The Coyotes made a rather splashy move on Saturday, trading a package including Alex Galchenyuk to the Penguins in exchange for Phil Kessel.
Kessel reportedly nixed a trade to the Minnesota Wild in May with the partial no-trade clause in his contract, but there were no such hold-ups in this trade.
Oddly, though, Kessel and Penguins GM Jim Rutherford have offered conflicting stories about why the trade was made. Rutherford told Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Kessel had demanded a trade, but Kessel denied that allegation, saying instead that he was simply told Rutherford that he would “never be a Penguin again.”
So, depending on who you believe, either Kessel or the Penguins finally got the trade they wanted. It’s certainly a strange little saga, and you might recall that after Kessel invoked his no-trade clause to block the trade to the Wild, Rutherford said that he expected Kessel to play for the Penguins next season.
Well, things have certainly changed. Who would have thought back then that in a month's time, Kessel would be a member of the Arizona Coyotes AND the Memphis Grizzlies?