Penguins trade Kessel to Coyotes
Mike Stobe / National Hockey League / Getty

The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded forward Phil Kessel, defenseman Dane Birks, and a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for forward Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph, the teams announced on Saturday.

Pittsburgh isn't retaining salary in the deal, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. There are three years remaining on Kessel's current contract with an annual cap hit of $6.8 million.

Arizona now holds just $1.7 million in projected cap space with a roster of 20, and the team possesses the second-highest cap hit in the NHL.

Kessel joined the Penguins ahead of the 2015-16 season, and he was a key contributor to the club's back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017. In 328 games with Pittsburgh, the 31-year-old recorded 110 goals and 303 points, including a career-high 92-point season in 2017-18.

The deal also reunites Kessel with Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet, who was an assistant coach with the Penguins from 2014 to 2017.

The Coyotes ranked 28th offensively last season, and Kessel can provide a much-needed scoring boost. The sharpshooter recorded 35 more points than Arizona's leading scorer Clayton Keller last campaign.

Galchenyuk was traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Coyotes last summer and recorded 19 goals and 41 points this past season. Selected with the third overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, the 25-year-old hasn't been able to reach his full potential. However, he's flashed promise at times, reaching the 30-goal mark in 2015-16.

The Coyotes selected Joseph with the 23rd overall pick in 2017.

Penguins trade Kessel to Coyotes
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