Tag: Blake Kessel

Mikhail Grigorenko

PHT Morning Skate: Grigorenko with highlight-reel shootout goal


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Buffalo Sabres may have lost their second straight pre-season game to the Toronto Maple Leafs Sunday dropping them to 1-2-1, but afterwards head coach Ted Nolan was singing the praises of young forward Mikhail Grigorenko and why not? He showed excellent hand-eye coordination receiving a pass from line mate Cody Hodgson on the game’s opening goal and then absolutely undressed Leafs starter Jonathan Bernier in the shootout.

The Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals retired the No. 91 of John Tavares on Sunday night. Tavares joins Bobby Orr, Red Tilson and Eric Lindros as the only players in Generals’ history to have their numbers retired. The Islanders captain scored 183 goals and 383 points in 223 games with the Generals before being dealt to the London Knights in his final season. (video via amfmradio590)

The St. Louis Blues signed undrafted defenseman Dmitrii Sergeev to a three-year entry level contract Sunday. Sergeev, 18, was with the Blues at their Traverse City Prospect Tournament and earned an invitation to training camp on a tryout basis. He’s since been returned to the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League ( St. Louis Blues)

Martin Leclerc of CBC’s Radio-Canada recently conducted a poll of Quebec Major Junior Hockey League GMs, which resulted in 89 percent saying they would be against a ban on fighting in the league. (HockeyFights.com)

Defenseman Blake Kessel is at Toronto Marlies camp on an invite and over the weekend he discussed his on-going rivalry with older brother, and Leafs star, Phil Kessel. (The Canadian Press)

PHT Morning Skate: A second Kessel in Toronto?

Phil Kessel

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Blake Kessel, the younger brother of Maple Leafs sniper Phil, has been invited to the Toronto Marlies’ training camp, which begins Friday. Blake, 25, spent much of last season with the Leafs’ ECHL affiliate in Orlando where he had 33 points in 43 games. The defenseman also appeared in 11 American Hockey League games with the Rockford IceHogs and Rochester Americans. (Toronto Marlies site)

Gary Roberts may have played over 1,200 NHL games, but these days he’s better known as a fitness guru training some of the game’s top players including Tampa Bay Lightning captain, Steven Stamkos. Roberts talks about how fitness and nutrition has evolved from his playing days. (Sportsnet)

The New York Rangers have yet to name a captain, but defenseman Ryan McDonagh is ready to assume a leadership role with the blue shirts. (NHL.com)

Several NHL veterans are currently participating in preseason action looking, for one reason or another, to put their 2013-14 campaigns behind them. (Sportsnet)

New Jersey Devils coach Pete DeBoer didn’t hold back following his team’s 4-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night saying, “That was an ugly game. There wasn’t a lot to like on our end tonight”. (Fire and Ice)

The Calgary Flames may have lost 3-1 to the Vancouver Canucks in preseason action on Thursday night, but rookie Sam Bennett made his debut in Flames colors assisting on a goal and showing signs of why he was selected fourth overall in June. (Calgary Herald)

Brotherly battle: Schenn and Kessel brothers to face off against each other tonight

Luke Schenn, Keith Aulie, Phil Kessel
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Hockey’s often a family affair for kids growing up in North America. If a family had a set of brothers of any number that were into the sport, the chances were pretty good all of them were going to play it together as kids. Look at the Staal family and the four brothers there who all play professional hockey (three in the NHL, one in the AHL).

A funny thing happened this offseason, however, as the Philadelphia Flyers acquired a pair of players with brothers who have already made a name for themselves with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Flyers acquired Brayden Schenn, brother of Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn, when they sent Mike Richards to Los Angeles. The Flyers also signed former Islanders draft pick defenseman Blake Kessel, brother of Phil Kessel, to an entry level deal during rookie camp.

It only makes sense then that the two teams will face each other tonight in Toronto and that both sets of brothers would be on the roster ready to go to play against each other.

While we know plenty about Phil Kessel and Luke Schenn, their younger brothers come with a bit of the unknown behind their games. Brayden Schenn is one of the top prospects in hockey and the L.A. Kings giving him to Philly in exchange for Mike Richards showed how badly they wanted Richards on their team. Schenn was the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Kings and has been slowly crafting his game in junior hockey the last two seasons. He’s expected to land a spot on the Flyers as their starting third line center out of camp.

Blake Kessel is even more unknown than Brayden Schenn and, much like the Schenns, is a defenseman compared to his brother as a forward. Kessel was a late draft pick by the Islanders but never signed a deal with the team after playing for three years at the University of New Hampshire and became a free agent. At UNH Kessel was an offensive defenseman who peaked in his second season with the Wildcats scoring ten goals and adding 28 assists in 38 games. A point per game player is someone worth taking a peek at and that’s what the Flyers are doing with him. He’s expected to play in the AHL for Adirondack this year.

The chances we”ll see these sets of brothers both pair up and face each other in the regular season are slim as it’s highly unlikely that Blake Kessel can win a spot in Philly, but throwing in the brotherly part of the game between the Flyers and Leafs helps make this once brutal rivalry a bit more fun. Add in the fact that brothers will always get up for a game against each other to try and one-up one another and you’ve got a lot of talented guys eager to go all out. Tonight should provide a bit of fun all around for these guys.