The Arizona Coyotes were open to trading forward Phil Kessel at this year’s trade deadline. It ultimately didn’t happen. Reports are that not only were Kessel’s contract and lack of production this season an issue — he makes $6.8 million on the salary cap — his iron man streak was a major hurdle for a number of NHL teams that might have otherwise had an interest.

Related: Oilers Tried to Trade Josh Archibald, Holland Unwilling to Add Sweetener

With this game, Phil Kessel will move within one game of tying Doug Jarvis for second on the NHL’s all-time consecutive games played list.
Never figured he would pass Jarvis while a Coyote but he is on track to do so in Winnipeg on Sunday.

— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) March 23, 2022

Kessel would have been an interesting gamble for teams if they could have swung a deal with the Coyotes, especially if the team retained half of Kessel’s salary and took another contract back. Kessel could have come in and played top-six or middle-six minutes, even sat out if his production continued to be less than what he typically provides an NHL club. Unfortunately, the flexibility of sitting him goes away when you consider he’s only one game shy of tying Doug Jarvis for the second-most consecutive NHL games played and is 22 games behind Keith Yandle. If Yandle isn’t signed by a team next season, there’s a good chance Kessel breaks the record.

That’s a lot of pressure for an NHL club. The idea that they would be the team that could stop Kessel from achieving that goal wasn’t something a number of organizations wanted to be associated with. If they felt guilty having to play him when they didn’t want to, the optics of that weren’t something a few teams wanted to go near.

Phil Kessel CoyotesWhat About Next Season?

One can only imagine that if the streak is important to Kessel, he’s going to want to sign with a team that will play him. He could rebound and he might not in terms of his goal-scoring, but any team that signs him as an unrestricted free agent is going to have to think long and hard before healthy scratching him if they feel like they’re signing a veteran who might not be a regular.

Honestly, it’s an unfortunate reason Kessel wasn’t given a shot with a team that was going to make the playoffs this season. He’s the kind of player that has a proven track record of showing up in big games and he could have been useful to a contending team if the right deal could have been worked out.

Next: Stars Talk Decision Not to Trade John Klingberg at Trade Deadline

The post Phil Kessel Not Moved At Deadline For Unfortunate Reason appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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