FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Saturday, June 29, 2019
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - Arizona Coyotes President of Hockey Operations and General Manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have acquired forward Phil Kessel, defenseman Dane Birks and a 2021 fourth round draft choice from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph.
"Phil Kessel is a proven winner, an elite goal scorer and one of the most productive point producers in the NHL for a sustained period of time," said President of Hockey Operations and General Manager John Chayka. "His dynamic scoring ability fits a specific need for this team and instantly elevates us to another level."
"Bringing in one of the premier scorers in the NHL-and a two-time Stanley Cup champion-demonstrates Mr. Meruelo's commitment to winning and to doing whatever it takes to make this organization great," said President & CEO Ahron Cohen. "This team is on the rise and today is an important acceleration forward for our organization and our amazing fans here in Arizona."
The 31-year-old Kessel registered 27-55-82 and 28 penalty minutes (PIM) in 82 games with the Penguins last season. He also scored a career-high 10 GWGs and tied his career-high with 12 PPGs. His 82 points were tied for his second-highest single season point total.
The 6-foot, 202-pound native of Madison, Wisconsin has recorded 357-466-823 and 298 PIM in 996 career NHL games with the Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. Kessel has played in 774 consecutive games, which is the third-longest consecutive games played streak in the NHL.
The three-time NHL All-Star currently ranks tenth in games played, eighth in goals, 16th in assists, 11th in points 12th in power play points and sixth in game-winning goals among all NHL players since 2006-07. Among American-born players, Kessel has the most goals and only trails Patrick Kane in points over the past 13 seasons.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion has scored 25 goals or more in nine of the past 11 seasons and only Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby have had more 25-goal seasons since Kessel entered the NHL in 2006-07.
Kessel was originally drafted by the Bruins in the first round (fifth overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
The 23-year-old Birks collected 1-13-14 and 64 PIM in 65 games with Wheeling (ECHL) and played in one game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season.
In his lone season with the Coyotes, Galchenyuk registered 19-22-41 and 34 PIM in 72 games.
Joseph recorded 9-38-47 and 62 PIM in 62 games with Drummondville and Charlottetown (QMJHL) in 2018-19.