The Pittsburgh Penguins have decided to make a massive shakeup with the roster before free agency begins. They have traded super star Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes along with minor league defenseman Dane Birks and a 2021 fourth-round pick for Alex Galchenyuk and 19-year-old prospect defenseman Pierre-Oliver Joseph.
In 82 games in the regular season last season, Kessel scored 27 goals and recorded 55 assists. His plus/minus was -19. In four postseason games last season, he scored one goal and recorded one assist. His plus/minus was -2.
Phil Kessel is 31 years old and he is under contract for the next three seasons. Kessel will have a cap hit of $6.8 million.
Birks was a sixth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. He played in one game last season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL.
Dane Birks played in 65 games last season in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers. He scored one goal and recorded 13 assists. His plus/minus was 1. Birks is 23 years old.
Alex Galchenyuk played in 72 games last season with the Arizona Coyotes. He scored 19 goals and recorded 22 assists. His plus/minus was -19. Galchenyuk is only 25 years old. He has one year remaining on his contract. Alex Galchenyuk will be owed $4.9 million this season.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph played in 27 games in the QMJHL last season with the Charlottetown Islanders before he got traded to Drummondville Voltigeurs.
With Charlottetown, Joseph scored seven goals and recorded 18 assists. His plus/minus was 8.
In 35 games with Drummondville, he scored two goals and recorded 20 assists. His plus/minus was 28. In 16 postseason games with them, Pierre-Olivier Joseph scored two goals and recorded seven assists. His plus/minus was 10.
He will start next season in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
There a lot of people that do not like this trade for the Pittsburgh Penguins. This trade was mind boggling none the less.
Pittsburgh did clear up some cap space in this trade but it will be interesting to see whether or not they sign somebody now in free agency.
Arizona could be a playoff team next season after this trade. For now, the Coyotes won this trade but it could payoff in the long term for the Penguins.
One of the main reasons why Phil Kessel wanted to get traded to the Arizona Coyotes is because he wanted to reunite with Rick Tocchet who is now the head coach of Arizona.
He was an assistant coach for a few years with the Pittsburgh Penguins.