Phil Kessel has made it clear that his days in Arizona are coming to an end. He has a favourable contract with a $1 million real cost against his $6.8 million cap hit since his $5 million bonus has been paid by the Coyotes. He possesses an eight-team list of destinations he’d prefer. So, where would Kessel fit in the best? Where he is willing to go, and how can he help a new team?
Trade Destinations For Arizona Coyotes Phil Kessel
Vegas Golden Knights
Phil seems to like the sunshine and golf courses in Arizona, so Vegas seems to be a good landing spot for him. He definitely wants to be on a contending team, and the Vegas Golden Knights have been just that since their inception. Of course, salary cap restraints are always an issue. The Golden Knights are at $86,677,439 according to CapFriendly.com. That’s about $5.2 million over the cap. If they claim LTIR for forward Alex Tuch ($4.75M) they would be close.
Kessel can provide some secondary scoring as he led the Arizona club in scoring last season with 20 goals and 23 assists. He could assuredly give the Golden Knights some offensive punch as they drive for their first Stanley Cup.
Another sunny location for Phil to head to could be the Florida Panthers. They too have many golf courses and while they may not be a Cup contending team yet, they are certainly on their way. They finished with 79 points which placed them fourth in the NHL last season. Again, Kessel’s contribution to secondary scoring could attract him there.
In return, the Panthers could send a prospect or two to Arizona. Florida doesn’t have a first or second-round pick in 2022, so Yotes general manager Bill Armstrong wouldn’t be able to add to his treasure chest of draft picks. Should Phil gather his fishing equipment? Florida could use him.
Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings would love to add Kessel to their arsenal. They acquired forward Viktor Arvidsson in July who along with Kessel would make a good duo on the right-wing. So, this would be another decent location with golf courses and nice weather. The Kings are not also-rans and expect to make the playoffs this season.
Can Kessel put them over the top? His scoring can’t hurt. If the Kings lose out on the Jack Eichel sweepstakes, Kessel may be a good consolation prize. Just picture Phil in La-La land… the possibilities are endless.
Adding Kessel to the already improved Chicago Blackhawks could be very entertaining. Money may be an issue here too, but the Blackhawks have Andrew Shaw and his $3.9 million salary they may use towards long-term injury reserve. Phil’s offensive game can certainly help the Windy City boys. He can also help mentor young players as he has done in Arizona.
Sorry, the weather here isn’t ideal, but Chicago could be Phil’s kind of town.
Could Phil be heading back to the Pittsburgh Penguins? General manager Brian Burke has already traded for Kessel once, so why not again? The Pens seem likely they want to distance themselves from defenceman Marcus Pettersson‘s $4.02 million cap hit. The Coyotes have over $10 million available, so who knows?
The Coyotes have made considerable changes this offseason. Trading Kessel is their next move to clean house and look forward to the future. Phil has more than likely worn out his welcome and wants to move on. He will find a new home and more than likely one of the above-mentioned teams will be where he is headed.
It could happen anytime before the trade deadline, and for Phil the sooner the better. He wants no part of a rebuild, and you really can’t blame him.