Friedman's trade thoughts on Kessel, Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins have made a few minor deals of late, but Jim Rutherford’s trade appetite doesn’t appear to have been satiated quite yet.

During the latest episode of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast, Jeff Marek asked Elliotte Friedman about trade rumors floating around the Boards of Governors meetings earlier in the week.

“Kessel,” began Friedman. “But I think Pittsburgh kind of dipped the toe in and pulled it back.”

“After beating Colorado 6-3?” laughed Marek.

“No,” remarked Friedman. “I just think that they - he’s still having a good year. He’s got 29 points in 26 games.

“I don’t like to rip Kessel. I think he gets ripped enough. The more I learn about him, I just wonder if it’s just not everybody is socially comfortable. I think that’s it. I don’t like to make fun of people for that reason. I think he’s a really talented guy. I simply think if you look at his history, it’s four or five years in one place and then you move on.”
“Hired gun, get some goals,” inserted Marek.

“Is it possible Pittsburgh is getting to that point,” wondered Friedman. “And also, if they really are going to change themselves, they have to trade something like that.

“So I think they looked at it, and then they pulled it back.”

Kessel is in the fifth season of an eight-year, $64 million contract, which carries a modified no-trade clause, no-move clause.

The Penguins’ cap hit on that pact is $6.8 million, with the Toronto Maple Leafs retaining $1.2 million of that hit annually from that 2015 trade.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly