Insider makes one player the scapegoat for the Pens' downfall; expects major trade to get rid of him!

This is brutal and absurd! Don't you think?!

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We get it: Pittsburgh Penguins have been used to still be in the run for a Stanley Cup at this time of the year, and we can tell that Pens insiders and hockey reporters are to. It even seems that one in particular is quite upset over the fact that his vacation came in weeks early this spring, and is looking to blame one specific person for the Penguins' failure to win a third straight Cup. 

Let' see together if this makes sense. 

In his latest article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Ron Cook blames the sour relationship between top winger Phil Kessel and head coach Mike Sullivan for torpedoing the club’s hopes for a third consecutive Stanley Cup championship. Without holding back on the player who was acquired in the summer of 2015 from the Toronto Maple Leafs (along with with Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon and a second round pick in the 2016 draft (Kasper Bjorkqvist)) in return for Scott Harrington, Kasperi Kapanen, Nick Spaling, a first round pick in the 2016 draft (Sam Steel) and a third rounder in the 2016 draft (J.D. Greenway), the Pens insider explains how he deserved most of the blame. 

Cook feels that Kessel should be the scapegoat for the Penguins' downfall, calling him a difficult player to coach. At the end of the Penguins' season, general manager Jim Rutherford revealed that Kessel dealt with injuries throughout the regular season, despite playing in all 82 games. Kessel managed to have a career year this season, averaging more than a point per game for the first time in his career, but struggled in the postseason, recording just one goal in 12 games. Rutherford added that he believes Kessel's injuries were to blame for his dip in production.

"He's dealt with injuries all year," Rutherford said when asked if Kessel was injured in the playoffs. "He played through those during the whole regular season. I know some of those things he dealt with caught up with him. Nothing will require surgery."

Cook feels that Kessel should’ve taken some time off to rest during the season instead of being selfish and keeping his consecutive-games streak going. Despite all of his negative comments, Cook believes Kessel “probably will be back with the Penguins next season even though {he expects} Rutherford to seriously look into trading him.” 

The issue is finding the a taker for Kessel's massive contract, which runs through 2021-22 with an annual cap hit of $6.8 million according to the information provided by CapFriendly.

Cook seems to be the only Penguins insider willing to put all the blame on one player. Kessel might be hard to coach occasionally, but many other believe he will be back as a core member of the team, which will have another run at the Cup next spring. 

What do you think?