Videos by OutKick
Vegas Golden Knights center Phil Kessel set the NHL consecutive games record on Tuesday night, skating in his 990th straight game — and also scored his 400th career goal. “Phil the Thrill” is one of hockey’s greatest characters, and as such, teammates paid tribute by telling their best Kessel stories.
One, in particular, stood out and it came courtesy of Winnipeg Jets winger Blake Wheeler. He said he never saw Kessel take a sip of water during their time as teammates.
“I remember walking into his room in the Olympic village [in 2014], and the amount of candy wrappers stacked up next to his bed — I think that was what he brought from home to Sochi,” Wheeler told SportsNet.
“And I don’t know if this still holds true, but for the longest time, he never drank water,” Wheeler continued. “He would only drink blue Powerade. He didn’t like the taste of water.”
The Legend of Phil Kessel
While lots of NHL players today are health-freaks, Phil Kessel has become legendary for his aversion to working out his candy and hotdog-heavy diet.
However, Wheeler — who played with him at the University of Minnesota as well as with the Boston Bruins and the United States Olympic Team — said this isn’t the case.
“A lot of jokes get made about his body or the things he does off the ice, those types of things, but I think it’s a front, a good story,” he said. “You ask anyone who’s trained with him or seen him in the gym, he’s typically one of the strongest guys.”
“He’s incredibly athletic,” Wheeler explained. “He cares a lot and I think he invests a lot more into himself than he would let people know.”
Kessel’s 990-straight games broke the previous mark set last Spring by Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle, who is himself a big character. Before Yandle, the record holder was center Doug Jarvis with 964 straight games played for the Canadiens, Capitals, and Whalers.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle