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NHL Iron Man Phil Kessel may be willing to snap his consecutive games streak if it means signing a deal for the 2023-24 season.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Kessel wants to play this season after spending last season with the Stanley Cup-winning Vegas Golden Knights.
Friedman says that in addition to wanting to play, he’s willing to snap that Iron Man streak of his — which is at 1,064 regular season games — and not play every day.
His willingness to do that could be key in a team signing him. As Friedman pointed out, when the Florida Panthers wanted to scratch previous Iron Man Keith Yandle, they faced grief from players and fans. It’s a real headache, and no one wants to be the one to snap a guy’s streak like that.
Kessel’s Willingess To Be A Healthy Scratches Increases His Signing Options
However, if Kessel is cool with ending his streak to sign somewhere as an extra forward and watch from the press box most nights, that should increase his number of suitors.
The 35-year-old potted 14 goals and 22 assists for 36 points last season. That’s nowhere near where he once was production-wise, but for some depth and a huge locker room presence with three Cups under his belt, he’s a great option for a lot of teams who need an extra forward with a nose for the net.
Phil The Thrill didn’t play every game of the Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup run, but lucky for him, only regular seasons are counted.
If Kessel does break his streak this season he has a considerable jump on the player with the next longest active streak. That would be Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Brent Burns who has played in 761-straight NHL regular season games. That’s 303 to catch up with Kessel.
If Kessel’s streak ends on opening night this season it’ll take Burns nearly 4 years to surpass him.
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