Pittsburgh beat writer Ron Cook wrote up a clickbaity article the other day about how Kessel could be on his way out of Pittsburgh due to the departure of coach Rick Tocchet, who he was very close to. We audibly laughed about this on the podcast because it is so incredibly dumb to trade a guy who is nearly PPG in the playoffs the last two years just because he doesn’t have his buddy around anymore. Now, with all of the success Pittsburgh has had recently, it is certainly possible Kessel could become a cap casualty, but if I’m Jim Rutherford, I’m doing all I can to keep a guy like Kessel. Then a tweet came out that made this situation a little more interesting.
This is, uh, interesting? pic.twitter.com/FyZpatMWQn
— Travis Yost (@travisyost) July 15, 2017
Surely this isn’t the first time in sports when a coach and a player don’t talk to each other, but it is certainly surprising in this case. Here, it sounds like Sullivan doesn’t necessarily hate Kessel, he just doesn’t really care to talk to him. We’ve seen Kessel be a little short with the Toronto media when he was with the Leafs, so maybe Phil is just a bit more short-fused than we all thought. I hate to speculate especially because I love Phil Kessel, and Sullivan is making his case for being the best coach in the league. If Kessel does get traded someway down the line, it’ll be very interesting to see the aftermath and if there was reasons behind it other than just the salary cap.