ARIZONA COYOTES

Coyotes didn’t get ‘right pieces’ in offers for Jakob Chychrun, Phil Kessel

Mar 21, 2022, 8:33 PM | Updated: 8:41 pm

Phil Kessel #81 and Jakob Chychrun #6 of the Arizona Coyotes warm up prior to action against the To...

Phil Kessel #81 and Jakob Chychrun #6 of the Arizona Coyotes warm up prior to action against the Toronto Maple Leafs in an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on February 11, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Coyotes 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes made a plethora of moves in the final 36 hours ahead of the NHL’s trade deadline on Monday.

But a couple of players who didn’t move despite being rumored to be in trade talks were forward Phil Kessel and defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong joined Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo after the deadline had passed to discuss the reasoning behind all of the team’s moves — and non-moves.

“You got to get the right pieces,” he explained. “I think that’s the most important thing out of the deal and there’s been a lot of noise about the deal that it was going to happen.

“You gotta remember at some point in time, when teams are going for the cup, they’re not going to break apart their team to give you the pieces that you need sometimes in a fair deal.”

Armstrong says it’s easier to get a deal done during the summer before the draft when there are more teams willing to make moves due to not being so restricted by the salary cap.

The Coyotes GM said the team did try to move Kessel, but the teams who were interested just weren’t able to make it work under the cap.

“That’s a huge thing when you’re doing deals in the NHL at the trade deadline,” Armstrong said. “It’s trying to get the money to match and teams just couldn’t do it and it prevented him from moving to another club.

“For us, it’s okay in the sense that we get Phil and he’s done a great job for us and he’s played extremely hard and played well for us.”

Kessel is also in the final year of his contract with the Coyotes, meaning he will be a free agent at the end of the season.

The 34-year-old two-time Stanley Cup champion currently holds the NHL’s longest active games played streak at 962, which featured Kessel departing in the first period of a game in Detroit to fly back to the Valley for the birth of his child on March 8.

“I think Phil was disappointed (not to be traded),” Armstrong said. “But at the same time, he’s just had a baby and he’s a young father and it gives him a chance to stay in Arizona and continue his game streak and be a part of our team and be a part of our rebuild.”

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