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Phil Kessel | Winger

Team: Pittsburgh Penguins
Age / DOB:  (27) / 10/2/1987
Ht / Wt:  6'0' / 202
Contract: view contract details

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Recent News

Phil Kessel is likely to start training camp on the same line as Sidney Crosby, according to coach Mike Johnston.
"We're looking at Crosby with Kessel and Malkin with Hornqvist," Johnston said. "On the left side, there are a number of players. Even right wingers like David Perron or Beau Bennett might be there. We want to see how a guy like Pascal (Dupuis) looks." The lines will probably be tinkered with during the Penguins' eight-game exhibition schedule, but it looks like Crosby will have a star winger by his side this season. Kessel is a five-time 30-goal scorer who has hit 80 points in two of his last four seasons. Aug 25 - 2:26 PM

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Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel took to Twitter on Sunday to thank Toronto Maple Leafs fans.

Kessel wrote: "I want to thank all of the Toronto fans for all the support you have shown me. I will miss you and this city and always consider Toronto home." He may not miss the Toronto media, but there's little doubt that he generated a lot of memories during his time with the enormous hockey market.
Aug 23 - 12:27 PM

Former Maple Leafs bench boss Ron Wilson thinks Phil Kessel will score at least 40 goals next season.

Kessel is expected to get a big boost from playing with either Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby after being acquired by the Penguins. We agree that Kessel is in a great position to surpass his career-high of 37 goals, which he set in 2011-12 and 2013-14 with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jul 14 - 11:53 AM

Phil Kessel says he's extremely excited to have been traded the other day to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"Being in Toronto, I got to play in one playoffs in all my years (six) there," Kessel said. "Hopefully, I'll get to play in many in Pittsburgh. I'm just so excited, I really am. For it to be Pittsburgh. . .with everything that franchise has meant and two of the best players in the world there … I never would have thought I'd have the chance to play with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, to play on a team like the Penguins. It's just amazing. I'm so pumped." Kessel had 25 goals and 61 points in 82 games in 2014-15, which is a down season by his standards. The Maple Leafs as a whole struggled last season though and obviously Crosby or Malkin will represent a huge upgrade over the centers he's worked with during his tenure with Toronto.
Jul 4 - 6:26 PM

Pittsburgh General Manager Jim Rutherford said he was excited to add winger Phil Kessel on Wednesday.

"I'm very excited about what happened today," Rutherford said on Wednesday. "We've worked on this deal with Toronto for a month, or over a month. It got a little bit of legs on draft day, but it really heated up last night, and we were able to complete the deal today." Kessel gives the Pens an elite scoring option on the wing for Sidney Crosby and/or Evgeni Malkin. The 27-year-old scored 25 goals and 61 points in 82 games with the Leafs last season. Kessel's numbers should spike now that he will be playing with other elite offensive players.
Jul 2 - 5:48 PM

Phil Kessel is supposed to start working out with Gary Roberts shortly.

The perceived problem with Kessel has been his apparent lack of conditioning but if he sticks with the program that Roberts will give him, he certainly will be a difference maker in Pittsburgh next season. Roberts, a former NHL star, runs a high performance gym in the Toronto-area and oversees many NHLers including Steve Stamkos. Look for a big season from 'Phil the Thrill' in Pittsburgh this season.
Jul 2 - 9:52 AM

Phil Kessel has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins along with Tyler Biggs and Tim Erixon and a second round pick in 2016 for Kasperi Kappanen, Scott Harrington, Nick Spaling and the Penguins first and third picks in 2016.

The Maple Leafs will retain some salary, rumored to be in the $1.25 million range for the next seven seasons. This is a huge acquisition for the Pens as Kessel will slot in alongside either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin and could score 40-50 goals provided he comes to Pittsburgh with the right attitude. The Maple Leafs were desperate to rid themselves of Kessel as he was rumored to be a cancer in the Buds' dressing room. We suspect Kessel will be on his best behavior when he reports to the Pens and we love the potential for him to bounce-back. Given that he has been one of the highest scoring wingers in the NHL over the last five seasons, Kessel is now a legitimate early second-round pick in hockey pools regardless of format.
Jul 1 - 12:57 PM

It appears that the Calgary Flames "kicked the tires" on possibly acquiring Toronto's Phil Kessel.

