Should the Pittsburgh Penguins trade for Max Domi?
Max Domi is a restricted free agent on July 1 and the Arizona Coyotes feel like they may not be able to re-sign him and that it may be better for them to use his talent to get something in return for him before then. A couple of teams are interested in him, including the Pittsburgh Penguins. Should the Penguins trade for him?
Apparently Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux and Max Domi's father Tie Domi, a former NHL player, are very good friends. That would help the cause right away. Also, the team's general manager Jim Rutherford claimed in his season-ending press conference that there will be changes to the Penguins' roster for the 2018-19 season.
Domi scored nine goals and recorded 36 assists in 82 games with the Arizona Coyotes last season. His plus/minus was -7. In his career, he has scored 36 goals and recorded 99 assists. His plus/minus is -13. Domi was drafted 12th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. He still has very good potential at the NHL, as he is just 23 years old.
The Arizona Coyotes head coach is Rick Tocchet and he has a very good relationship with Penguins star Phil Kessel. Tocchet was one of the assistant coaches when the Pittsburgh Penguins won back-to-back titles.
Kessel scored 34 goals and recorded 58 assists in 82 games last season. His plus/minus was -4. In 12-playoff games, he scored just one goal and recorded eight assists. His plus/minus was -5.
The reason why I mentioned Phil Kessel's name is because there is a possible rift between him and Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan. Kessel did help the Penguins to two Stanley Cup titles and he played hurt during the 2018 postseason.
He is owed $6.8 million for the next few seasons before he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2020-21 season. A good trade for both sides would be Phil Kessel for Max Domi and the fifth overall pick in the upcoming NHL draft.
The Penguins could draft a defenseman with the fifth overall pick and they could develop him. Pittsburgh would most likely have a choice between Evan Bouchard, Quinton Hughes, Noah Dobson, and Adam Boqvist. They don't have any really uprising defensemen in their farm system.
This would be a good trade for both sides. Pittsburgh would get younger and also get a player on the wing with grit and offensive skill. Arizona would get a veteran presence in the locker room and bring them closer to being a playoff team. They are already closer to being a playoff team than people think.