In his first season with the team, Phil Kessel ended up being one of the Pittsburgh Penguins most important players on their way to winning the 2016 Stanley Cup.
Along with Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino, two players added during the season, they created the HBK line that would go on to be Pittsburgh’s most consistent and productive line, with Kessel leading the way with a team-best 10 goals and 22 total points in the playoffs.
It was a postseason performance that silenced pretty much all of the criticism that followed Kessel around during his time in Toronto and helped rewrite the story of his career.
On Monday, he had his day with the Stanley Cup and as expected he ended up taking it back to Toronto, the city he played in for six years before being traded in the summer of 2015.
There wasn’t much fanfare or media attention around his day in the city with the Cup, but we do know one place he took the time to visit: The Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.
Here is a video from the hospital.
Kessel played in Toronto between the 2009-10 and 2014-15 seasons. Even though he was the best player on the team and one of the most productive wingers in in the league during his time there he was a constant target for criticism (sometimes overly harsh criticism) because the team never won and he never seemed to have a good relationship with the local media. Still, it’s pretty clear the city itself and the community is important to Kessel.