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New York Rangers Reportedly On Phil Kessel's List Of Approved Teams

The New York Rangers are reportedly include din Kessle's approved teams list if he were to be traded.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

As the Toronto Maple Leafs continue their offseason transformation, Phil Kessel is -- not surprisingly -- being thrust back into the spotlight in terms of trade rumors and speculation. At this point the talk is very simply just speculation, but it is interesting to see the Rangers are on his list of approved teams.

From Bob McKenzie:

Kessel's limited NTC is believed to include eight teams he can be traded to. Prior to the trade deadline, TSN reported those eight teams were believed to be: Boston; Chicago; Los Angeles; Minnesota; Montreal; New York Rangers; Philadelphia; and Pittsburgh.

When the Rick Nash trade rumors first started a lot of people immediately noted a Kessel for Nash straight up deal would pretty much be a wash in terms of salary. Let me put those rumors to rest here: I can't imagine something like that happening. Nash and Kessel are actually pretty similar players on the ice (I dug deeper on this, it's a lot closer than you might think) but Nash has a much better contract in terms of future flexibility.

Nash has a $7.8-million cap hit for the next three years, while Kessel's $8-million hit is on Toronto's books until 2022. Kessel is only 27, but it's still an enormous contract that doesn't have much wiggle room for a team that's begging for it.

I can already sense a bunch of you wanting nothing to do with "locker room cancer" Kessel, but there really is little truth to those comments. The Toronto media (with a couple of notable exceptions) is full of dinosaurs who stir the pot because they don't know any better. Basically: Don't take anything they say about Kessel as truth. These are the same people who would keep Tyler Bozak and move Kessel in the same breath.

With all of that being said, I really don't expect the Rangers to do anything with this information. I would be shocked to see a Nash for Kessel swap, and the Rangers have no cap space to bring in someone like Kessel without moving significant salary to accommodate him. I wouldn't be surprised to see him get moved, but he's not coming to Broadway.

So let the rumors go crazy. I'm sure New York will be mentioned because it's New York, but there really aren't too many ways for something like this to happen that make sense for the Rangers.