We have a shocking report in the National Hockey League, although considering the source we aren't comfortable calling this more than a rumor.
A report from Steve Simmonds of the Toronto Sun may have revealed why there have been so many trade rumors swirling around Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel, and it may have something to do with the state of his relationship with Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan.
Here's what Simmonds wrote for the Toronto Star(emphasis our own):
Mike Sullivan had a deal with Rick Tocchet when the two were together with the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Tocchet, the assistant coach, dealt with Phil Kessel. That way Sullivan, who didn’t want to talk to him, didn’t have to.
Of course Tocchet is now head coach of the Arizona Coyotes, and if Mike Sullivan genuinely doesn't want anything to do with Kessel, the departure of Tocchet seriously complicates things for him.
It has to be noted here that Simmonds has been heavily criticized in the past specifically when it comes to his reports about Kessel, with one story in particular earning Simmonds the wrong kind of notoriety. It's for that reason that we will wait for another source to echo this report before labeling it anything more than just a rumor.
Photo Credit: Keystone Press