Weird twist in Phil Kessel situation with Canucks
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Weird twist in Phil Kessel situation with Canucks

A major update on the NHL's all time Ironman from Canucks insiders.



The clock is ticking on Phil Kessel's potential future with the Vancouver Canucks.

The team has until Friday at at 3pm ET to come to terms with the NHL's all-time Ironman or he will not be eligible to join their roster for the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The problem is, it looks like the Canucks have cooled on Kessel as of late and a signing isn't as much a certainty as it was just last week.

Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal reports that there's no signing imminently.

Additionally, Canucks insider Patrick Johnson of The Province newspaper is reporting that he doesnt' think a Kessel signing will happen in Vancouver.

Check it out:

Just a week ago, it looked like a sure-thing that Kessel would sign in Vancouver. Now it looks like he'll be left out in the cold... what happened here?

Read below for our earlier report on Kessel and the Canucks, published last week.

Two weeks ago today, the Vancouver Canucks announced that free agent forward and the NHL's all-time Ironman Phil Kessel had arrived in Vancouver and would be training with the team's AHL affiliate Abbotsford Canucks.

From Canucks GM Patrik Allvin:

Things have been quiet around Kessel though and it's not clear whether or not if he'll join the Canucks for the balance of the season.

Today, Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal reported that both Kessel and the Canucks 'want this to end with a signing.'

From Dhaliwal on today's Donnie & Dhali podcast:

"I am not hearing anything negative when it comes to the Canucks and Kessel. He will continue to work out this week, all sides want this to end with a signing. The goal was always to sign Kessel, I think that's where it's trending."

- Rick Dhaliwal

So, would he start in the AHL and work his way up to the NHL? Would that affect his Ironman streak?

More from Dhaliwal:

"He is not going to start in Abbotsford, from what I'm told. It's going to be a sign with the Canucks... but definitely not hearing anything negative. It's all positive so far."

- Rick Dhaliwal

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet and Kessel, of course, won back to back Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. Tocchet was largely credited with helping Kessel reach his potential with the Penguins, to the point where he was jokingly referred to as the 'Phil Whisperer' for his work with Kessel. The two have spoken fondly about each other for years, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a reunion of the two on Vancouver's West Coast.

Also, don't forget the GM in Pittsburgh who acquired Kessel back in 2015... current Canucks president and then Penguins GM Jim Rutherford.

There certainly seems to be a lot of familiarity between the Canucks' coaching and management staff and Kessel. The fact that he's been training in the organization for two weeks now seems to indicate that he'll join the big team once he's in game shape.

Stay tuned.

Source: Patrick Johnson