Phil Kessel, NHL recordholder? Has a nice ring to it!

Published April 2, 2022 at 11:40
BY MIKE ARMENTI
According to a report coming out of Philadelphia on Saturday, it appears as though Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel could take over as the NHL's new recordholder for consecutive games played early next season.

Per Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Mike Yeo has confirmed that the NHL's current ironman streak recordholder, defenseman Keith Yandle, will not be in the Flyers' lineup, effectively ending his streak at 989 games, just 11 games shy of the 1000 consecutive games mark.

Kessel, who currently sits second on the all-time list with 968 consecutive games played sits just 21 games back of Yandle, but with only 14 games remaining this season, Kessel will be unable to catch up to Yandle this year.

The 34-year-old forward is a pending UFA and ultimately controls his own fate this summer. I would imagine that a part of his ask in free agency, if he chooses to move on from Arizona, will be to have a handshake deal in place that would allow him to break Yandle's existing record before becoming eligible to be a healthy scratch. If Kessel plays every game between now and the end of the season for the Yotes, he'll need to play just the first 7 games next season to tie Yandle, 8 to take over as the new recordholder at 990 consecutive games played.


A two-time Stanley Cup Champion, Kessel may elect to remain in Arizona, where he and his better half just celebrated the birth of their first child. Not only would Kessel pretty much be guaranteed playing time in Arizona and a chance to run up his streak to well over 1000 consecutive games, but he would also be able to keep his young family where they are in Phoenix. It's a scenario that I could very much see unfolding. Of course, we'll have to wait and see.

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