Phil Kessel

Phil Kessel is easily intimidated, concludes anonymous group of players with fewer goals than Kessel


Sports Illustrated released its latest incendiary player poll today. In January, SI asked for the most overrated player in the NHL and Dion Phaneuf’s name topped the list, subsequently infuriating Leafs GM Brian Burke. This time it’s the easiest all-star type to intimidate.

The results?

Phil Kessel, Maple Leafs RW 15%

The Sedin Twins, Canucks F’s 8%

Alexander Semin, Capitals LW 7%

Patrick Kane, Blackhawks C 3%

Ilya Kovalchuk, Devils LW 3%

In a related story, Burke just kicked another hole in the wall.

Anyway, the results are hardly surprising. And now we play the waiting game before finding out what the players, their teammates and coaches say about the poll.

It’s the circle of life.

Yup, Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel are going to be linemates

Tyler Seguin

Seeing Phil Kessel drafted on to Zdeno Chara’s team for the All-Star Game opened up the possibility of seeing a lot of fan-tweaking possibilities. After all, seeing Maple Leafs and Bruins teamed up together means rivals having to play nicely. In the case of Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel, the possibility of seeing them as linemates was sky high.

As it turns out, that’s just what we’re going to see because Claude Julien is a nice guy like that. Joe Haggerty of tells us about how the Phil Kessel trade gets to be in the spotlight for one more day and it’s all because Tyler Seguin was hoping it could happen.

So Claude Julien apparently heard Seguin’s request, liked it, and will go with the forward combination suggestion in Sunday’s game. After taking part in the shooting accuracy competition and shootout elimination on Saturday evening, Seguin confirmed he’ll be centering a line with Maple Leafs Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.

Seguin playing center to two Maple Leafs is a fun way for Julien to help troll the Leafs fan base at a game that’s as competitive as a coin flip. Julien says that the All-Star Game offers him the opportunity to take it easy as a coach and put guys together that wanted to play on the same line. That might not stop Bruins and Leafs fans from busting each other’s chops for a day though.

Best 10 NHL moments of the year: Phil Kessel, Mr. Irrelevant

phil kessel drafgt

Merry Christmas, everyone. Since we can’t buy all our readers an iPad2, we’ve put together a list of the best 10 NHL moments of the past year that we’ll be rolling out on the site all day long.

Phil Kessel, Mr. Irrelevant

In an effort to spice up the 2011 All-Star Game, the NHL opted for a “fantasy” draft — a fantasy that turned into Phil Kessel’s nightmare. There he sat, awkwardly, as 35 players were selected ahead of him.

So, why is this on our “best moments” list?

For one, Kessel handled the ignominy like a champ.

“I don’t care one bit at all,” he said after the draft. “When I was a kid, I would never have dreamed of being here. Hopefully the fans in Toronto are happy to see me in the game. I’ll play well in the game for them.”

Two, he’s been on fire ever since. Kessel scored 30 points in 33 games following last year’s ASG and this season, he’s the NHL’s second-leading scorer with 41 points through 35 games.

Not bad for Mr. Irrelevant, huh?