NHL executive reveals the Coyotes' asking price for Phil Kessel at 50% retained

Published February 15, 2022 at 10:14

As we approach the March 21st trade deadline, there is a ton of speculation over who will stay and who will go, and with the number of buyers and sellers out there, it's really anyone's guess how the chips will fall.

One of the biggest sellers is likely to be the Arizona Coyotes and one prime trade target is two-time Stanley Cup winner Phil Kessel. The Athletic's Corey Pronman took part in a "Who Says No?", running fan trade proposals past NHL executives for their input on the trade value of players. Kessel was one of the subjects and the executive dropped an interesting tidbit in his response to the question.

One fan's proposal had Phil Kessel headed back to Pittsburgh (50% retained) in exchange for Alex Nylander and a second round pick. Kessel's two Cups came in Pittsburgh, so it wouldn't shock me if the Pens would be interested in bringing him back, but the cost from a Pens' perspective seems high. That's also how the NHL executive felt.

"Penguins say no, almost zero percent chance you get a second-round pick for Phil Kessel," said the executive. "The Coyotes have offered him around for a third-round pick while retaining 50 percent and haven't gotten a buyer yet."

If that's the actual price on Kessel, I'm not only surprised that there haven't been any takers - I'm surprised it hasn't happened already. Kessel may be on the wrong side of 30, but he would certainly provide some valuable secondary scoring to a contender in a middle-six role. He still has the speed and he still has the shot. In my opinion, the potential reward outweighs any risk involve.

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