where will Phil end up? Kessel has an eight-team trade list of teams that suit his fancy. The thing is… who will trade for him and his $6.8 million cap hit?

He is really going to come in cheaper than that as the Coyotes have already paid his $5 million bonus, thus leaving a contending team with only a $1 million commitment to gather his services.

Phil Kessel Has Worn Out His Welcome In Arizona

When Kessel went to Arizona in June of 2019 for Alex Galchenyuk, (who just signed a contract with the Yotes) it was due primarily to his close relationship to then head coach Rick Tocchet. Now, it seems that Galchenyuk likes it here in Arizona and welcomes the chance to play here again. He even owns a home here.

Kessel is not interested in being involved in a rebuild that the Coyotes are implementing and trading him for additional assets is fine with general manager Bill Armstrong. The team already possesses three first round and five second round picks for the 2022 NHL Draft.

Some say that during Kessel’s meager 2019-20 season when he only managed 38 points in 70 games, that he was hurt and that affected his performance. Yet, Tocchet didn’t rest him or bench him… he played him to keep his consecutive game streak alive. Now with Tocchet gone, Phil doesn’t have that support.

Kessel Could Be Headed To Any Number Of Teams

Teams like the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, and even the Pittsburgh Penguins seem to be a good landing spot for Phil “the thrill” Kessel. Keep in mind that Phil loves to golf and fish in his offtime. He’d love going to the Vegas Golden Knights or Florida Panthers for that kind of off-ice activity. There are plenty of teams who could use his secondary scoring.

Edmonton lost forward Josh Archibald and Kessel could fill in nicely there. The Kings can always use another scoring threat and are in hopes of being a playoff team this year. The Blackhawks have been gearing up and adding Kessel certainly wouldn’t hurt.

With Kessel only being owed $1 million in true salary, teams may wait until the trade deadline to go after him, but that may not hold true. Don’t forget, Phil has no real interest in staying in Arizona.

In The End, Whatever Is A Good Deal For Arizona Will Dictate Things

General manager Bill Armstrong is a shrewd deal maker, consequently he can hold off until any number of contending teams give him a call and offer for Kessel’s services. He’s very patient when deals are made. Thus, that really is the key to success.

Phil may be missed in Arizona, yet his defensive liabilities may be too much for Armstrong to stomach. There will not be any favoritism with new head coach Andre Tourigny. Kessel will find a new home… that is for certain. In addition, just be assured he can still play.

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