Phil Kessel is, technically, still the NHL’s Ironman and the only player in league history to play at least 1,000 games in a row.
His current streak is 1,064, 75 more than Keith Yandle, whose record Kessel broke last season. But as the Vegas Golden Knights won their first-ever Stanley Cup championship, Kessel found himself a healthy scratch in most of their games.
However, Kessel was praised for how he acted around the team, stepping up as a veteran leader despite not getting the playing time he wanted.
As the postseason doesn’t factor into consecutive game records, and as Kessel is still without a team, he’s technically still the active Ironman in the league.
Despite being a three-time Cup winner, Kessel remains without a contract since leaving the Golden Knights last summer.
He’s still not retired and seems to keep his future in limbo. But now, every Kessel fan out there gets a glimmer of hope as TSN’s insider Pierre Lebrun shares a new update about the veteran forward’s future.
“He still absolutely hopes to catch on with an NHL team. He has not given up hope. His camp has been in contact with a couple of teams,” LeBrun said.
LeBruin explained that there’s a possibility teams may soon ask Kessel to come skating with them to see if he still has it.
“One of the things that are in consideration here is that because he hasn’t played since last year, there might be a team or two that says, ‘Come and skate with us for a bit so we can take a look at you and see where things are’,” LeBrun said.
LeBrun also drew parallels with veterans Zach Parise and Corey Perry, who recently signed contracts with the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers.
Experience is important, especially in the postseason, so it’s a real possibility we might see Kessel back in the league soon. And everyone would absolutely love it!