It’s been a nice couple days in eyeing how people are celebrating with the Stanley Cup, as we go from furry dogs to hot dogs.
Certain media types will always take their jabs at Phil Kessel. If he were like Patrick Roy, Kessel might respond that he couldn’t hear such criticisms, what with his Stanley Cup rings plugging his ears.
Why do that when you can celebrate with hot dogs, though?
During his second day with the Stanley Cup as a repeat champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins (his critics are grating their teeth at that one, guaranteed), Kessel is having a great time, including this cheeky celebration via his Instagram:
The column raised some eyebrows because, after all, the Penguins have won back-to-back Stanley Cups, and Kessel has been a big contributor during both championship runs.
On Thursday, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford was asked about the possibility of trading his all-star winger, and he didn’t sound too convinced about the possibility of moving him.
“Phil Kessel‘s an important part of the Penguins,” Rutherford said in a radio interview with 93.7 The Fan, per the Pittsburgh Tribune. “He gets a lot of points. He scores big goals. He sets up big goals. The more impact players that you have, like we have, the better chance you have of winning.
“He’s an important part. I don’t want to sit here and say that a certain player’s not going to get traded at some point in his career. I mean, Phil already did. But that’s not something that I foresee happening right now.”
Obviously, no one expected Rutherford to come out and admit he’d be willing to trade the 29-year-old away, but he didn’t really dodge the question either.
If the team wants to trade him away, they have plenty of time to do so, as Kessel has five years left on his contract at a cap hit of $6.8 million, which might be a steal given the amount of money star players have signed for this off-season.
Phil Kessel came to the rescue after Nick Bonino’s truck broke down
According to numerous reports, the story goes that while driving to PPG Paints Arena for Game 5 against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday, Bonino’s truck broke down. No worries. Kessel reportedly came to the rescue with a roadside assist, picking Bonino up and getting him to the arena on time.
“It was weird. All of a sudden the gas didn’t work and the power steering went out in the middle of the highway. I was able to get it to the side,” Bonino told reporters.
“Great teammate Phil Kessel came and picked me up. I owe a lot to Phil tonight for being here, a great guy.”
The camaraderie of the vaunted HBK Line from a year ago still runs strong.
Bonino had a pair of assists and Kessel had a goal and an assist, as the Penguins dismantled the Senators 7-0 to take a 3-2 series lead, pushing Pittsburgh within one victory of reaching the Stanley Cup Final.
PHT Morning Skate: Pens fans name newborn baby after Phil Kessel
–These two Penguins fans had a baby on Mother’s Day and they decided to name their child after Phil Kessel. True Story. Kessel Ryan Hillman was born in Pennsylvania last weekend. “Sure enough they put me in bed no. 81.” (Yahoo)
–Ville Leino, who might just be one of the worst free-agent signings ever, came out with his own clothing line. One of his t-shirts is called “jail”. It’s in reference to his final season in Buffalo that saw him score zero goals in 58 games. I felt trapped and down. All I could do was get up every morning and go to work and try to make it work. This painting reflects those feelings that I was going through on that period of time.” (Buffalo News)
–Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is one of the finalists for the GM of the Year Award because of his ability to make key deals for his team. The Edmonton Journal breaks down the six major transactions that helped Chiarelli earn the nomination. (Edmonton Journal)
–The Ottawa Senators lit up the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final (who saw that coming?). You can check out the highlights by clicking the video at the top of the page.
—Yannick Weber sat down for an interesting Q&A for the NHLPA’s website. During this fun chat, Weber admits to having some Nickleback music on his playlist. On an unrelated note, he’s also a huge fan of Roger Federer. (NHLPA)
–There’s always some debate as to which sport has the toughest athletes. Well, former NFL offensive lineman Willie Colon believes hockey players are clearly tougher than football players. (NBC Sports)
–The New Jersey Devils own the number one pick in this June’s NHL Entry Draft, which means they’ll have to decide between selecting Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier. The Devils director of amateur scouting Paul Castron spoke to beat reporter Chris Ryan about how he evaluates the two prospects. “Both those kids, they’ve the go-to guys on their teams. They both get a lot of attention, but they don’t back down or shy away to make plays at crucial times in games.” (NJ.com)
Video: Phil Kessel channels anger into 1-0 goal for Penguins
Much was made of Phil Kessel‘s unfiltered rage during the second period of Game 2, and how it might have been directed at Evgeni Malkin.
For a while, it felt like his anger was symbolic of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ greater feelings, as they couldn’t seem to break through against the Ottawa Senators despite controlling virtually every aspect of about 20 minutes of game time.
Kessel might bark a lot, but he showed some bite in scoring the 1-0 goal. Check out that precious, rare tally in the video above.