Kessel willing to make a major sacrifice in order to continue his NHL career

Ryan Smitheram
August 31, 2023  (12:16)

Phil Kessel was drafted in the 1st round, 5th overall, by Boston in the 2006 NHL Draft. He spent just 3 seasons with the Bruins before being traded to Toronto for a package that included a pair of first round picks that turned into Dougie Hamilton and Tyler Seguin.

During his time in Toronto, Kessel was a polarizing figure that could score at will, but had lapses in his defensive game. In the summer of 2015, as the Leafs embarked upon a top-to-bottom rebuild, Kessel was traded to Pittsburgh, where he would go on to win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 before winning a third this past season in Vegas. Not only did Kessel win his third Cup this season, but he also broke Keith Yandle's ironman streak and has currently played 1,064 straight regular season games.
Today on The Jeff Marek Show, Elliotte Friedman revealed that Kessel would still like to continue his career next season and that he is willing to make a large sacrifice to do so. Friedman reported that Kessel is willing to forgo his ironman streak and is okay not being an everyday player if it means landing a new contract. His ironman streak could have been what has made finding a new team so difficult this off-season at the age of 35. If you recall, two seasons ago, Panthers players essentially pulled a "Rudy" when it was reported that Keith Yandle's streak was going to be broken as he was scheduled to be a healthy scratch at the time.
Kessel has clearly not eaten enough hot dogs out of the Stanley Cup and wants to go for a fourth Cup. In addition to wanting a chance at another Cup, Kessel is just 8 points away from 1,000 in his career and he can still be a fairly productive offensive player for a team looking for secondary scoring in a pure depth role as a 12th or 13th forward.
Kessel scored 14 times and put up 36 points last season and given that he is eligible to sign a one-year minimum contract that is bonus laden, where the bonuses can be slid to next season, he could end up being an enticing option for teams tight against the cap.
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Kessel willing to make a major sacrifice in order to continue his NHL career

Will Kessel's ironman streak end this season?

Yes15074.6 %
No3014.9 %
Unsure2110.4 %
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