Walk with me here.
It would kind of be like how you would feel if you were chewing a specific type of gum you enjoyed for going on 5 years.
You roll into the gum store and buy a new pack of it.
You’re like, “My mouth is about to taste better” as it has every single other time you’ve bought that pack of gum.
You go in for a piece out of the little silver tray thing, but instead of the first piece being an untouched, pristine crystal structure of minty freshness, you stick your finger into a wet, warm, already chewed piece of gum.
You pull out your finger, and you’re like, fuck, that’s not what I wanted even a little bit.
You find out that’s what they sell now, instead of what you wanted.
Can you imagine how disappointed you’d be in the moment that you find out your favorite gum now sells pieces of chewed garbage as opposed to lovely minty treats?
“How did this happen?!” You’d ask yourself in dismay.
Right now, how I feel in this momemt, it’s probably something like that. I feel like how I feel now is how I would feel if that happened to me.
Just the most underwhelmingly shitty thing ever.
Still though, it’s what you got.
That’s how this stupid fucking trade feels.
It’s just like, the least enticing trade return on a star player in recent memory.
I believe if you’re going to keep Mike Sullivan he needs to chill the fuck out and be a better coach. Stop blaming your players through the media and do a better job. I put this trade on him, and not in a good way. As in, sure Rutherford and Sullivan won two Cups instead of one (like Bylsma and Shero) but holy shit are they treading a fine line here on making stupid fucking decisions.
One thing I’ve started to notice is how they routinely fail to take responsibility for their continuously POOR personnel decisions.
Like how about this for a quote from the management of the team: “My name is Jim Rutherford/Mike Sullivan/fucking Jacques Martin and I made a mistake with this trade/signing/personnel decision and now we are paying for it in this specific way but I’m going to do something to fix it or at least make it less bad but like I did do that so my bad, yo.”
Instead of something that seems to always happen, like these types of shenanigans from somewhere in the team that the media always eats up: “Malkin, Letang, and Kessel, not in that order, all fucking suck. For sure. We might trade them because we lost, and it’s their faults. For sure. Crosby though? I just got finished sucking his dick. And let me tell you, it never gets old.”
(Nothing against Sid I love him too, but he is the Golden Boy and that’s how they fucking treat him. It’s stupid, but a topic for another piece.)
It’s always, to some degree, “Blame the star players and talk about trading them!” Which is lazy and 90% of the time bullshit as well.
Ask yourself though, would you rather have Fleury, Phil, and a guy off the street.
or Mike Sullivan, Matt Murray, and Alex Galchenyuk?
If you were looking at a lineup that would win it all RIGHT NOW THIS SEASON
FOR THE CUP
CHIPS ON THE TABLE
LAST YEAR THE NHL EXISTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE ENTIRE WORLD
WHICH LINEUP DO YOU WANT?!
GIVE ME THE FLOWER AND PHIL WITH A FUCKIN’ WACKY INFLATABLE TUBE MAN YOU SON OF A BITCH
I DON’T GIVE A DAMN
THEY’RE BETTER PLAYERS RIGHT NOW IN THEIR CAREERS THAN THE OTHER PLAYERS INVOLVED IN THAT SCENARIO
S’fuckin’ no-brainer, ok?
Why can’t Sullivan or Rutherford see that then? Could it because some combination of their leadership wants the credit for success, but not defeat, and can’t have their fingerprints all over those players?
To some extent, I’d say probably, and I’m not into it.
The trade itself looked like this
To Arizona: Phil the Thrill Kessel, a 4th round pick down in 2021, and some random scrub D man who doesn’t matter that maybe Tocchet likes named Bane Dirks.
To Pittsburgh: A crushed bag of Gravy Biscuits flavored Utz chips that got stepped on with a human foot.
(in other words, Alex Galchenyuk and Pierre-Oliver Joseph)
Now to be real here, Joseph (the prospect that came back in the deal) is a good get, except he is nowhere near making an NHL roster so for a WIN NOW team, who the fuck cares. What this trade comes down to is Phil for pennies on the dollar for Alex Galchenyuk.
This is a really bad trade because, clearly, Alex Galchenyuk is not even close to the player that Phil is, and he most likely never will be.
He isn’t a physical guy. He plays wing because even though he was drafted as a center. Last year Arizona tried him at center. It didn’t work.
He does not hit whatsoever. Last two seasons combined he scored 38 goals, whereas Phil is coming off a season where he scored “ONLY” 27.
People who were saying “all Phil’s points come on the Power Play so he isn’t that good!” this guy Galchenzzafuck, he fuckin’ scored 41 points last year and over 50% of that came with the man advantage.
