Penguins add high-scoring Kessel in trade with Maple Leafs

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 01, 2015 4:06 PM

(Reuters) - The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired high-scoring forward Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a deal involving six players and three draft picks on Wednesday.

Kessel, along with forward Tyler Biggs, defenseman Tim Erixon and a 2016 second-round draft pick, went to Pittsburgh for defenseman Scott Harrington, forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Spaling and first and third-round draft picks in 2016.

Toronto will also cover $1.25 million per year of Kessel's salary.

The move came on the first day of NHL free agent signing.

Kessel, who had 25 goals in 82 games last season and has scored more than 20 goals in seven straight seasons, is signed for seven seasons with an $8 million salary-cap charge, according to war-on-ice.com.

The five-time 30-goal scorer gives the Penguins a top wing to play with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.

Erixon split time between three teams last season, playing in 42 games for the Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks, and has two goals and 14 points in 93 regular season games in four seasons.

Biggs, the 22nd pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, had seven goals and 39 penalty minutes in 57 games last season with the Maple Leafs' America Hockey League affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.

The deal brought an infusion of youth to the rebuilding Leafs.

Kapanen, 18, was the Penguins' first-round pick (No. 22) in the 2014 NHL Draft. Harrington, 22, was Pittsburgh's second-round pick (No. 54) in 2011.

Kapanen had five points in seven games in the Calder Cup playoffs with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season.

Spaling, 26, played in 82 games for the Penguins last season with nine goals and 27 points.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Gene Cherry)