Report: Vancouver Canucks ‘on track’ to sign Phil Kessel before NHL trade deadline

Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
1 month ago
The Vancouver Canucks are “on track” to sign Phil Kessel before Friday’s trade deadline, TSN’s Chris Johnston reported Thursday morning.
Kessel and the Canucks have been circling each other for a while, with the 36-year-old winger arriving in B.C. last month to start skating with the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks in anticipation of a potential contract.
“Not trade related, but it sounds like things remain on track for Phil Kessel to sign with the Canucks before tomorrow’s 3 p.m. ET [12 p.m. PT] trade deadline,” Johnston tweeted on Thursday. “He needs to be on their reserve list by that time in order to be eligible for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”
Vancouver hockey insider Rick Dhaliwal has repeatedly indicated throughout the process that he believes everyone involved wants this process to end with Kessel signing an NHL deal, which, as Johnston said, must occur before the trade deadline if the Canucks want him to play a part in a potential playoff run.
Kessel is a three-time Stanley Cup champion who is just eight points shy of 1,000 for his NHL career. He’s also a 12-time 20-goal scorer, having achieved that feat with the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Arizona Coyotes.
The Bruins originally selected Kessel with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft. The Madison, Wisconsin product joined the Bruins immediately after the draft, spending the first three seasons of his NHL career with the club and scoring 34 goals and 60 points in 70 games in 2008–09.
The Maple Leafs then acquired Kessel from the Bruins in exchange for two first-round picks (which turned into Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton) and a second-round pick. Kessel played six seasons in Toronto, helping the Maple Leafs reach the playoffs once and scoring at least 20 goals and 50 points in each year of his tenure.
The Penguins traded for Kessel in a Canada Day blockbuster in 2015 and proceeded to win the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons with him riding shotgun with Evgeni Malkin. Kessel scored a career-high 92 points in 82 games with the Penguins in 2017–18.
After a three-year stint with the Coyotes, Kessel joined the Vegas Golden Knights for the 2022–23 season. Despite playing in all 82 games during the regular season, Kessel was a regular scratch during the playoffs. Nevertheless, his name was engraved on the Stanley Cup a third time at the end of the year.
Kessel remains the NHL’s active iron man with a consecutive games played streak of 1,064. He’s also one of the strongest playoff performers of his generation, collecting 34 goals and 83 points in 100 career postseason contests. Through 1,286 career regular-season games with Boston, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Arizona, and Vegas, Kessel has amassed 413 goals and 579 assists.

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