Phil Kessel can't seem to escape the rumor mill.
While a deal never came to fruition, the Penguins have been active in the trade market in recent weeks, parting with Carl Hagelin and Daniel Sprong while bringing in Tanner Pearson and Marcus Pettersson.
Prior to the deals, general manager Jim Rutherford floated the possibility of a roster shakeup if there wasn't improvement on the ice. The Penguins currently sit two points back of a playoff position in the Metropolitan Division.
As for Kessel, it's not the first time his name has surfaced in trade talks. Last offseason, a report indicated that the 31-year-old was open to a move to the Arizona Coyotes. Arizona, of course, is coached by Rick Tocchet, who was an assistant in Pittsburgh during the team's Stanley Cup wins in 2016 and 2017.
Kessel is owed $8 million for three more seasons, but $1.2 million of his salary is retained by the Toronto Maple Leafs. His contract also allows him to grant a trade to just eight teams of his choosing.
Across part of four seasons with the Penguins, Kessel has picked up 93 goals and 157 assists in 272 games.
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