For perspective, he is much more reliant than Phil (51% to 44%) for his production to come from the Power Play, while ALSO being much worse than Phil at actually producing on it (36PPP for the Thrill to 21 for GalchensApunk).
Little more perspective: Phil had 46 points at 5v5 last year (15 goals, 31 assist) which was 5 more than Gally had TOTAL points.
So you see, when you look at how truly GREAT Phil is RIGHT NOW and how truly MEDIOCRE AT BEST Alex Galchenyuk is RIGHT NOW this trade is a hands down big time loss for the Pens at a time when a win was sorely needed.
THIS TRADE MAKES THE TEAM ACTIVELY WORSE AND DIDN’T EVEN CLEAR SIGNIFICANT CAP SPACE
The supposed main point of a deal involving Phil, besides that Sullivan wanted him gone, was cap space. Rutherford’s quibbling ass kept saying to the media things like “Well guys, you know, I would have much more cap space to use, if Phil and his pesky clause hadn’t vetoed that trade to Minnesota!”
I call bullshit. In that proposed deal with Minnesota, he was taking back 9.5M in salary (Zucker at 5.5M+Rask at 4M) and clearing only 10.05 (Kessel at 6.8+Johnson at 3.25) for a net gain of fuckin’ .55M , or $550,000. If you clear a little over a half a mill on one deal you don’t get pumped about those cap savings. That isn’t a deal you would classify as “cap-clearing”.
It is, frankly, almost entirely insignificant to your overall cap figure, unless you want to fuckin’ split hairs and spend to within a million of the cap, which by the way, basically NO teams EVER do.
So yea, they stuck with that narrative in the trade that went through to Arizona as well, even though it is still entirely BS because that one opened up a measly 1.9M in room. This false narrative has been spread to paint a turd and call it something other than a turd, people.
1.9 is again, barely anything, and if he were to have just followed my ideas in this piece, which he still should do by the fucking way, he would be able to clear legitimate room.
This trade didn’t open up enough space to justify it’s existence, the player we got back is a poor man’s Phil Kessel AT BEST and a one year rental of a shitty player AT WORST, in a season that we are in WIN NOW mode.
If Galchenyuk plays bad this year and we don’t resign him, could this go down as one of the worst trades of all time? Yes.
Phil Kessel more than fit with this team; he was a core piece of its existence and integral to the back to back championships in ’16 and’17. Without him we don’t win those Cups. Without Sullivan? I can’t call that. But, I know without a shadow of a doubt that without Phil we do not win either of those Cups.
I could have seen them winning every year for the next three years actually, if you had kept them all together.
It’s done now, but it’s clear that Rutherford has actively made the team worse with this return on Kessel. But I’m sure Sullivan thinks he can make Gally into a player that he hasn’t been his entire career. Here’s hopin’.
For Arizona, this is a fantastic deal. Phil immediately becomes their best player. They needed goalscoring, badly. Last year they were a good team with insane injury issues. This year, coming in healthy, it’s time they made the playoffs.
We’ll see how Schmaltz, Dvorak, and some of their other guys do this year, but this is a team on the rise, and they just got a player that makes them a much better squad immediately.
I saw the Arizona/Tocchet connection, but I just didn’t see how they would fit Phil in with their cap structure.
I’ll be rooting for you always, best of luck dude, I hope you guys kill it in that division it’s going to be a toughie this year. In my eyes, and in the eyes of any true fan really, you’ll always be an honorary yinzer and welcomed back any time with open arms.
I’m sorry that this shit happened with you, I don’t know how rude you actually were lol, but I feel like you wouldn’t have been like that unless it was warranted in some way.
Sullivan seems like a bit of a dickhole, anyway.
I fuckin’ love you bro and I want you to know that just because all this bullshit happened around your dumb as fuck trade off the team, doesn’t mean anything you did has lost value and there are people here that can see beyond the veil of bullshit the local media has generally been peddling.
You’re the fuckin’ man, Phil.
Thank you for killin’ it while you were here!
I wish it would of worked out, for real. Your actions directly assisted in providing me with what will most likely become some of my fondest memories as a sports fan.
Get nice on those card rooms in Vegas man!
Here is a rare semi pro-Phil Pittsburgh media article that correctly points out how important he was to those 2 most recent Cup wins. Refreshing to see that type of take. Kessel having to be “handled” is not how I would put it, because as a human being, that can be avoided with compromise and coherent communication. Also, that return isn’t a good enough player right now, but I digress.
Someday, I hope we get to to hear Phil’s real truth.