Star forward Phil Kessel with a Vancouver Canucks logo
Photo credit: Puck Reporter

Phil Kessel's Future With The Vancouver Canucks Is Still Up In The Air

Published February 27, 2024 at 3:17 PM

Two weeks ago, the Vancouver Canucks announced that NHL veteran Phil Kessel would be training with their AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Canucks.

Since then, there's been speculation about whether or not Kessel will be joining the Canucks for the rest of the season.

Kessel's Future With The Canucks Facing Uncertainty

According to Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal, both Kessel and the Canucks are eager to finalize a deal. Dhaliwal reported on the Donnie & Dhali podcast that all parties involved want the training stint to result in a signing. While it's unclear if Kessel would start in the AHL and work his way up to the NHL, Dhaliwal mentioned that Kessel is expected to sign and report directly with the Canucks when the time comes.

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."

"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

Interestingly, Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet and Kessel share a successful history, having won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. Tocchet's coaching played a significant role in Kessel's success during their time together, leading to speculation about a potential reunion in Vancouver.

Furthermore, the Canucks connection to Kessel runs deeper, as current Canucks president Jim Rutherford was the general manager who acquired Kessel in Pittsburgh back in 2015.

With Kessel already training within the Canucks organization for two weeks, it appears likely that a deal will be reached soon. Fans are eagerly awaiting updates as the situation develops.

Do you think Kessel will play a regular season game with the Canucks?
February 27   |   234 answers
Phil Kessel's Future With The Vancouver Canucks Is Still Up In The Air

Do you think Kessel ends up playing a regular season game?

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