While it is the offseason and fans are scouring the National Hockey League to predict potential moves to take place over the course of the summer, it seems that one rumour is taking over and everyone is stuck talking about one player. You've guessed it: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel is currently polarizing the trade chatter and it seems that some rival teams have just no choice but to call general manager Jim Rutheford to ask about the player.
According to Sportsnet's Sonny Sachdeva, the Calgary Flames appear to be a potential destination for Kessel. According to the information provided by CapFriendly, the Flames have roughly $12.5 million available in cap space and could benefit from their impressive defensive depth to entice Rutherford into making a major transaction this summer.
Here is what Sachdeva believes the Flames would be willing to offer in return for Kessel:
"T.J. Brodie, packaged with a couple interesting prospects, would certainly help the Penguins’ cause, and would stylistically fit well with Pittsburgh. Moving out Brodie’s $4.65-million cap hit would also help fit Kessel in under the cap. On the ice, the Flames are stocked with more than a few options to fill in behind Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton, as prospects Rasmus Andersson,Oliver Kylington and Adam Fox are all knocking on the door."
Kessel would definitely come and help the core players in Calgary, which has been looking for a legitimate top-line winger to play with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. This way, the Flames could count on Micheal Ferland to provide the needed scoring boost on the bottom-six lines, which has struggled all year to support the offense in Calgary.
However, Rutherford might be arguing over what the Flames are offering... While the Penguins have made it clear they are looking for a boost on the back end, Brodie is not expected to be their first choice of trade target. The Penguins would most likely prefer to land Hamilton, not Brodie, as part of the return for Kessel.
And there is a pretty good chance this would be a cause for quite the argument during negotiations and a deal breaker for the Flames. Of course, this is all assuming Kessel will accept a trade to Calgary. Rutherford has yet to deny all the trade chatter surrounding his forward, however many believe such a major move is not expected to take place this summer.
Yeah... This has all the elements to be a heated conversation...