Kessel: Penguins GM 'mistaken' about alleged trade request

Joe Sargent / National Hockey League / Getty

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford and Phil Kessel are telling two different stories regarding the forward's alleged trade demands leading up to his departure from the team.

Kessel was traded to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, and Rutherford claims the three-time All-Star asked to be moved on several occasions, according to The Athletic's Sean Gentille.

When asked about Rutherford's comments, Kessel offered a different account.

"I'm not sure that's exactly what happened. Jim came to me one time and said... I'll never be a Penguin again,'" Kessel said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Jonathan Bombulie. "I think he's mistaken a little bit there. But I don't want to get involved in that. I'm not here to tell what really happened and the real truth, but whatever Jim wants to say."

Kessel had been featured in trade rumors multiple times throughout his tenure in Pittsburgh, but it's unclear if the winger ever requested to be dealt.

The Wisconsin native had an eight-team trade list and reportedly nixed a deal to the Minnesota Wild last month.

Kessel never missed a game with the Penguins, contributing 303 points in 328 games.

Kessel: Penguins GM 'mistaken' about alleged trade request
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