Penguins Trade Kessel to Coyotes

by | Jun 29, 2019 | News, NHL, Rumors | 20 comments

The Pittsburgh Penguins tonight traded right wing Phil Kessel, defenseman Dane Birks, and a fourth-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for center Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins trade Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After weeks of trade speculation surrounding Kessel, the Penguins finally find a team he was willing to waive his no-trade clause for. They also get themselves a decent return in the process.

Kessel, 32, is a point-per-game winger who helped the Penguins win consecutive Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. However, his rumored clashes with coach Mike Sullivan and sometimes difficult relationship with center Evgeni Malkin became issues as the Penguins struggled this season.

Some might question the Coyotes adding Kessel to their young lineup. However, they were reportedly among the clubs on his eight-team trade list. He also had a good relationship with Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet during the latter’s tenure with the Penguins. 

The Coyotes need some experienced offensive skill, which Kessel can still provide. Playing for Tocchet with the Coyotes promising youngsters away from the harsh media spotlight could prove beneficial for the veteran sniper.

Birks, 23, played three seasons at Michigan Tech and his first full pro season in the ECHL. He’ll likely spend next season with the Coyotes’ farm team. 

This is the second time in as many years Galchenyuk’s been traded. Last summer, he was shipped to the Coyotes by the Montreal Canadiens for Max Domi. In 72 games, the 25-year-old tallied 19 goals and 41 points this season. He’s a former 30-goal scorer who might reach those heights again skating with teammates like Malkin and Sidney Crosby.

Joseph, 19, was also a nice addition by the Penguins. The former Charlottetown Islanders defenseman exceeded 45 points in the QMJHL for the second straight season. A first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft, the 6’2″ Joseph is a mobile rearguard with solid offensive skills. He could blossom into a top-four d-man with the Penguins. 

The Penguins also freed up valuable cap space. Kessel has three years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $6.8 million. Galchenyuk has one year left at $4.9 million and becomes a UFA next summer. This frees up $1.9 million for the Penguins, giving them over $5 million to invest in the free-agent market on Monday. 


  1. Phat Fills Hawt Dawgs Food Truck opening in Feenix Oct 2019!!!!

    • Nuts !! I was hoping Toronto

      • Phil “I have two more Cup rings than Mats Sundin” Kessel’s Hot Dogs has a nice ring to it.

        They’ll need a big sign.

      • Cheer up Vinnie. I hear you might be getting Cody Ceci soon.

    • Maybe he’ll open up 2; one for each ring.

  2. Don’t you mean 2016 and 2017, not 2006 and 2007 for the Penguins Stanley Cup wins?

    • Naw. They won it then as well.

      • Funny I remember it being Carolina and Anaheim 🤷‍♂️

  3. I like this deal, but the extent to which I like it will be determined by what their plans are for Galchenyuk.

    Will they extend him? Let him go to UFA and see what happens? Intentionally let him walk for cap space?

    Getting Joseph to add to McCann and Pettersson goes a long way towards replenishing the many traded first round picks (Pettersson was a high second, but…close enough).

    Also, adding Galychenuk to Gubranson means JR has acquired two former #3 overall picks in the past 4 months.

    • Cam barker next!?!?

    • Mg..agreed I like the deal too! J
      Kessel was either going to Vegas or Arizona. we got 7 years younger, $2 million dolaars cheaper and if it doesn’t work out he is a UFA next year.

      Rutherford continues to get younger
      Dominick Kahun
      Jared McCann
      Marcus Pettersson
      Alex Galchenyuk
      Plus current Penguins
      Jake Guentzal, Domimick Simon, ZAR, Brian Rust, Brian Dumolin and Matt Murray all young or entering their prime years.

      plus Monday will be busy free agent frenzy and trades all will happen starting 8 am pacific time… NHL network 3 hours special….penguins now have $5.2 in cap room..look for more deals and possible buyouts.

      I believe Jason Zucker will still become a Penguin…J.J will be moved or bought out!

      exciting times.

      if I were Rutherford Dallas bough out Valarie Nuchskin young, talented, big, fast, skilled Russian!

      Bring him in on the cheap to play with Malkin…give him a shot a lot of players have found a home in Pittsburgh.

    • Would have preferred Pens target Chychrun & Grabner in package deal. That being said, Pens still require top 6 LD and top 6 RW. Hard to imagine without moving Letang, Bjustad or Rust. If they move Letang need top six RD. Best option trade with Leafs. Letang, Bjugstad/Galchenyuk , Rust/Simon for Zaitsev, Nylander, Kapanen/Brown & Rasanen/ 2nd pick

      • SPINNER Spencer Is this Greg Speece?





  4. Pens got younger and Coyotes go a player that will play for the coach Provides some flexibility moving forward for Rutherford . I think it is a win win deal.


      • Considering the position JR was in he made out like a bandit imho.

        Guess gambling is first of mind for Phil…this may not end well in 5 years if he keeps it up.

  5. George, I don’t think they will keep Ceci. I think they will let him go to arbitration. They want cap space I believe. Good deal for Ottawa zaitzev is good. In 2 years that contract will be a steal

  6. If Rutherford found it difficult to coexist with Kessel now, he would have been beside himself if he had to protect him come the Seattle expansion draft because of his NMC. Shedding Kessel solved that problem in advance, and brought him a prospect that he won’t need to protect, as well.

  7. Out of that 5 extra million that everyone thinks Rutherford has to spend, Aston-Reese, Blueger & Pettersson still need to be signed and that $ comes out of that 5 million. Do your homework.