NHL Rumors: Where will Phil Kessel land; and three’s a crowd in net for Dallas Stars

phil kessel
May 7, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81) during the second period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a lot of focus on what is happening in Arizona. This has been a very active offseason for the Coyotes with their biggest move in trading away Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland. Two other key players are on the block in Christian Dvorak and Phil Kessel.

NHL Rumors: Phil Kessel trade talk

Yesterday, we dove in a little deeper on Dvorak. We now turn our attention to Phil Kessel.

The 33 year-old winger 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.

Arizona paid out his $5M bonus on July 1st. That means he’s only owed $1 million in actual salary which could be perfect for some teams with cap space, but are also looking to be fiscally sound. His cap hit without any cap retention would be $6.8M of his total $8M thanks to the Leafs. They kept some of his cap hit when they traded him.

So where could Kessel land?

Per Craig Morgan via Spector’s Hockey, Kessel’s agents asked the Coyotes to trade him before the season starts. It’s also being reported that he would like to play in Vegas but as of right now the Golden Knights are not interested. Most likely due to their limited cap space.

Some other teams that might look to deal for Kessel are the Seattle Kraken, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Minnesota Wild.

What will the Dallas Stars do in goal?

nhl rumors
Mar 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin (35) and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (2) skate in warm-ups prior to the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars signed Braden Holtby after he was bought out by the Vancouver Canucks. That’s three excellent goalies right now to man one net. Anton Khudobin and Ben Bishop are the other two.

Respectively, the 31 year-old Holtby is on a one-year deal worth $2M. I don’t believe he was brought in as an insurance policy but to challenge for the number one job.

Khudobin is 35 years-old and has two years remaining on a deal with an AAV of $3.33M. Bishop is 34 and has two more years at $4.9M AAV. What remains to be seen is if Bishop can come back and stay healthy. He did not play at all last season.

The question for the Stars is simple, if Bishop can play who do they trade? It is unlikely anyone will take the risk of acquiring Bishop. That means Khudobin would be the goalie to move. He has trade protection and can supply a list of 4 teams that he can refuse.

Assuming the Sabres, Senators, Devils, and Coyotes are on his list, that gives Dallas enough to work with. Some potential landing spots would be the Capitals and Oilers.