Connect with us

Penguins

The Lid Comes Off Phil Kessel Situation

Published

on

By Michael Miller [CC BY-SA 4.0

It is perhaps an unprecedented situation across sports. Some athletes earn immunity from criticism over years of success or community service, but no athlete in recent memory has elicited such fervent protection from fans as Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel. Not only is Kessel above criticism to many, reporting news regarding Kessel invites intense criticism of the reports.

This week the lid was blown off the situation and social media nearly melted.

The first report of organizational unhappiness with Kessel was courtesy of Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s Matt Gajtka, on May 10. Gajtka reported decision makers in the Penguins organization felt let down by Kessel, whom they believed prioritized his consecutive games streak over the team. Read the full, original report here.

The social media blowback was stiff and immediate. PHN and Gajtka were accused by dozens (and dozens) of responders of “trying to run Phil out of Pittsburgh like the media did in Toronto,” of having an agenda, or of making it up.

On May 23, the second report dropped. This time courtesy of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook. Cook reported the same negative sentiments from inside the organization and received a hurricane level pushback from Penguins fans (and some professional media). Here is Cook’s column.

The lid was blown off the situation the following day. The third and final report came via Penguins radio flagship WXDX talk show host Mark Madden, on his radio show. Madden expounded on the Penguins decision maker’s disappointment with Kessel and reported that both sides may welcome a trade. Not one to back down, Madden steered into the skid.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now will continue working on the story, including seeking comment from all involved. However, one thing should be clear to fans, this is a real and unfolding story which could have huge ramifications.

 

Subscribe to PHN+
11 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
11 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ricardo58
Ricardo58
3 years ago

How would 81 excel with the Oiler’s? 81 could lessen the load for Draisaitl’s line and the d-man such as Larsson or someone similar in return. I know of the connection with Tocchet, but Az is in rebuild phase and 81’s age may be a hinderance.
Also could this be a ruse where the Pens mgt team is trying to light a fire under 81 with all of the trade and disappointment talk leaked through the media. I don’t think 81’s personality would respond well to this type of motivation.
Well it does keep the offseason interesting. Go Pens!

BIG BERN
BIG BERN
3 years ago

Never let the fan base dictate moves for the team that is how you end up like the Toronto Maple Leafs and not win a cup in 51 years and counting.Back in the day the Leafs fan loved Tie Domi and was never as high on Mats Sudin, they drove Larry Murphy to the airport so he could win 2 straight cups with Wings. They rode Hal gil out on a rail to help the Pens win the 2009 cup. For some strange reason the joke of Phil being a two time cup champ has turned him into a folk… Read more »

Mahesvara
Mahesvara
3 years ago
Reply to  BIG BERN

This is completely ridiculous. You call fans defending Kessel “illogical” when it is clear people disparaging him and trying to run him out of town are the illogical ones and ignoring how great and valuable a player he is. Since Kessel came to the Pens he was been a key piece in winning back to back Cups including leading the Pens in playoff scoring in 16 and being behind only Sid and Geno in 17. People seem to forget that during the first half of this season when the team was struggling it was Phil that picked up the slack… Read more »

Dan Kingerski
Admin
Dan Kingerski (@dkingerski)
3 years ago
Reply to  Mahesvara

I can assure everyone, no one is trying to run Kessel out of town except perhaps some in the Penguins organization, which if you read the stories, is from where the information came.

Roger
Roger
3 years ago

85% of thses “media” columnist are morons. I’d belive trump over madden. There us a reason why these people work for media. THEY HAVE NO SKILLS.

Dan Kingerski
Admin
Dan Kingerski (@dkingerski)
3 years ago
Reply to  Roger

That’s how I got into radio. I flunked out of tollbooth school.

Robert
Robert
3 years ago

I like Phil as the underdog that was maligned in Toronto. I’m glad he won 2 cups. If it’s true he played through injury to keep a personal and meaningless streak alive, that’s just not okay. If he’s outworn his welcome with the team and the team wants to trade him, I’m okay with that too. It’s a team sport, after all.

PS: Dan, nice reply to one of the most ignorant comments I’ve ever read (and that’s saying something, lol).

Rob
Rob
3 years ago

To say the pens defeat this year in playoffs is all on Phil is ludicris. Not resigning Bonino for 4 mil and then renting Brassard for 6 mil might have more to do with it than anything. A lack of puck control, timely saves, commitment to assignment and shot blocking would have all changed game outcomes. Losing 25% of team from past 2 yrs, Fluery being probably biggest, is also huge. As they say everything changes. This year Pens ended up on short end of stick.

Zane
Zane
3 years ago
Reply to  Rob

Brassard only costs us 3 million. His contract is for 5 but vegas covers 40% the remainder of the deal. I dont think a single GM in the league would pay more for Bonino than brassard.

John
John
3 years ago

I think Kessel & Letang will be traded. Both 30+ years of age and that’s big $ off the books. Kessel was brought to the PENS to score goals and lift them over the top to capture a Stanley Cup. He helped the PENS win 2 Cups. Kessel’s streak probably another reason to trade him. You might remember Cal Ripken Jr. long streak with the Orioles. Popular long-time players hold teams hostage because a Coach or Manager doesn’t want to be the 1 in charge to break the streak. Usually, the player and team doesn’t have as good a season.… Read more »

Brian
Brian
3 years ago

They probably want to trade Kessel but will never get good enough return. Sam goes for those calling for a Letang trade. The fan reaction is really shocking though. I’m a little disappointed in my fellow Pens fans

Join PHN Extra!

Join PHN+ today for exclusive content from Dan and Shelly plus a completely Google ad-free experience.

PHN+

Or enter your email below to sign-up for our mailing list.

Thank you!

Something went wrong.

No thanks. I don't want.