Tim Benz, Jonathan Bombulie examine Phil Kessel trade, new-look Penguins power play
Not only am I adjusting my body clock back to the Eastern time zone, I’m adjusting the podcast schedule, as well.
With my American Airlines debacle of a flight home from vacation, and with Mark Madden traveling back from Las Vegas, we’ll do our usual Madden Monday podcast on Tuesday.
Today, though, we are joined by Tribune-Review Penguins beat writer Jonathan Bombulie to break down the trade of Phil Kessel to Arizona.
Bombulie tells us how the mechanics of this deal finally came to pass and how much Kessel engineered the specifics of the transaction.
Also, we get into why the organization felt it needed to move on from Kessel and his $6.8 million contract, despite his 82-point season of a year ago.
Most importantly, how will the Penguins replace those points at even strength and on the power play?
Kessel’s departure also leads to other questions:
• Who will play on a line with Evgeni Malkin?
• Does this clear the way for head coach Mike Sullivan to get a contract extension?
• How will general manager Jim Rutherford use the slight gain in cap space?
Then there’s the matter of who the Penguins got in return for Kessel — Alex Galchenyuk. Bombulie and I attempt to figure out whether he’ll play wing or center, whether the Penguins can unlock what the Coyotes and Canadiens couldn’t and whether Galchenyuk can be an effective two-way player at even strength.
On top of those topics, we examine the two defensive prospects exchanged in the deal as Pierre-Olivier Joseph comes to Pittsburgh and Dane Birks heads to Arizona.