Phil Kessel is now a three-time Stanley Cup champion after winning it all on Tuesday night with the Vegas Golden Knights, their first title in franchise history. While the veteran didn’t play much in the 2023 playoffs, he was quick to call out the doubters who said he’d never win anything during his days with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Via Mike Stephens of The Hockey News:
“Takes me back to my Toronto days. You guys said I couldn’t win, and now I’m a three-time champ. Remember that.”
— Mike Stephens (@mikeystephens81) June 14, 2023
Kessel captured his first two rings with Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017 after leaving the Maple Leafs. He even played a key part in both of those Cup runs too, notching 45 points in total.
Kessel actually suited up for all 82 regular season games for Vegas in 2022-23, scoring 14 times and tallying 22 assists. But, he was essentially a healthy scratch for most of the playoffs. He only played the first five contests of the postseason against the Winnipeg Jets. Since then, Kessel has basically just watched from the bench.
Although he didn’t exactly do a whole lot to help the Golden Knights lift Lord Stanley, it doesn’t hide the fact that Kessel is now a three-time champ. As we all remember, the 35-year-old faced a ton of criticism in Toronto for his inability to help them make it deep into the playoffs.
With Phil Kessel set to be a free agent this summer, it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up next. Whether the winger continues to play or not, he can relish in the fact that he has three more championships than most who have competed in the NHL, present and past.
Well done, Phil.