NHL Rumors: Kessel for a second round pick, Rangers trade talk, and Giroux’s decision

phil kessel
Nov 16, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81) waits for a face off against the St. Louis Blues during the second period at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been so much talk about Jakob Chychrun these days that one almost forgets Phil Kessel is ripe for the taking.

We know that it is relatively early in the season with regards to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 21. However, considering Kessel has been available since the summer why has no one grabbed him? Is the price too high?

Not according to Andy Strickland.

NHL Rumors: Phil Kessel for a second round pick

“Will teams get out in front for Phil (Kessel)? Told he can be had for a 2nd round pick,” reporter Andy Strickland said. “Would look pretty good on the second line for a number of teams.”

A second round pick? That’s all for Kessel! A guy who has scored 931 career points in the NHL has to be worth more than a second round pick.

Kessel, 34, is a pending UFA and considered a top rental. He is still productive with 27 points in 41 games for the lowly Coyotes, and like Strickland says, would look good on a team’s second line.

The Boston Bruins are said to be interested. As both the Oilers and Caps try to sign Evander Kane, will the team that misses out turn to Kessel?

Bottom line, it is hard to believe that Kessel is still in Arizona if they all want a second round pick for his services.

New York Rangers trade talk

j.t. miller rangers
Nov 2, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (9) scores on New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin (31) in the third period at Rogers Arena. Canucks won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Strome is making $4.5M on his current deal and is due a nice increase. Artemi Panarin’s favorite center would likely fetch well over $6M if he hits the open market. Of course, a deal of that size will hinder the Rangers cap maneuverability and make them prone to future offer sheets.

Larry Brooks updated the situation and noted that preliminary numbers have been exchanged. He reported that they will not force Strome into signing by issuing an ultimatum to take it or we trade you at the deadline. So for now, Strome will be with the Rangers regardless of his contract status at the trade deadline.

Brooks also said the the Rangers rumored interest in Jakob Chychrun was “overstated” and that the team is interested in a reunion with J.T. Miller. According to Brooks, the ask is “astronomical” at this point, but he suggest if the Canucks would eat 50% of his salary Drury would increase his offer.

Trade all up to Claude Giroux

Yesterday, Philadelphia Flyers management held a press conference on the state of the team. It did not take long for Claude Giroux’s name to come up.

“It will be Claude’s decision,” Fletcher said. “Claude has a no-move [clause] in his contract; ultimately that will be his decision [to waive]. We’re at the halfway point [of the season]. We’re two months to the trade deadline. We’ll continue to have conversations, and ultimately a decision will have to be made one way or the other. But it’ll be Claude’s decision.”

ESPN

Giroux, 33, is coming off a season where he scored 43 points in 54 games. This is the final year of a contract that comes with a $8.275M cap hit. He has 34 points in 40 games so far.

“Claude and I will be spending time together within the next few weeks exploring his best options while having discussions with Chuck,” agent Pat Brisson told Pierre LeBrun.

The expectation is that Giroux will look to be traded.