Why the Coyotes should trade Phil ‘The Thrill’ Kessel
By Neil Becker
Arizona Coyotes forward Phil Kessel has taken a lot of criticism but truth be told, the man can score goals.
Kessel, who was drafted by the Boston Bruins fifth overall in the 2006 draft has had a productive career playing for the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, and currently the Arizona Coyotes.
The Madison Wisconsin native, who is not known for his strong defensive play, can definitely score goals and would be a useful commodity for teams desperately looking for some secondary scoring.
Looking ahead to the March 21st NHL trade deadline, it certainly makes sense for the re-tooling Coyotes to trade the 34- year-old Kessel who this summer is scheduled to become a free agent.
Though Kessel has slowed down due to age, he still sits second this year in team scoring with 31 points (6 goals, 25 assists) but does have an ugly -11 plus/minus rating.
All throughout the season’s first half, various Kessel trade rumors began circulating including one which had him returning to where it all started in Boston.
Last season, the player they call ‘Phil the Thrill’ showed that he still has lots in the tank as he sat number one in team scoring with 20 goals in what was a respectable 43 points in 56 games.
During his career, Kessel has been criticized for being out of shape. He might not have the most muscular body, but there is no denying his commitment. In late January Kessel competed in his 940th straight game which put him only 24 behind the former all-time iron man leader in forward Doug Jarvis.
Jarvis, who played for the Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, and Hartford Whalers was recently dethroned as the NHL ironman streak leader by Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Keith Yandle.
In what’s been a solid NHL career, Kessel has played in three All-Star Games (2011, 2012, and 2015) and helped the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017 win the Stanley Cup. So along with secondary scoring, he also knows what it takes to win. Something he can offer to a contending team.
Currently, Kessel has played in 1,169 career games where he has scored 397 goals along 935 points and 350 penalty minutes.
Kessel who is also known for his sense of humor will definitely be in high demand as the March 22nd NHL trade deadline approaches.