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Phil Kessel to work out in Abbotsford, will sign with Canucks ‘if everything goes well’

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Photo credit:© Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
Nation World HQ
1 month ago
Late Tuesday afternoon, Canucks Twitter broke the news that Phil Kessel is in Vancouver. Multiple Twitter users reported that they saw Kessel at YVR airport, and one fan even snapped a picture of Kessel waiting with his hockey gear near baggage claim.
Shortly after that, Rick Dhaliwal of Donnie and Dhali — The Team reported that Kessel is in Vancouver to “meet and greet” with the Canucks. Shortly after THAT, Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin announced that Kessel has made his way to Vancouver and will be working out in Abbotsford this week.”
Dhaliwal offered this update as well:
“He’s going to work out for them, skate for them as well, and if everything goes well, then a possible signing. Last week, I said the Canucks were poking around Kessel. There’s a great relationship there with Rick Tocchet, Jim Rutherford, and Patrick Allvin as well. The Canucks talked to Kessel’s camp in the summer but elected to go with younger players at the time, and they also had too many bodies at camp as well. Three to four teams have kept in touch with Kessel’s agent Wade Arnott throughout this entire process. Kessel, if he signs, is going to provide depth and scoring.”
Kessel has remained unsigned since he became an unrestricted free agent after appearing in four playoff games for the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights. At 36, Kessel has reportedly been keeping himself in shape and waiting for the right opportunity. Kessel is still on an active 1,064 regular-season game streak, but if he were to sign with Vancouver — or any contending NHL team for that matter — it’s a bit hard to imagine he’d be a lock to play in the lineup each and every night.
That being said, he does bring valuable playoff experience and has reportedly been well-liked in just about every locker room he’s been a part of.
Kessel knows the Canucks’ brass quite well, as the Jim Rutherford-led Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Kessel en route to back-to-back Stanley Cup victories. Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet ran the power play for those teams, which is where Tocchet and Kessel’s relationship began. Years later, when Tocchet was the Arizona Coyotes’ bench boss, Kessel was among Tocchet’s most trusted players.
Through 1,286 NHL regular season games, Kessel has tallied 413 goals and 579 assists.
More to come.
We broke down whether or not the Canucks should sign Kessel in article last week that you can read by clicking here.
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