Pittsburgh Penguins Acquire Phil Kessel

By: Joe Guzy

(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired Phil Kessel, a 2016 second-round draft pick, Tyler Biggs, and Tim Erixson from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington and Nick Spaling along with a first and third-round draft pick in 2016 with the Leafs retaining 15% of Kessel’s contract putting his AAV at around $6.8mil.

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. General Manager Jim Rutherford did not have to give up Derrick Pouliot or Olli Maatta in the deal. Rumors at the 2015 NHL Draft suggested he would have to do so.

The draft picks involved carry the following conditions:

  • If Pittsburgh qualifies for the 2016 postseason, Toronto will receive the Penguins’ 2016 first-round draft pick; and the Penguins will receive Toronto’s 2016 second-round selection. The second-round pick would be the one Toronto originally acquired from Pittsburgh for Daniel Winnik earlier this year.
  • Should Pittsburgh miss the 2016 playoffs, Toronto will INSTEAD receive the Penguins’ 2017 first-round pick; with Pittsburgh getting Toronto’s 2017 second-round selection in return.
  • If the Penguins were to miss the postseason the next two years, Toronto would receive Pittsburgh’s 2017 second-round draft pick and Pittsburgh would not receive a draft pick.

Kessel lead the Leafs 61 points (25G, 36A) with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. His best numbers came in the 2013-2014 season totaling 80 points (37G, 43A).

Kessel’s HERO chart for those interested:

Keep in mind those numbers are with Tyler Bozak at center. Crazy to imagine the numbers he could put up with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Pittsburgh finally has the elite top-six winger they’ve been looking for. Not much more to say than that.