John Chayka received a bit of criticism from fans after not drafting a goal scorer in the draft so the Coyotes general manager just went out and traded for one of the best of the last decade. The Arizona Coyotes acquired Phil Kessel and defenseman Dane Birks plus a fourth round pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward Alex Galchenyuk and defensive prospect PO Joseph. Which essentially means that John Chayka has turned former Coyotes first round pick Max Domi (Who was traded for Galchenyuk last season) into an elite player.
Kessel will now to be reunited with Head Coach Rick Tocchet who has already coached Kessel while an assistant in Pittsburgh. Tocchet has been jokingly referred to as “The Kessel whisperer” so a reunion should have Coyotes fans really excited.
Kessel has already won a Stanley Cup alongside Rick Tocchet while in Pittsburgh and their reunion means bring a perennial point per game player to the desert. During his four year tenure the Right Winger never missed a game and averaged 86 points per season for the Penguins.
Kessel has three years remaining on his deal that will come with a cap hit of just under $7 Million.
What exactly does this mean for the Coyotes? free agency begins on Monday so the roster is definitely not set in stone but Coyotes fans can likely look forward to a top-line of Keller and Kessel on the wings with the possibility of either Nick Schmaltz or Derek Stepan at Center.
This deal definitely makes the Coyotes a better team than they were 24 hours ago and gives them the kind of player they haven’t had since the Tkachuk/Roenick era.