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Penguins and Wild Reportedly Discussing Phil Kessel Trade

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - APRIL 10: Nick Bjugstad #27 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates a first period goal by Phil Kessel #81 against Robin Lehner #40 of the New York Islanders in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on April 10, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett

It seems more likely by the day that Phil Kessel's tenure in Pittsburgh is coming to an anti-climactic close. The Penguins have reporteldy begun to shop him around, and according to the latest buzz, the Minnesota Wild have been in discussions over potentially acquiring the disgruntled 31-year-old wing.

Kessel is good friends with Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter going back to their time together with Team USA. That relationship is not to be underestimated as this process plays itself out.

The Wild are in need of some offensive firepower, as they ranked just 27th in the NHL in goals per game. Kessel, who piled up 27 goals and 55 assists last season, would certainly give Bruce Boudreau's squad some added scoring punch and creativity.

The Wild finished at the bottom of the Central Division this season with just 83 points, in large part due to their lack of the kind of a guy who could take scoring pressure off Zach Parise and Eric Staal. Kessel could be that type of talent, so Minnesota should leave no stone unturned in pursuit of an acceptable deal.