NHL Iron Man Streak to End as Phil Kessel Wiliing to Return in a Lesser Role

Aug 31, 2023

The NHL’s longest-ever Iron Man streak will be ending this season! 



From Elliotte Friedman: 

‘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 everyday 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.) 


By telling teams he’s ready to be a utility player, he is prepared for this to be his last step in the NHL. 



An NHL team will take a flyer on him as training camp approaches. A one-year performance bonus-laden contract would be an ideal fit for him with any team. Now that the Iron Man streak is no longer a consideration, his chances of receiving an NHL contract will increase. 


This could be a great closing chapter in Kessel’s playing career, a return to his NHL roots. The Boston Bruins could be an exceptional story, but could also help the Bruins on the ice as well. With the retirements of captain Patrice Bergeron, and center David Krejci, add to that the departure of former captain Zdeno Chara years prior, and there is a need to find some veteran leadership who knows the “Bruins way”, and Kessel is an excellent fit. He started his career with the Bruins playing with all three of those players. With Brad Marchand set to become the team’s focal point for leadership, another respected voice would be welcomed. 




Despite suiting up in just four playoff games for Vegas Golden Knights throughout their Stanley Cup run, Kessel and his now three Stanley Cup rings was a strong voice in the Golden Knights dressing room, picking his spots to speak. 



The three-time Cup champion has scored 400 goals and 992 points in 1,286 career games while holding the NHL’s record Iron Man streak. In his 17-year career, Kessel has had six 30-plus goal seasons and four 80-plus point seasons to his name. Even though he only scored 14 goals this season, while playing in a limited third-line role he would be a good fit on a team in need of depth. Keep in mind, Kessel was a third liner on a ridiculously deep Vegas roster, on a lesser roster, he could be capable of playing on a second line, even if only for a brief time. 



Blain Potvin

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