Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

Arizona sent Alex Galchenyuk and Pierre-Olivier Joseph to Pittsburgh in exchange for Kessel, Dane Birks and a 2021 fourth-round pick.

By Jenna West
June 29, 2019

The Penguins have traded Phil Kessel to the Coyotes, Arizona announced on Saturday.

The Coyotes sent Alex Galchenyuk and Pierre-Olivier Joseph to Pittsburgh in exchange for Kessel, defenseman Dane Birks and a 2021 fourth-round pick.

The Athletic's Rob Rossi reported on Friday that the Penguins and Kessel were at a standstill over a trade. Pittsburgh reportedly failed to trade Kessel previously and was interested in shipping him out before the start of free agency on July 1. Kessel has three years left remaining on his contract, which includes a clause that allows him to veto a trade unless it's with one of eight pre-approved teams (Arizona was on this list).

Kessel has spent the past four seasons with the Penguins after being traded from the Maple Leafs in 2015. He signed an eight-year, $64 million deal with Toronto in 2014.

Kessel, who hasn't missed a game since the 2012–13 season, scored 27 goals last year. He won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017, where he recorded 45 points in 49 playoff games. The veteran winger will reunite with coach Rick Tocchet, who was an assistant coach with the Penguins during their Cup runs.

"First and foremost, I want to thank Phil Kessel for his contributions to the Penguins. He was a key component to our success in winning back-to-back Stanley Cups. We couldn't have done it without him, and for that, we are grateful," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said in the team's official release. "With that being said, we are excited to welcome a young, skilled player in Alex, and add depth to our defense with first-round draft pick Pierre-Olivier Joseph."

Galchenyuk is coming off a 41-point season and his fifth straight season with 40 points or more. The 25-year-old center was drafted by the Canadiens in 2012, but was dealt to the Coyotes last year in a trade for Max Domi.

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