The deal never came to be, in part, because Toronto was not "not willing to retain any of Kessel's $8 million salary, although they were willing to take on player(s) from Calgary to alleviate the money," according to sources. Kessel is owed a $4M signing bonus on Wednesday July 1st, and it appears as unlikely as ever that he'll be off Toronto's books by then. Possible contracts Toronto might have been willing to take back include, Dennis Wideman ($5.25M cap hit), David Jones ($4M), and Mason Raymond ($3.15M). Calgary is currently about $15.2M under the cap ceiling as well.
Jun 30 - 8:11 PM

To the surprise of no one, Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said there's been plenty of interest from other teams in acquiring Phil Kessel.

"There's a lot of interest from other teams in him and well-deserved, the way he's produced over his career and the last several years," said Shanahan. "He had a down year last year — he knows it — we think he'll bounce back and other teams think he'll bounce back or we wouldn't be getting phone calls." Kessel still has seven years and $56 million remaining on his contract, which is going to be pricey for lots of clubs especially since Toronto isn't willing to retain any money in a transaction at this time despite rumors to the contrary. Shanahan said the team is "in no rush" to make a deal
Jun 25 - 6:22 PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs are willing to take back some salary in a potential Phil Kessel trade.

The asking price for Kessel will be high, but the Leafs are willing to give teams another incentive for making a trade. Toronto is beginning a long rebuild and they don't mind taking on a bad contract if it means they can get a great package of picks and youngsters for their veterans. Despite a tough 2014-15 season, Kessel remains an elite goal scorer at the NHL level.
Jun 21 - 12:02 PM

While Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf are available, the Maple Leafs are in no rush to make a trade that doesn’t make sense for them moving forward, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Toronto wants to improve its salary cap situation, which adds a wrinkle into what kind of deal will work. Kessel carries an $8 million cap hit, while Phaneuf’s is $7 million. "They're willing to take on salary providing you make it worth their while," Friedman said. "They’re not going to add for the sake of getting a piece. They want some flexibility moving into the future. They are willing to do some but not at the expense of limiting what they can do in the future."
Jun 20 - 8:22 PM

An interesting team on Phil Kessel's list of approved destinations is reportedly the Boston Bruins.

Toronto was able to pry Kessel from Boston after the Bruins were unable to sign the restricted free agent. It would certainly be dramatic if the Maple Leafs traded him back to Boston now that they're looking to rebuild, but the likelihood of it actually happening is remote. Boston could certainly use a goal scorer like Kessel, but the squad isn't in a position to assume his $8 million annual cap hit. Certainly, it's always possible for a general manager to make space if the situation warrants it, but it would be a daunting challenge and likely involve substantial sacrifice. It just doesn't seem likely for that reason.
Jun 16 - 9:52 AM

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman is reporting that several teams have called the Maple Leafs to see if they are willing to part ways with Phil Kessel.

Friedman also added that if a deal does happen, it will probably be in a couple of weeks. Toronto's rebuild has been well documented, and trading Kessel will just make it even more real. The Leafs will likely be looking for good draft picks and young players for Kessel's services. The 27-year-old had 25 goals and 36 assists in 82 games, and he carries an $8 million cap hit.
Jun 7 - 10:28 AM

Thre is some talk that it may be better for new Maple Leaf coach Mike Babcock to work with Phil Kessel this season rather than trade him before the campaign starts.

Damian Cox of the Toronto Star quite rightly points out that Kessel's trade value is at an all-time low. He also reminds us that Babcock has had some success with challenging and/or quirky-type players in the past. If Babcock can get the best out of Kessel, which could be considerable, then it might be better for the Buds to keep their inconsistent star until his value increases for trade or he is actually able to help the club as a better two-way player.
May 23 - 10:30 AM

The Toronto Maple Leafs will not keep Gord Dineen on as the AHL Marlies' head coach.

Dineen has been given the option to stay as an associate coach though. This is the latest move in Toronto's attempt to dramatically remake the franchise from a management and front office perspective. It wouldn't be surprising to see Toronto also make some major roster moves too over the summer.
May 19 - 3:58 PM

Depth Charts

All Positions
C1Sidney Crosby
2Evgeni Malkin
3Nick Bonino
4Kevin Porter
5Oskar Sundqvist
LW1Chris Kunitz
2David Perron
3Beau Bennett
4Sergei Plotnikov
5Matt Cullen
RW1Phil Kessel
2Patric Hornqvist
3Pascal Dupuis
4Eric Fehr
5Bryan Rust
D1Kris Letang
2Olli Maatta
3Ian Cole
4Ben Lovejoy
5Rob Scuderi
6Derrick Pouliot
7Brian Dumoulin
8Tim Erixon
G1Marc-Andre Fleury
2Jeff Zatkoff