Rumour Report: New frontrunner in Kessel sweepstakes

Things continue to intensify on the trade front as a new contender emerges for Phil Kessel.

Developing story: a new team has leapt to the front of the pack in the Kessel sweepstakes.

Last week most indications suggested Kessel would be interested in a change of scenery, perhaps to a quiet market like Arizona.

Rumblings have long been building that the Kessel experiment in Pittsburgh had run its course.

A new frontrunner appears to have surfaced: the Minnesota Wild. Kessel is a Wisconsin native and attended the University of Minnesota, making this a pretty logical landing spot.

Kessel rises to 75% on the trade rumour board.

The Wild, meanwhile, have been looking to shake things up. Rumblings have suggested Jason Zucker, Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, Victor Rask or a slew of other players could be on the move in a Kessel deal. Outside of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, all bets are off.

The Penguins are also believed to be dangling defenseman Olli Maatta, though not necessarily part of a Kessel trade.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Sounds like Kessel has refused to waive his no trade clause for Minnesota. That doesn't necessarily mean he won't go there; he is likely trying to protect the integrity of the NTC.

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