The Los Angeles Kings made a massive acquisition early Thursday morning, acquiring star right winger Phil Kessel from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a package that included a first round draft pick, prospects Jordan Kyrou and Erik Cernak, and cash. "What an exciting time to be a Kings fan!" exclaimed Kings' General Manager Toni just moments after acquiring the American superstar.
Phil Kessel, who has a goal and four assists through five games this season, will join Calder Trophy winner Auston Matthews on the Kings' top line. "Phil Kessel? Wow. What a great opportunity this is going to be," said Matthews after the morning skate. It seemed he was unaware the trade had gone down before being asked about his thoughts on getting the opportunity to centre Kessel. Miikka Salomaki will continue to play on Matthews' left side. "It's a real incredible opportunity to play with such great players. I'm just going to keep my stick on the ice and stay focused on my game, said the 25-year old Finnish. Salomaki has two assists so far through 4 games this season.
In Jordan Kyrou, the Kings lose a top prospect who they had high expectations for in the coming years. "It's a high price to pay, but to return such an elite and skilled player in Phil, it's really a no brainer," said Toni.
The deal is pending league approval, but it is expected to be approved this afternoon and Kessel will likely join the team for tomorrow's game in Toronto. The Kings are in Ottawa tonight as they look to improve on their 2-1-1 start to the season.