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Phil Kessel doesn’t look like a player who’s going to play in the NHL this season
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

After months of waiting, Phil Kessel finally has another chance to play professional hockey. After signing to train with the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks, he took his first skate with his new teammates, and let’s just say it didn’t go unnoticed.

The images show Phil Kessel struggling to keep up. He looks exhausted between exercises. One wonders if he ate two or three too many hot dogs haha. Seriously, he’ll have to work hard to get back to the big league by the end of the season.

The Canucks are having an excellent season and the timing of the hire is quite interesting. Some see his hiring as a good thing, as his arrival adds depth and Kessel doesn’t arrive as a savior. In the worst-case scenario, he’ll be released.

However, some see his arrival as a possible distraction for the team. He’ll certainly get a lot of media attention and could damage the team’s momentum.

The reality lies somewhere between the two scenarios. As long as he doesn’t become a distraction and is able to contribute, it’s great depth for the British Columbia team.

The Golden Knights adopted a similar strategy with him in last year’s playoffs. After playing every regular-season game, he played only 4 games in the playoffs. He stayed pretty much on the sidelines, but was there if a player got hurt.

Obviously, Kessel has talent and it doesn’t evaporate, but it looks like his path to the NHL will be longer this time around.

In a gust

– A fascinating recruit.

– Good point.

– What a beautiful gesture!

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