As reported by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, Phil Kessel’s exit from the Arizona Coyotes organization is not a matter of if, but when. While Kessel received praise from GM Bill Armstrong for his work ethic, the Coyotes knew they weren’t going to win, they knew they wouldn’t keep Kessel this season, and they knew him. He could get them a draft pick – of which they’re hoarding – even though he’s having a bad season.
Seravalli writes, “He is hitting the slowest pace of his career (12). Would a trade capable of igniting some of Kessel’s playoff magic nearly netting him a Conn Smythe Trophy? Noting that the team is looking to add draft picks, the NHL insider added, “There’s no way they’ll stick to him.”
He notes that the acquisition team will realize that Kessel costs just a penny in actual dollars, as his salary this season is just $850,000 ($150,000 paid by the Leafs). That means additional team Kessel only has to pay about $250,000 in cash plus acquisition costs to roll the dice on the winger. Remember, this is a step up with a proven track record of winning, showing in the big games and excelling in the knockout stages.
Kessel is 34 years old, so there will be some risk in trading. This could be the point at which he finally begins to steadily and consistently decline. If so, his low costs compared to the $6.8 million he receives in a team’s salary cap could be a tough trade-off for some clubs. Coyotes will almost certainly retain 50% of his salary if (or when) is traded.
How many teams look at Kessel?
As knockouts begin to become a possibility for some teams, it will be interesting to see how often the Kessel name appears. He has a few months to start production again, and if he does become popular, expect a number of interested teams. That, plus the amount of money Arizona is willing to keep could determine how big the market is for this player.
Think of it this way… if more teams are interested in Evander Kane as rumored if the Sharks keep 50% of the winger’s salary, imagine what the market might be like for Kessel, the only person whose real reputation is like that. He doesn’t look like he works terribly hard.
https://nhltradetalk.com/coyotes-will-trade-phil-kessel-says-nhl-insider/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=coyotes-will-trade-phil-kessel-says-nhl-insider “No Way” Coyotes Sticking With Phil Kessel Tells NHL Insider