The Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t been secretive about their plans to shake up the roster this summer, and Phil Kessel’s name has been front and center in all of the trade speculation. That seems to be coming to a head, as Josh Yohe of The Atheltic (subscription required)reports that the Penguins are in talks with the Minnesota Wild on a trade revolving around Kessel. Yohe notes that Jason Zucker, who has also been available in recent months, would likely be going the other way if a deal can be reached, while Jack Johnson and Victor Rask have been discussed.
The trade has apparently been “on the table for days” with Kessel’s no-trade clause the only impediment at this point. That trade clause allows Kessel to submit a list of only eight teams he can be traded to, though he can obviously waive it to accept a deal anywhere else.
Kessel, 31, is coming off another point-per-game season that saw him register 27 goals and 82 points while continuing his near decade long iron man streak. The veteran winger is an incredible offensive player but has often been critiqued for his inconsistent defensive effort and prickly personality. While teammates will often speak extremely highly of the Wisconsin native, he has proven difficult to coach at times and has already been traded twice in his career.