Penguins' head coach Mike Sullivan has denied an alleged rift with Kessel that has been publicly simmering for the last six weeks.
Reports surfaced in early May that Kessel was unhappy he wasn't given enough ice-time on Evgeni Malkin's line. Then just before the NHL Entry Draft, another report suggested Kessel wasn't opposed to getting traded to another club. The Coyotes were named as a desirable destination. While he and Kessel have disagreed from time to time, Sullivan was quick to say, "A lot of what's been written ... has been false. I know where my relationship is with Phil, and I certainly have a comfort level with it. I think Phil does, too." Kessel posted a career-best 92-point effort this past year and has won two Cups. But this isn't the first time that attitudinal issues have surfaced about the shy, but intense sniper.