Phil Kessel left hanging on trade deadline day.

Phil Kessel left hanging on trade deadline day.

Despite rumors of an NHL contract looming for Phil Kessel, no deal materialized on time for him to be a factor in the playoffs.

Jonathan Larivee

One of the most highly anticipated moves of the National Hockey League's trade deadline on Friday wasn't a trade at all, but unfortunately it never would come to pass.

Indications were that, prior to Friday's trade deadline, the Vancouver Canucks were moving towards signing veteran forward Phil Kessel as a late-season addition to their roster ahead of the Stanley Cup playoffs. In fact, on Thursday NHL insider Chris Johnston reported that it appeared as though all signs pointed to Kessel joining the Canucks.

That deadline has however come and gone and Kessel remains unsigned in spite of the fact that he spent several weeks working out with the Canucks' American Hockey League affiliate, the Abbotsford Canucks. While Kessel can still sign with an NHL team and play out the remainder of the regular season, he would be ineligible to participate in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin was diplomatic when asked about Kessel on Friday, but did let slip that he did not feel Kessel would be a good fit for the style of hockey employed by his team.

"I think Phil is a great person and a well respected player, what he has done in the league as a three time Cup winner, he wanted to come back to play," admitted Allvin on Friday. "With being in LTIR, roster complications and how we want to play unfortunately, at this point, he wasn't a fit for us."

A tough situation for Kessel who may very well have believed he was on track to sign with the Canucks. I wish him all the best on whatever may come next for him in his career,