Penguins GM no longer expects to trade Kessel
- Jim Rutherford finally broke his 6 weeks silence.
- Phil Kessel probably isn’t being traded now.
- Also, some fascinating comments about Geno Malkin and Mike Sullivan, among many other tidbits
- Rutherford said Tuesday that he expects Phil Kessel, who last month nixed a trade to the Minnesota Wild, to be with the Penguins next season.
- It also sounds as if Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang aren’t going anywhere either.
“There will be a few changes made. It’s what I expected when the season ended. But we’re also talking about a team that got 100 points last year through a season of inconsistency,” the Penguins general manager said in a phone interview. “So there’s no reason why this team can’t compete at a high level.”
- After the Penguins got swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the New York Islanders, the organization discussed the possibility of trading Kessel, Malkin and Letang, among others, sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Kessel’s name first popped up in rumors last summer due to a reported rift between him and head coach Mike Sullivan.
- The Penguins then tested the market again in December.
- Overall, while the Penguins may not make the kind of splash that was expected this offseason, Rutherford was adamant that there will be roster turnover.
- The Penguins will have to make some moves, though.
- They are tight against the salary cap.
- And beyond hoping to improve their roster, they may look to finalize new deals with young defenseman Marcus Pettersson, a restricted free agent, and Matt Murray, their franchise goalie who has one year left on his contract.
- To be continued …
Phil Kessel wants to stay in Pittsburgh and is using his leverage. Jim Rutherford now admits that he probably won’t trade him. GMJR opened up about many things. Read about it here: https://t.co/FQhaNhilIQ
— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_PGH) June 11, 2019