Massive update on Phil Kessel's NHL Future

Dawson Mckenzie
August 31, 2023  (12:04)

Phil Kessel has already had a storied career, winning 3 Stanley Cups and playing for over a decade. As he continues to age, however, his time in the league is slowly coming to an end.

Kessel Wants to Play

Kessel still has a huge desire to play in the NHL despite rumours that he may retire. He currently holds the record for the Ironman streak, playing in 1,064 consecutive regular season games. While he did miss some playoff games last year, those don't count toward the record, which means it is still active.

Ironman Comes to an End?

Elliotte Friedman recently reported that Kessel has been telling teams he is willing to break his Ironman streak to continue to play in the NHL. Kessel is currently unsigned and is a UFA. Friedman had this to say about Kessel.
The three-time Stanley Cup champion wants to play again in 2023-24. But, the most significant detail is that he's let teams know it won't be a problem if he's not an every-day player.

Kessel is the NHL's Ironman, 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. (Kessel did not appear in all of Vegas's playoff games, but the postseason does not factor into consecutive games records.)

Letting teams know this detail in advance is important, because ending these streaks causes enormous stress if there is not buy-in from the player. In 2020-21, for example, Florida teammates made their displeasure very clear when the Panthers wanted to scratch Yandle from the lineup at the start of the season. He didn't miss a game.

This should open Kessel up to a number of teams who are looking for depth scoring, and now don't need to worry about trying to fit him in the lineup every night.
UFA Phil Kessel has let teams know he is willing to give up his Ironman streak to play next season,

As read on Hockey Feed - "An important update on Phil Kessel's NHL future"
31 AOUT   |   1113 ANSWERS
Massive update on Phil Kessel's NHL Future

Will Kessel play in the NHL this year?

Yes84876.2 %
No26523.8 %
Latest 10 stories