Ever since rumors emerged that the Pittsburgh Penguins could try to move top forward Phil Kessel due to the sour relationship that lingers between the veteran player and team head coach Mike Sullivan, the chatter is deafening.
It all started a few days ago when a huge trade rumor leaked out when 105.9 FM radio host Mark Madden revealed that his sources had informed him that the Penguins were actively shopping Kessel to rival teams in an effort to trade him. Madden cited sources both close to the team as well as Kessel himself, adding that the forward himself would be ok with the idea of being traded by the franchise.
At the same time as the Kessel rumors took over the NHL, another name was placed in the mix as a potential trade bait; this time, it was Arizona Coyotes young forward Max Domi. Duringthe latest episode of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast, host and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that the Pens have their eye on Domi and could make a move to land the 23-year-old sooner rather than later.
“One of the things I heard just around the Cup Final is that I think the Penguins have interest in him," Friedman stated, reminding his audience that the Penguins are actively planning make changes this offseason, which was indeed confirmed by general manager Jim Rutherford on the team’s dressing room clean out day.
However, let's not get carried away. We say that, but it seems to be too late, as one Coyotes insider, Craig Morgan of AZCentral had to stop the ongoing nonsense surrounding both player.
On Friday, Morgan tweeted out: "Some of the trade rumors I see are downright laughable. Max Domi AND the 5th overall pick for Phil Kessel. News flash: Barring a ridiculous offer, the Coyotes won't be trading the 5th overall pick."
There is a close relationship between Mario Lemieux and Domi's father, Tie, however, it is not believed that to be a driving factor behind any potential trade, especially in one as shocking as the one Morgan had to deny.
After scoring 18 goals during his rookie season, Domi only managed to score 18 goals combined over the two years since. Now a few weeks away from becoming a restricted free agent off his entry-level contract, the Coyotes could look to move him at the NHL Entry Draft or before.
However, they surely intend on keeping their first round pick.