Pittsburgh Penguins Rumors: Phil Kessel Trade May Follow Rick Tocchet Departure

By Anthony Blake

It may seem odd to think the departure of an assistant head coach would facilitate the trade of a team’s most-talented winger, but for the Pittsburgh Penguins, that may be the case.

After Rick Tocchet agreed to become the Arizona Coyotes‘ head coach, chatter arose that the Pens may begin shopping Phil Kessel and his enormous contract around the NHL.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook believes that Tocchet leaving will make the Kessel clashes with head coach Mike Sullivan too much for the organization to bear over the long haul.

Well, that and the $6.8 million annual cap hit for Kessel until the age of 35 in 2021-22.

A deal may not happen this offseason or even this year, but the chances of Kessel playing out his contract with the Pens may have gone from slim to none with Tocchet’s departure.

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