NHL Rumors: Five teams in on Rangers’ Vitali Kravtsov; and Coyotes working hard to trade Phil Kessel

The drama that has become the New York Rangers and Vitali Kravtsov has taken another turn.

According to multiple reports, Kravtsov has bolted the United States and is back home in Russia awaiting a trade. This news came right off the heels of a report by Elliotte Friedman that the Rangers asked Kravtsov to return to their AHL affiliate with the promise of a quick call up to the NHL.

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NHL Rumors: Five teams interested in Kravtsov

Russ Cohen of Sirius XM tweeted the news that Kravtsov had returned to Russia. He also noted that there are around five teams interested in acquiring the 21 year-old former first round pick.

I reached out to Kravtsov’s agent Dan Milstein yesterday to ask about the request but he declined to make any public comments. Lo and Behold, his client had already left for Russia.

Kravtsov, whom the Rangers selected 9th overall in the 2018 Draft wants out so bad that he’s willing to report to any other team’s AHL affiliate. Although there has been interest, I was told that the Rangers current ask of a top six talent is unrealistic. At the same time, New York has been receiving low ball offers.

Possible teams with interest may include the Red Wings, Sabres, and Penguins.

I have already reported that the most likely return will be a second round pick. That’s what happened when the Rangers traded another former first round pick, Lias Andersson under similar circumstances.

Coyotes working hard to trade Kessel

phil kessel trade
Mar 14, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81) pursues the puck in a game against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

Kessel, 33, can still produce and would give any offensively challenged team a boost. Last season, he scored 20 goals and 43 points in 56 games for the Yotes.

Phil’s desire for a fresh start and to play for a competitor has been out there all summer. One rumored destination are the Vegas Golden Knights. It’s possible, if Arizona is willing to eat 50% of his cap hit and take a salary in return that a deal could happen. Vegas is currently riddled with injuries.

The latest report from Craig S. Morgan details that the Yotes are working hard to get a deal done.

It is no secret that Kessel wants to be traded. It has been a storyline since the summer, and the Coyotes are working feverishly to grant his wish. As long as Kessel brings effort on a nightly basis, it’s hard to envision Tourigny, a first-year NHL coach, making the decision to pull him from the lineup.