Three-time Stanley Cup champion Phil Kessel is a free agent at the moment after his contract with the Vegas Golden Knights expired this summer.
Kessel is reportedly keeping himself match-ready in case a team signs him. Although Kessel has missed this season, he’s technically still the NHL’s active Ironman.
And he’s still one of the most universally well-liked figures in all of hockey.
Kessel is a huge fan favorite, and although he has won three Cups, he’s most known for his off-ice antics. Kessel is hilarious, and every time a former teammate shares a story about him, it never fails to entertain.
Jack Eichel, who played with Phil Kessel in Vegas, arguably makes the greatest Kessel impression in the hockey world.
Recently, he was on the Empty Netters podcast, sharing an amusing story about how Kessel once headbutted his teammate Jonathan Marchessault, which almost resulted in him losing his Ironman streak.
“So we are playing a game in Ottawa, and him and [Jonathan Marchessault] would always bicker back and forth about who would win in a fight,” said Eichel. “This is right before the game, and they are flinching each other, and they go to flinch each other, but both of them go forward, so they collide heads.”
Eichel said it wasn’t an ordinary headbutt; it was a significant one that damaged both stars.
“I’m actually in the training room doing something when Marchy walks in; he’s holding his head, and he’s bleeding,” said Eichel. “Two seconds later, Phil walks in, and he’s like ‘God damn it, eh! Marchy headbutted me; look at this massive egg I’ve got on my head.'”
Eichel also mentioned that he was close to having to sit out the game, potentially losing his Ironman streak.
As a result of the headbutt, Marchessault missed the warm-ups because he needed stitches on the wound. What a story!