Phil Kessel wants to play and is open to making it work:https://t.co/VwKagpDFik
– Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 31, 2023
Admittedly, it’s a little hard not to like/respect Phil Kessel.
1,064 consecutive games played in the NHL is unheard of… And it takes character to get there.
Kessel is nearing the end of his career and is currently without a contract for next season. He’s as committed to his consecutive game streak as any other guy in his position…
But Kessel is ready to put it aside to find a job “somewhere” in the big leagues, and he’s made that clear to the various NHL GMs.
Phil Kessel will celebrate his 36th birthday in October (on the 2nd) and, like most players his age, he’s starting to slow down considerably.
But Kessel has (and always has had) the qualities to help a team at certain levels in particular, such as on the power play. He’s a powerplay specialist because of his vision and the quality of his wrist shot, and any Stanley Cup contender needs a guy like him.
That said, he’s appreciated throughout the NHL for who he is. Jason Demers, who worked with him in Arizona, describes him as a great guy in the dressing room:
The fact that Phil Kessel is still a UFA is 🤯! For a team that’s rebuilding or a contender he’s incredible to have in the locker room. Guy loves the game and is willing to give up his Ironman streak he just wants to compete. #3cups @nhl @NHLNetwork
– jason demers (@jasondemers5) August 31, 2023
Add to all this the fact that Kessel has won the Stanley Cup three times and knows what it takes to go all the way. That should attract the various teams on the Bettman circuit, sooner or later…
I don’t expect him to get a job tomorrow, but I think he will between now and the start of the season.
Let’s not forget that there will be positions opening up with the injuries that will occur at the various training camps. That should help him in his search.
– Well, well, well. Speak of the devil.
Phil Kessel in his most recent season in the NHL:
82 Games (of course)
– 14 Goals (8 wrist shot goals)
– 36 Points
– 12 EVG
– 149 Shots (9.4% Shooting percentage)
– +9 Takeaway Differential
– $1.4m Market Value via The Athletic
Is he worth a roster spot? pic.twitter.com/9J4F5JLvdn
– Big Head Hockey (@BigHeadHcky) August 31, 2023
– I can’t wait to see him in action.
Connor Bedard is yet to play a game in the NHL but players are already saying he has unbelievable talent. #LetsGoPenshttps://t.co/ri8QOcepXe
– Inside the Penguins (@InsidePenguins) August 31, 2023
Kraken goaltender Joey Daccord’s new mask though. 🤩
– Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 31, 2023
– Attention CEGEPs:
CEGEP NIGHTS presented by @DesjardinsCoop are BACK!
For only $47, attend a Wednesday or Thursday home game at the Bell Centre! #GoHabsGo
– Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL) August 31, 2023
– Does it feel like the end?