Report: Phil Kessel is in Vancouver to ‘meet and greet’ with the Canucks

Photo credit:© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
2 months ago
UPDATE 4:57 PM: Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin has shared that Phil Kessel has made his way to Vancouver and will be working out in Abbotsford this week.
You’re not misreading that headline.
Phil Kessel is in Vancouver to meet with the Canucks, according to Rick Dhaliwal of Donnie and Dhali — The Team.
Dhaliwal followed up his report by saying “Kessel will meet and greet with the Canucks and then we will see where this goes. The report comes on the heels of a random Twitter user tweeting out that they saw Kessel at YVR airport. It certainly didn’t take long to confirm that was true. Kessel is in Vancouver, and according to the Twitter user, he’s got his hockey gear with him.
Last week, Dhaliwal reported that the Canucks were “poking around” on Kessel. Here is what Dhaliwal said in that report:
“I checked into it and I can tell you right now, the Vancouver Canucks still talk and discuss Phil Kessel,” said Dhaliwal. “They keep in regular contact with his agent, they like his experience, what he’s done in the past, he’s got a relationship with Tocchet, Allvin, and Rutherford. Tocchet coached him in Arizona, Rutherford acquired him in Pittsburgh. Tocchet said last weekend said this of Kessel: ‘there is value in Phil, I think he can still play 100%.’
“Now, the big issue: conditioning. He has not played in eight months, he only played four games for Vegas last year when they won the Stanley Cup. That will be Kessel’s biggest issue, ‘are you in shape?’ The number one thing Tocchet did when he got to Vancouver got everybody in shape. Kessel doesn’t cost you anything, it’s a gamble, yes, but there are no assets to be given up, it’ll be a cheap price. The Kessel decision I’ve been told is not far away, some say soon. Not sure where this goes, but the Vancouver Canucks are poking around Phil Kessel.”
Obviously, Kessel knows the Canucks’ brass quite well. 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.
Kessel appeared in four playoff games for the cup-winning Vegas Golden Knights, but has remained unsigned since then. He’s reportedly stayed in shape and has been waiting for the right opportunity. We will see if that opportunity comes with the Canucks.
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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