Former Leaf shares story of Phil Kessel defying and insulting a former Leafs coach in front of the whole team

Published August 28, 2023 at 9:59

Since being traded to Pittsburgh, landing in Arizona and then joining Vegas, Phil Kessel has won three Stanley Cups and become the NHL's ironman, having played in 1,064 straight regular season games. Although he was not a fan favourite on the defensive side of the puck, his teammates loved him and have continued to share stories over the years. One of the best Kessel stories comes from his time in Toronto. The story comes from former Leafs defenseman John-Michael Liles and it relates to a very open disagreement between Kessel and former Leafs coach, Randy Carlyle.

Liles, during an appearance on the Missin' Curfew podcast, shared a hilarious story of Kessel ripping into Carlyle over a process that the coach was attempting to implement in Toronto. Liles explained that Carlyle had started team weigh-ins and had a specific weight that he believed players should be playing at. Liles said that Kessel's target weight from Carlyle was "15 or 20 pounds less than what Phil was playing at before Randy came in."

When the strength coach took the sheet to Carlyle and explained that Phil wouldn't weigh in. Carlyle began yelling at the Leafs' strength coach telling him Phil had to weigh in. The coach went back to Kessel and told him that Carlyle essentially commanded him to weigh-in. Kessel, purposely stuck his out of the dressing room and yelled, "You tell that fat f*** if he wants me to weigh in, he can come weigh me in himself."

This is just another example of what an entertaining guy Kessel really was during his time in Toronto. He has never shied away from taking shots at people, including the media, and has quietly become one of the funniest guys in the NHL because of it. He is, to this day, adored by his teammates wherever he's been.
August 28   |   173 answers
Former Leaf shares story of Phil Kessel defying and insulting a former Leafs coach in front of the whole team

Were you a fan of Phil Kessel during his time in Toronto?

Yes9756.1 %
No4425.4 %
It was a mixed bag for me3218.5 %
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