Phil Kessel
Photo credit: CBS Sports

Some unfortunate news to announce regarding Phil Kessel

Published March 9, 2024 at 11:08

It was a busy day in the NHL with a multitude of intriguing trades taking up the media space. One of the under the radar things that didn't happen was the Vancouver Canucks and free agent forward Phil Kessel agreeing on a contract.

It seemed like a forgone conclusion that we would see Kessel in a Canucks jersey after he was brought to Abbotsford last month to work with the franchise's AHL affiliate. Kessel and Vancouver needed to agree on a contract before the trade deadline for him to be eligible to play in the playoffs. In the end, the fit just wasn't there for the Canucks.

"Phil is a great person. Well respected. Wanted to play. Some roster complications and how we want to play (and) he wasn't a fit for us," - Canucks GM Patrik Allvin

The former Leaf's career outlook is murky at best right now. The 36-year-old, was never known to have the most athletic build, and after a full season away, it is tough to imagine him being in peak shape right now.

Kessel played for the Maple Leafs for six seasons from 2009 to 2015 after coming to the trade via a trade with the Boston Bruins. The American's time with the Leafs was filled with individual success but the same success wasn't carried over in the playoffs. Toronto only made the playoffs once during his tenure in 2013. Kessel and the Leafs were eliminated by the Bruins in Game 7 in an epic collapse that saw the team blow a three goal lead in the third period. It is still one of the worst choke jobs in the team's history.

Kessel's mix of unique personality and sheer talent was a joy to experience during his sixteen seasons in the NHL. If this is truly the end, it will be a sad way for the three-time Stanley Cup champion to go out. Over his very successful career, Kessel scored 413 goals and 992 points in 1286 games.
March 9   |   588 answers
Some unfortunate news to announce regarding Phil Kessel

Do you think Phil Kessel belongs in the Hall of Fame?

Yes, he has the hardware to back him up28248 %
No, wasn't dominant enough individually30652 %
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