Penguins Have No One But Themselves to Blame for Phil Kessel Crossroads

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 18:  Phil Kessel #81 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotagainst the Arizona Cardinalsat Gila River Arena on January 18, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins v Arizona Coyotes | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The rumors started swirling late last season regarding Phil Kessel's tenure with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The first story regarding the potential of a trade broke, and with it, a long process was started that would see various reports and claims ultimately lead to the winger being dealt to Arizona on Saturday.

The publicity of these events coupled with the dispute between Penguins GM Jim Rutherford and Kessel has ultimately lead to a nasty break-up, one that falls solely on the Penguins shoulders. Rutherford said that the trade was made due to the countless requests made by Kessel throughout the season.

Phil the Thrill, however, does not see it that way. He claims he was told by Rutherford told him his time as a Penguin was up.

This is not a good look for a proud organization, especially when the end result is the loss of a key component to their back-to-back Stanley Cup championship teams.

Frankly, the miscommunication and mismanagement of the situation is a black eye on the Penguins and has tainted their relationship with one of the game's most intriguing players.

Rutherford coming to Kessel and telling him that he will no longer wear the sweater he has proudly worn for the past few seasons would be more than enough reason for him to request a trade and leave the Penguins. If that was the case, this is an ugly situation that will more than likely never see a real resolution.