Penguins reportedly looking to trade Phil Kessel

It looks like Phil Kessel could be on the move again. Tensions are rising in Pittsburgh after a disappointing playoff loss to the Washington Capitals and Kessel could be the scapegoat.

According to Pittsburgh radio personality Mark Madden, the Penguins are looking to move the scoring winger and that Kessel is perfectly fine with moving on.

Madden cited “sources close to the Penguins and to Phil Kessel.” His explanation for Kessel’s endorsement of a potential trade stems from two points.

The first of which is Kessel’s alleged displeasure over the fact that he hasn’t been able to play on a line with Evgeni Malkin full-time, instead being used as the balancing point for head coach Mike Sullivan to spread his top talent over three scoring lines.

The second is “underlying dissatisfaction” between Kessel and Sullivan.

The Penguins acquired Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs back in the 2015 off-season largely as a salary cap dump. Since then, Kessel has gone on to produce 221 points in 246 games with the Penguins during the regular season. He’s also put up nearly a point-per-game in the playoffs helping the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships.

After a disappointing exit in the second round of this year’s playoffs, though, animosity seems to be rising in Pittsburgh. Kessel refused to talk to media after the Penguins were eliminated this year.

This isn’t the first time Kessel has been a controversial and polarizing figure on a team. Despite producing at an elite clip with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kessel became the subject of criticism from Toronto media for a perceived individualistic and enigmatic personality. That said, all of Kessel’s accomplishments on the ice suggest that this isn’t anything more than a fabricated over-exaggeration.

Are the Penguins better off with or without Kessel? We've seen this story before and I'm not sure if it worked out well for the Maple Leafs. window.fbMessengerPlugins = window.fbMessengerPlugins || { init : function() { FB.init({ appId: "1678638095724206", xfbml: true, version: "v2.6" }); }, callable : [] }; window.fbAsyncInit = window.fbAsyncInit || function() { window.fbMessengerPlugins.callable.forEach( function( item ) { item(); } ); window.fbMessengerPlugins.init(); }; setTimeout( function() { (function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) { return; } js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); }, 0);