Coyotes Wild Trade Rumours
It came up while Russo was describing a deal that’s on the table between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Wild. The proposed deal would send the Pens eccentric forward Phil Kessel along with defenceman Jack Johnson to the Wild for centre Jason Zucker and forward Victor Rask.
Penguins, #mnwild in trade talks surrounding Phil Kessel. @JoshYohe_PGH has confirmed what I reported Tuesday about potential Jason Zucker-Victor Rask for Kessel-Jack Johnson swap. Lots of details in this story + other possible landing spots for Zuckerhttps://t.co/TOM2dZhbQk
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) May 23, 2019
In his same article, Russo mentioned that the Wild have inquired about the availability of both Dvorak and Fischer. The general manager of the Wild, Paul Fenton, has vowed to make some “significant” noise in the off-season to improve his team.
The Wild finished a disappointing 37-36-9 good for 83 points and seven points out of any post-season play. At this point, it’s uncertain why Fenton is interested in the two young forwards of the Coyotes. He may want to get younger and faster, it seems to be the trend in today’s NHL.
Coyotes Wild Trade Rumours: Interest in Christian Dvorak
The 23-year-old centre just signed a six-year 26.7 million contract extension with the Arizona club in August of last year. He was an outstanding OHL prospect with the London Knights where he accumulated some 240 points over two seasons. Dvorak had a 1.92 points per game average and seemed to be a sure hit in the big leagues.
Many have wondered why the Coyotes committed such a lucrative contract to him especially after he missed 62 games due to injury. Dvorak suffered a severe pectoral muscle tear which sidelined him for so long. He managed two goals, five assists in the 20 games he played.
Is the team losing their patience with him as they did with prospect Dylan Strome and are ready to move him out?
Perhaps, but it must be emphasized that it was the Wild who initiated interest in him and it doesn’t necessarily indicate any dissatisfaction with his play in the desert.
Dvorak has 32 goals, 45 assists in 176 games and is averaging 0.44 points per game, a far cry from his OHL statistics.
Coyotes Wild Trade Rumours: Christian Fischer’s Story
Fischer, 22, stands 6’2″, 214 pounds and was selected 32nd overall in the 2015 draft. He carries just an $821,666 salary cap hit since he still has one more year left on his entry-level contract.
His statistics have been less than expected. He only has 29 goals, 25 assists in 157 games with the Coyotes. He had been expected to be a Shane Doan prototype who could crash the net but that hasn’t worked out for him. Fischer is a physical player who averages 1.54 hits per game. Yet, his scoring has lagged with only 0.34 points per game. He has been on several different lines to try to get him going offensively.
If Kessel Trade Goes South, Will Zucker be Offered to Arizona?
Zucker, 27 is in the second year of his five-year $27.5 million contract and it looks like the Wild have been shopping him around. He has 21 goals, 21 assists this past season. He also is that coveted 30-goal scorer the Coyotes yearn to add to their roster. Zucker added 33 goals, 31 assists during the 2017-18 season. That’s the kind of firepower the Coyotes now lack.
The Wild seem to be all over the map in trying to upgrade their roster. According to Russo they also inquired about Sam Bennett of the Calgary Flames as well as Michael Frolik. They even called about Jonathan Marchessault of the Vegas Golden Knights.
It sounds like they are really looking aggressively for some players who will get them to the playoffs next season.
The Other Scenario
Despite spending a season at the University of Minnesota, The Athletic is reporting that Kessel has done “research” on the Wild and remains “unsure” about a potential move.
If the Kessel to Minnesota deal goes south (it is not even confirmed that the Wild are on his eight-team list of teams he will waive his no-trade clause), then what?
Kessel to Arizona?
It could happen. Whether the Coyotes who have about $8.2 million of cap space can afford Kessel’s $8 million salary (Toronto Maple Leafs are retaining $1.2M) is another story. It has been reported that Kessel loves playing for Rick Tocchet and he may be the only coach that Kessel can play for without tearing up the team.
This is a lot of speculation.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford continues to talk to other teams about Kessel … it’s a question of when not if for Kessel to be dealt but where exactly remains TBD.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 23, 2019
One thing seems to be obvious. Phil Kessel has worn out his welcome in Pittsburgh and it’s just a matter of time before he changes sweaters.