The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded forward Phil Kessel, Dane Birks, and a 2021 4th round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for forward Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph.
The 31-year old Kessel was drafted 5th overall in the 1st round pick of the 2006 draft. He carries a $6.8 million cap hit for another three years.
The 25-year old Birks was drafted 164th overall in the 6th round of the 2013 draft. He carries a $755,000 cap hit.
The 25-year old Galchenyuk was drafted 3rd overall in the 1st round of the 2012 draft. He carries a $4.9 million salary cap hit with one year left on the deal.
The 19-year old Joseph was drafted 23 overall in the 1st round of the 2017 draft.
Matt Vensel: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on Phil Kessel: “He asked to be traded a few times over the course of time. Of course, then a little time would go by and maybe he wasn’t quite sure if he wanted traded. But there have been times where he felt that going somewhere else might be in everybody’s best interest.”
Jonathan Bombulie: Kessel: I think (Rutherford) is mistaken about that.
Craig Morgan: Coyotes GM John Chayka on how long the deal took to put together: “Months and months of discussions… Jim (Rutherford)’s a good negotiator so we kept working at it.”
After trading Kessel for Galchenyuk & Joseph (net decrease $1.9M Cap Hit), the #Penguins have $6.075M Cap Space w/ 19 (10F/7D/2G)
RFA’s: Aston-Reese, Blueger, Pettersson
UFA’s: Cullen, Wilsonhttps://t.co/UXcXzCq6ol
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) June 30, 2019
Thoughts from the media
Scott Wheeler: “Kessel could’ve won a Conn Smythe. He’s one of the most proficient offensive players in hockey STILL. He’s always healthy. I’ll take his defensive issues at $6.8M all day. I wonder if all the people prepared to pat themselves on the back because he was traded would rather Hayes.”
- Scott Wheeler: “Coverage of Phil Kessel over the years has honestly been embarrassing. He doesn’t look like a hockey player, he doesn’t act like journalists want him to, he’s awkward, and he doesn’t play physically. It’s the holy grail of lazy narrative fall-backs. Dude is a legend.”
- Scott Wheeler: “Phil Kessel’s rank among 2006 draftees: Games: 1st Goals: 1st Assists: 3rd Points: 2nd In a draft class with *multiple* HHOFers.
Adam Gretz: “Obviously what they do with cap savings will be huge. But they don’t save *that* much this year (a lot in the two years after) and, well, their most recent dips into the FA pool have been disasters. Can’t trade Kessel for Galchenyuk then blow your cap space on Johnson/Hunwick 3.0”
Matt Porter: “- out of Kessel’s contract (3x$6.8M) – a quality winger in Galchenyuk – who has a cheaper, shorter deal (1x$4.9M) – a 23rd overall pick from two years ago (Joseph, a D) – yeah, a good deal here”
Shelly Anderson: “The Kessel deal will no doubt be the Penguins’ signature move of the offseason, based on his production, his polarizing character and the options it opens for the club.
Scott Wheeler: “I like Pierre-Olivier Joseph. He’s got a chance to be a second pairing guy. But his offensive tools have plateaued a little. Didn’t love his year this year. Mature defender though, even if he lacks a dynamic quality.”
Dan Kingerski: “Pierre Oliver Joseph is FAST. Active. Still inconsistent. Pretty good get. I’m not so wild about Galchenyuk. Prime candidate to flip, actually.”
Dan Kingerski: “The Penguins are short a winger or two. It they’re still better off without the drama of Kessel. Maybe they keep Galchenyuk. Maybe not. Now they have a few bucks to gamble Monday, too.”
Mark Scheig: “I like the trade for both sides. Losing Kessel hurts PIT, but if things were as bad as reported, that’s a good thing for PIT. Plus they get Galchenyuk, Joseph and cap space. ARI gets Phil and is must-see TV.”
Catherine Silverman: “Phil Kessel would have been Arizona’s leading scorer by 35 points last season. Alex Galchenyuk adds badly needed youth and a bit of cost control in Pittsburgh. It’s really hard to find a way to complain about this deal much for either side.”
@Prospects_Watch: “Joseph is a pretty good D prospect. Rutherford did alright here.”
Coyotes: Phil Kessel, 4th
Penguins: Alex Galchenyuk, Pierre-Oliver Joseph
Penguins trade a very weak defensive player for a similarly weak defensive player who is significantly worse offensively (albeit six years younger and $2.9M cheaper). pic.twitter.com/5UR6yc2liM
— dom luszczyszyn (@domluszczyszyn) June 30, 2019