Phil Kessel: “If its not here, it’s not here.”


For the first time in years, it sounds like Phil Kessel might be thinking of greener pastures. 

Now, of course, this isn’t to say that Phil Kessel has requested a trade out of here. From the sounds of it (we’ll know for sure once the full scrum is up online), the question asked was about reports saying the team may consider shopping him. No surprise that something like this would be asked; it’s not traditional post-game fodder, but Kessel has been absent from the last couple of media availabilities.

In fact, I would be hard pressed to say that this is something he’s encouraging. Kessel has had nothing but positive things to say about the city, has suffered through lower points, and is still young enough to be a very good if not still elite player by the time the Leafs finish a full rebuild cycle. His recent eight year commitment to the team despite there being potential for more money via free agency in a market where chunks of the media and fanbase aren’t constantly breathing on his back is a good reflection of that.

However, the Leafs are very openly exploring all options as far as making sure this team is competitive in the long haul. I have no doubt in my mind that they’re at least looking into what Kessel’s value could be, though I also feel (at least, hope), that there’s a decent list of players that they’d like to sell on now before getting to him.

I guess we’ll find out for certain in the next couple of weeks.

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    • Jeremy Ian

      Well Llja what I love in a hockey player is a guy who thinks of TEAM who doesn’t tell the media that he has an extra long leash to play a one dimensional game. I love a guy like Paciorrety of the Habs who stated when he received the honour of being an alternate captain with the leafs that he needed to be a two way player a 200 foot competitor. Why do you ask Llja because as a leader he had to set an example for his team mates and particularly the younger players. Watch the sports shows Llja and you will see a repeat of a typical Phil Kessel effort in a close game. The puck is shot down the ice, Kessel with his speed can avoid an icing but he sees an opponent about to give him a check and Kessel simply allows the icing.

      Sadly you haven’t a clue about what a good solid player means to a team. The sooner this guy who cost the leafs two first round picks and a second is gone the better. Don’t expect to get a lot back for this one dimensional player who has simply QUIT on the ice after Randy was fired and the new coach won’t give him his long floating sea gulling leash.

  • STAN

    it’s going to be so hilarious when stupid fans/the media kick him out of town and he wins multiple stanley cups elsewhere while we still sit in mediocrity and have david clarkson as the captain in the year 2020.

  • CMpuck

    2nd in goals over the last how many seasons? If he can’t play in Toronto who can? We run everyone out.

    I get the culture change just hate seeing the bs Kessel has been put through since day one, TSN defecated on him every intermission with the exception of games he had multiple goals.

    Love the O Dawg but his Kessel bashing is over the top.

    Oddly enough, the only two voices that consistently criticized the media’s treatment of Kessel have been Dangle and Eklund.

  • CMpuck

    One thing I like about Phil is that he plays through injuries. The one thing I don’t like about Phil is that he probably shouldn’t. His injury status is always kept very quiet but Horachuk did let slip he playing through more than one injury right now. Ironman status doesn’t mean much if you’re not capable of contributing.

  • CMpuck

    I read a superb article on Toronto’s only true sports team leader. What was emphasized in this article was that Kyle Lowry and the Raptors are truly a team that works together. The leaders of the team Kyle and DeMar lead. Contrast that with the quitter Kessel. If you can’t comprehend the difference between a Lowry and Kessel, well you have the sports intelligence of a six year old.

    • CMpuck

      You’re calling Kessel a quitter? This is a guy who survived cancer and only missed 12 games because of it. He hasn’t missed a regular season game since 2009. He probably shouldn’t play through injuries, but it shows that he wants to help his team win.

    • Jeremy Ian

      Wow. Quitter? And telling those of us who don’t have your peerless acumen that we have the sports intelligence of a six year old? That’s classy.

      I find this whole thing sad, frankly. Kessel is a great player. We haven’t had a blue chip member of the Leafs since Sundin. The big mistake was not building around him; he’s not a leader and never wanted to be — much as the media projected the role onto him in order to tear him down. Management had to realize what he is and build a proper line around him. They didn’t, and had lots of chances to do so.

      And now brilliant fans and media are going to run him out of town. And when he goes to another team and racks up 50 goals, we’ll find someone blame but ourselves.

  • Jeremy Ian

    There is a replay of a play in which the leafs were battling in a tight game. Kessel with his brilliant speed had the chance to avoid an icing, however that would have meant he would have been checked hard into the boards. Kessel did what he always does avoided the contact. You wonder why he has avoided injuries? Give your head a shake. I made the comment that after Carlyle was fired Kessel quit the team on the ice. Some poor juvenile lost soul of the leafs made the comment that Kessel of course had survived cancer, testicular cancer to be precicse. WE all know he over came this terrible illness. Heh idiot I’ve lost three members of my family to the disease. No one is talking about Kessel’s intestinal fortitude off the ice, it is complete neglect of even conceiving of being a team leader at $10 million a year. If you can’t comprehend that your best players must be leaders i.e. Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan well simply put on those leaf pyjamas and mommy will tuck you into bed with a nice hot cup of hot chocolate.

    Okay, Okay, I get this is a juvenile posting sight compared to the pension puppet fun and others. But seriously folks GROW UP. Some of you truly fit this pattern. You have taken your young son to a leaf game. And the mouthy kid says dad how come the leafs SUCK EVERY YEAR. The old man in anger says look kid what do I know about winning, phone your grandpa and he can tell you about the leafs winning cups.