Phil Kessel, after securing his third Stanley Cup victory — this time with the Vegas Golden Knights — used this victorious moment to fire back at his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, on Tuesday night. Kessel, aged 35, formerly starred for the Leafs during a period from 2009 to 2015 and was a somewhat controversial figure during his stint with the squad.
Kessel was brought to Toronto in a high-profile trade with the Boston Bruins, but despite his presence, the Maple Leafs had a scant record of success. During the six seasons Kessel was on the team, the Maple Leafs only made the playoffs once, and Kessel himself came under fire for his perceived inability to secure victories and an alleged lack of commitment to physical conditioning.
In a conversation with reporters from Toronto on Tuesday night, Kessel made it clear he still remembered the criticism he received during his Toronto years.
In 2015, Kessel was transferred from the Maple Leafs to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he subsequently contributed to the Penguins’ consecutive Stanley Cup victories in 2016 and 2017.
This time, Kessel’s role in the Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup victory was notably subdued: He managed just 14 goals in 82 games during the season and only featured in four playoff games before becoming a regular healthy scratch.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Stanley Cup Final
Q: How many Stanley Cups has Phil Kessel won?
A: Phil Kessel has won three Stanley Cups in his career. He won two with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017, and he won another one with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2023.
Q: Which teams did Phil Kessel play for in the NHL?
A: Phil Kessel has played for multiple teams in the NHL. He started his career with the Boston Bruins, then he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After his time with the Maple Leafs, he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins before eventually joining the Vegas Golden Knights.
Q: Did Phil Kessel face criticism during his time with the Maple Leafs?
A: Yes, Phil Kessel faced criticism during his tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Some of the criticism revolved around a perceived lack of winning and commitment to physical fitness. The Maple Leafs made the playoffs only once during Kessel’s six seasons with the team.
Q: How did Phil Kessel respond to his critics after winning the Stanley Cup with the Vegas Golden Knights?
A: After winning the Stanley Cup with the Vegas Golden Knights, Phil Kessel took the opportunity to remind his critics in Toronto about his success. He stated that the championship win brought him back to his Toronto days and emphasized that he is now a three-time champion.