Phil the Thrill is headed to Sin City.
The Vegas Golden Knights announced on Wednesday that they signed Phil Kessel to a one-year, $1.5 million deal. The 34-year-old winger is entering his 17th season in the NHL.
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) August 25, 2022
According to CapFriendly, Kessel’s deal has legitimately no comparable in the league.
There are no comparable contracts to Phil Kessel's contract at $1.5M x 1 yr
1. Andrew Cogliano (69% match)
2. Corey Perry (69% match)
3. Wayne Simmonds (64% match)https://t.co/uu9HQdINRR
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) August 25, 2022
The two-time Stanley Cup champion heads to Vegas 44 points shy of 1,000 in his career and just one goal shy of becoming the 13th American-born player to score 400 NHL goals. He has played in 982 consecutive NHL games which is the longest active streak and just seven games away from tying Keith Yandle’s all-time record.
For the past three seasons, Kessel has toiled away on the lowly Arizona Coyotes. He potted just eight goals in 82 games in 2021-22 which was his worst ever output goals-wise in a season. However, he still managed to top the 50-point mark for the twelfth time in his career by virtue of grabbing 44 assists.
Phil Kessel, signed 1x$1.5M by VGK, had a very strange time in Arizona. Had an awful shooting season last year but contributed well offensively aside from that. Doesn't play defence, doesn't hit, doesn't get hit, doesn't draw penalties, doesn't miss games. #VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/CqX4HRRPfL
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) August 25, 2022
The Wisconsin-born forward joins a Vegas team that missed the playoffs for the first time in their franchise history last year. A franchise that has shown the propensity to be a little loose when it comes to caring for their veteran players. Just ask Marc-Andre Fleury and Max Pacioretty.
There has also been no update since April on if the Vancouver Canucks were ever able to hunt down the fan that lobbed a hot dog at Kessel last season. The Golden Knights will sure hope he gets to experience a peaceful campaign without any more flinging frankfurter felons.
Here’s the full press release from the team on the signing:
Vegas Golden Knights Sign Forward Phil Kessel to One-Year Contract
VEGAS (August 24, 2022) – Vegas Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon announced today, August 24, that the team has signed forward Phil Kessel to a one-year contract worth an average annual value of $1,500,000.
A two-time Stanley Cup champion (2015-16, 2016-17), Kessel has 956 points (399 G, 557 A) in 1,204 career NHL games. He ranks eighth among all players who appeared in 2021-22 in career games played and 10th in career points. He is one goal shy of becoming the 13th American-born player to score 400 NHL goals.
Kessel has appeared in 982 consecutive NHL contests, the longest active streak and seven games away from tying Keith Yandle’s all-time record of 989. The 34-year-old has spent 16 seasons in the League with the Boston Bruins (2006-09), Toronto Maple Leafs (2009-15), Pittsburgh Penguins (2015-19), and Arizona Coyotes (2019-22). During the 2021-22 campaign in Arizona, Kessel led the Coyotes with 44 assists, his highest total since the 2018-19 season in Pittsburgh.
In the postseason, Kessel has skated in a total of 96 games. The forward led the Penguins in scoring during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 22 points (10 G, 12 A). Internationally, the native of Madison, Wisconsin, represented the United States three times at the IIHF World Championships (2006, 2007, 2008) and twice at the Winter Olympics (2010, 2014). Kessel was drafted by Boston in the first round (5th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft after one year playing NCAA hockey at the University of Minnesota.
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