The 31-year-old goal scorer was recently to be rumored on the trade mill. Is this the end of the road for Kessel in Pittsburgh? Kessel has spent three and a half season with Pittsburgh scoring 93 goals, 157 assists with 250 points in 272 games. Kessel has played all 82 games in his three seasons with Pittsburgh and has played in all 26 games this season he has yet to miss a game during his time in Pittsburgh. Kessel has spent 13 seasons in the NHL playing 940 games by the age of 31-years-old with 770 points over those 940 games. Kessel has a career of 340 goals and 430 assists. It would be shocking to see the goal scoring Penguins forward shipped off to yet another team at this point in his career. The Penguins are rumored to be looking to move Kessel and for a matter of fact everyone else as well besides Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Where Kessel MAY go?
Kessel has a cap hit of 6.8 million until 2022-23 therefore finding a partner for him would not be easy at all. The Penguins projected cap space is $116,525 at the moment, with the increase of the salary cap next season this certainly benefits the Penguins but the Penguins also need to find someone to eat at least 25% or more of Kessel’s contract if he were to be moved.
Kessel will probably not go to Boston, they have a projected cap of 2.5 million so no way that is happening, he is not going to Toronto either so we should probably shut the down like right now. The Leafs have a projected cap of 5 million and they need to sign Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner so no shot there. Blackhawks have 3.2 million projected cap and not many players to re-sign but I am not sure with what is going on in Chicago they would welcome Kessel plus they do not have many prospects or current roster players to give up. No shot for Dallas with $317,000 left in cap and already way too many high contracts on the roster. Calgary, Edmonton and Anaheim are probably in no shape to go after Kessel either, essentially anyone in that Pacific can afford him.
In summary Kessel will NOT end up in
Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, Calgary, Edmonton, Anaheim or any Pacific team.
Where Kessel MAY end up:
Carolina has 16 million left in cap space but they do have six top-nine players to re-sign next season two of them Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho who will be getting a nice contract. Columbus has six million left in cap right now but Artemi Panarin may be leaving so that could be an option to add another scorer if Panarin leaves. The Devils have 14 million but have nine contracts to work out next season. The Islanders have 10 million and four to five must sign back players next season, Flyers have 8.5 million with two must sign back players if the Flyers let go of Simmonds it really opens up space. Colorado has 12 million but Mikko Rantanen to re-sign and four other players to re-sign, Wild have 2.45 million left in cap, a good amount of projected prospects and draft picks to shed along with current roster players to shed.
The final verdict:
Kessel goes no where because if the Penguins trade Kessel and expect any young player and or any other player to play and produce the way Kessel has is slim. Kessel is grossly under valued on the Penguins roster but he is always consistent and has been a 0.92 point per game player and coming off a 92 point year. I am sorry but if the Penguins actually think they are going to go out on the market and get someone to do the same or more then Kessel than they would be making a huge mistake. I think this whole Kessel trade rumor junk is for Jim Rutherford and Mike Sullivan to scare the Penguins players and show them no one is safe.