Phil Kessel RW PIT 2 months ago

The Maple Leafs traded Kessel to Pittsburgh on Wednesday in exchange for Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington and a draft pick, reports.

Kessel, who is coming off a season in which he notched 25 goals and 61 points in 82 games with the Leafs, to go along with a minus-34 rating, should benefit greatly from the change of scenery. While some may question his level of fitness and tenacity at times, Kessel remains a premier sniper at the NHL level and given his new team context, a 2015-16 bounce-back seems like a probable outcome for the 27-year-old, a dynamic talent when he is on top of his game. Contract-wise, Kessel is in the second year of an eight-year deal that carries an average salary cap hit of $8 million per season.

Phil Kessel RW PIT 5 months ago

Kessel fired six shots in Toronto's loss to Columbus on Wedneday night, but failed to find the net. His goal drought now stands at 11 games.

He now has one goal in his last 20 games. He has just 24 goals and 35 assists in 81 games and this season will be the first time (other than the lockout shortened year) he fails to record 30 goals since 2007-08. He'll be better next year; he's too talented not to be. But his 2014-15 hangs like an anchor around every fantasy owner's neck. Just move on ... this year.

Phil Kessel RW PIT 5 months ago

Kessel picked up two assists in Wednesday's loss to Buffalo.

Yes, a loss to the Sabres. But at least he finished plus-2, something that hasn't happened much in 2015. He does have five assists in his last three games, so maybe he will finish the year with a flourish. Roll the dice.

Phil Kessel RW PIT 5 months ago

Kessel had a three-assist night against the Senators on Saturday night. It was his first multi-point game since Feb. 26.

Phil hasn't been much of a thrill in 2015, what with the Leafs in an absolute free fall. He has just 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 38 games since the calendar flipped. He's a hard man to sit, but even harder to activate. Next year? Maybe.

Phil Kessel RW PIT 5 months ago

Kesel was held off the scoresheet Monday against Minnesota, but fired six shots and appeared to be more engaged in the play than he has been in months.

This is great news for his beleaguered owners, who have grown frustrated waiting for the talented winger to get back into his scoring ways. Maybe he'll finish with a flourish.

Phil Kessel RW PIT 6 months ago

Kessel scored the Leafs' only goal in Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Canucks. He notched the snipe on a penalty shot.

It's his 24th of the season, but just his seventh in his last 39 games. Yes, you read that right. He had 17 in his first 31 and appeared to be on track for his first 45 goal season. Now, he'll be lucky to hit 27. He just can't pull himself out of his funk, so reserve him and pray next year will be better.

Phil Kessel RW PIT 6 months ago

Kessel picked up an assist in Wednesday's shootout win over Buffalo. He has just five points in his last 14 games.

He's minus-12 and the Leafs have won just four times in that span. The team is struggling and even Phil isn't much of a Thrill, despite all that skill. He's better served on your bench right now.

Phil Kessel RW PIT 6 months ago

Kessel picked up an assist in Tuesday's 3-2 victory over the Panthers.

Phil's been less than a thrill lately -- he has just four points in his last 10 games and 10 in 26. Yes, you read that right. That 10 in 26 games is a 32-point pace. He's better than this, but this slump should mean he's picking splinters out of his butt on the fantasy sidelines.

Phil Kessel RW PIT 6 months ago

Kessel scored a goal and added an assist in Thursday's win over the Flyers.

It's Phil's first multi-point game since Jan. 9 -- yes, it's been that long. He typically goes on streaks, so pray he does now. This prolonged slump (nine points in 22 games) is making fantasy owners suffer miserably.

Phil Kessel RW PIT 7 months ago

Kessel saw just 12:57 of action in Tuesday's loss to the Rangers. His ice time in the first two periods was under 7:30.He finished minus-4 and was clearly disinterested in backchecking, coasting in straight-legged after goals were scored on James Reimer. So coach Peter Horachek shuffled the sniper to the fourth line. We'll see how long this lasts or if it even registers with the enigmatic winger.