Phil Kessel: good guy. Tries hard. Loves a game. Two-time Stanley Cup champion.
And now: trade bait?
Rumors that a Pens could trade Phil Kessel are on a rise. They can be traced to a inconceivable mainstay from a internal Pittsburgh author who competence have suggested it usually to start a controversy. The justification centered on Rick Tocchet’s graduation to conduct manager of a Arizona Coyotes. Tocchet, according to a article, was “Kessel’s Whisperer.” Without Tocchet, a author mused, was Kessel value his $6.8 million salary?
In my opinion, there isn’t even a question. Kessel has been one of a Pens’ many unchanging players and is a good playoff performer. He’s value each penny.
The Article Lacks Fact
Most of a boldest statements in a mainstay cited no source. For example, a columnist wrote that “it was transparent in June, by a finish of a Penguins’ second uninterrupted Stanley Cup run, that a classification wasn’t anxious with Kessel.” Really? What justification is there to support such a claim?
There is no denying that Tocchet and Kessel were close. NBC Sport’s Pierre McGuire noted “I see how Rick treats [Kessel] on a bench….when Phil competence get down, Rick’s there to collect him up.” Kessel himself has said of Tocchet, “He is my favorite partner manager of all time I’ve ever played for.…I don’t wish to see him go…because he’s a good man and a good coach.” There is some tangible justification to advise that losing Tocchet will negatively impact Kessel. On a other hand, Mark Recchi’s attribute with Kessel was cited by a group as one reason to rouse him to partner manager in place of Tocchet. Why contend that if Kessel is usually trade bait? If that attribute is a basement for Recchi’s promotion, afterwards trade Kessel divided would be senseless.
Numbers Don’t Lie
The columnist also settled that “my faith is Evgeni Malkin wasn’t anxious to play on a same line with Kessel.” At slightest in this instance, a columnist was intelligent adequate to call this judgment what it is: opinion, with positively no justification or basement in fact. It’s value observant that Malkin’s points per diversion increasing from 1.02 to 1.16 from a 2015-16 to a 2016-17 season. In other words, Malkin’s points per diversion increasing when Kessel was a visit linemate. Malkin also had a many shots, goals, and scoring chances personification with Kessel contra any other Penguin in 2015-16 and 2016-17 during a unchanging deteriorate and a playoffs. (Source: Stat Trick)
Kessel’s also put adult clever numbers even though Malkin as a linemate or Tocchet as a coach. In 446 games with a Leafs, Kessel had 181 goals and 394 points; in 222 games as a Bruin, Kessel had 66 goals and 129 points. Kessel has consistently had clever unchanging deteriorate numbers, even with bad teams.
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Even some-more importantly, Kessel is an glorious playoff performer. He led a Penguins in scoring en track to winning a 2016 Stanley Cup with 10 goals and 22 points—three some-more than Conn Smythe leader Sidney Crosby. Kessel was third in group scoring in a 2017 playoffs behind usually Malkin and Crosby. Additionally, Kessel leads a group in his dual seasons in Pittsburgh with 30 energy play points.
Practicalities of a Trade
Kessel is a proven, maestro winger. They’ve already mislaid a lot of scoring abyss by losing Nick Bonino, Chris Kunitz, and (potentially) Matt Cullen in a arise of their many new championship. If a Penguins did trade Kessel, what could they get in lapse that would make adult for that loss? As a “K” in a famed “HBK” line, Kessel gave a Penguins something they had lacked for years—scoring depth. Even yet Kessel played on Malkin’s line final year, he has proven himself in a third-line purpose should that be what a Pens need from him.
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Phil Kessel is not usually one of a Pens’ best players, though a unchanging playoff performer. The Penguins have lacked tip wingers for years, arguably given a Pens acquired and mislaid Marian Hossa. Now that a Penguins have one, trade him would be a step backwards.