A completely unexpected replacement for Kirby Dach with the Montreal Canadiens? Phil Kessel has just been suggested as a depth addition

Elias Edmonson
November 4, 2023  (3:47 PM)

We are now nearly a month into the 2023-24 NHL regular season, and everyone's favorite Ironman, Phil Kessel, is still at home without a contract.

During the last off-season, Elliotte Friedman reported that Kessel had informed teams that he was willing to end his Ironman streak just to have the chance to play. He doesn't need to be guaranteed a full-time spot; he just wants to play.
Recently, it was Pierre LeBrun's turn to discuss the forward's future. The hockey insider published an article on The Athletic after meeting with the man himself for a face-to-face interview.
"Obviously, I'm a bit surprised to have gotten nothing so far, but it is what it is, right?"

"I know I can still play and help. Compared to the minutes I played last year, I think my stats were pretty solid. I know I can help and contribute to a team that needs goals" - Phil Kessel

It didn't take much for rumors of a possible return of the three-time Stanley Cup winner to resurface on social media. On this topic, speculations even linked Kessel to the CH!
Indeed, user Shaun Hashim hypothesized that Kent Hughes could take advantage of Kirby Dach's LTIR to bring the veteran to the club. According to Hashim, Kessel would be a good candidate to carry the puck for Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, or Juraj Slafkovsky. His power play experience would also not hurt the CH, which has an efficiency rate of only 20% (15th in the league).
Let's use Kirby's LTIR on Kessel.

Elite shot. Can help carry the puck for Suzuki, Cole, Slaf. Is a powerplay threat. Veteran cup winning culture bringer. Carries the mail. The jersey would go hard. Can finally enjoy Bell Centre dogs 🌭

Ça sent la coupe

Do you find the idea crazy? Kessel's statistics last year prove, as he says himself, that he was quite good. In 82 games with Vegas, he accumulated 14 goals and 22 assists for a total of 36 points. All this while playing an average of 12:48 per game. Although he only played 4 games in the playoffs, accumulating two assists, he was a significant presence in the locker room according to his teammates.
While waiting for a call, the American says he continues to train on and off the ice. He doesn't want to miss his chance to play again in the big league.
"I'm staying ready, Kessel assured. I skate. Next week, I'm going to work with a skating instructor here. We will have individual sessions so that I stay ready." - Phil Kessel

If Kessel returns to play this season, it will probably not be with the CH but with a team aspiring for high honors. He could be very useful in adding depth and helping out when there are injured players. With a minimum salary contract, why not take a chance with the 36-year-old veteran?
A completely unexpected replacement for Kirby Dach with the Montreal Canadiens? Phil Kessel has just been suggested as a depth addition

Would you like to see Phil Kessel with the CH?

Yes12840.9 %
No18559.1 %
Latest 10 stories