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Penguins, Wild in Trade Talks Revolving Around Phil Kessel


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The Penguins and Minnesota Wild have a trade proposal on the table with Phil Kessel as the centerpiece, numerous sources confirmed to The Athletic.


It?s a poorly kept secret around the NHL that Kessel, who produced 82 points in 82 games last season, is available.


The Penguins, one month after sustaining an embarrassing sweep in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the New York Islanders, are considering multiple significant changes this offseason.


Kessel helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup twice in four seasons with the Penguins, but his enigmatic nature has irritated coaching staffs and front offices in Boston, Toronto and Pittsburgh. It appears his time with the Penguins is nearing an end.


However, Kessel ultimately will have some say in this decision, as he is the owner of a partial no-trade clause that allows him to name only eight teams he can be traded to.


Many in the Penguins organization assumed Kessel would be willing to play for the Wild. He is a Wisconsin native and played his one NCAA season at the University of Minnesota.


However, numerous sources confirmed that Kessel is unsure if he wants to play in Minnesota. He did research on Minnesota and the Wild during the past week, the sources said. Kessel is very close friends with Ryan Suter. Both are natives of Madison, Wisconsin, and played internationally together for Team USA.


It is believed Jason Zucker, the speedy Wild forward who scored 76 goals the past three seasons, would be part of the deal. Minnesota made it clear to other franchises that Zucker, 27, is available.


The Penguins and Wild also discussed a couple of players with long-term contracts in Jack Johnson and Victor Rask.



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Minnesota is heading down not up rapidly. Neiterrider (phon), Granlund and Coyle dispatched at the deadline for little in return. Suter and Parise are old. Dumba is virtually the only skater on the roster with real value. I'm sure Kessel enjoyed his one college season, but not that much.
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  • 4 weeks later...



Rutherford didn't fault Kessel for exercising his contractual rights.


"Minnesota was never on his list. To that point, he's a player that deserved to get the position he's in where he had a no-trade and pick eight teams that he would go to and otherwise have some say in whether he'd go to other teams," Rutherford said. "I don't think there's anything out of the ordinary here. He's exercising his right. Obviously it's frustrating for the team when you feel that the trade we were going to make was the right thing for the Penguins, but Phil didn't do anything wrong."

Kessel apparently did not want to go.

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