One star player from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ back-to-back Stanley Cup teams is reportedly, via trade, to be moving out west.
Pittsburgh Penguins executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford have confirmed that the team traded two-time Stanley Cup Champion forward Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes.
The Penguins are expected to receive forward Alex Galchenyuk and prospect defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph from Arizona in return for the trade.
Included in the Kessel trade for the Coyotes are prospect defenseman Dane Birks and a fourth-round draft pick in 2020.
According to a Twitter thread from the Penguins’ official team account, Galchenyuk is signed through 2019-20 season worth up to $4.9 million and Joseph is currently under an entry-level contract.
In response to the trade, Rutherford has explained through the team’s account why they traded Kessel and thanks him for his time in Pittsburgh. He also said that he’s eager to see what Galchenyuk and Joseph can bring to the team.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford: “First and foremost, I want to thank Phil Kessel for his contributions to the Penguins. He was a key component to our success in winning back-to-back Stanley Cups. We couldn’t have done it without him, and for that, we are grateful…”— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 30, 2019
”…With that being said, we are excited to welcome a young, skilled player in Alex, and add depth to our defense with first-round draft pick Pierre-Olivier Joseph.”— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 30, 2019
Last season, the Penguins are coming off a first-round sweep series loss to the New York Islanders, while the Coyotes have not made the playoffs since winning the Pacific division in the 2011-12 season.
As the three-time NHL All-Star, Kessel is coming off a 27-goal season, culminating up to 82 points, while Galchenyuk contributed 19 goals and 22 assists last season in Arizona.