Phil Kessel dons Penguins jersey for 1st time
Ex-Maple Leaf likely to play on Crosby's right side
Fans interested in seeing Phil Kessel back in a black and gold jersey, this time with Pittsburgh, got a glimpse ahead of training camp next month.
The NHL team on Monday tweeted out a picture of the Penguins newcomer and likely Sidney Crosby linemate wearing shorts and his new No. 81 jersey.
Fittingly, as some Toronto Maple Leafs fans would say, the painfully shy Kessel showed no emotion for the camera.
We like your style, <a href="https://twitter.com/PKessel81">@PKessel81</a>! <a href="http://t.co/HbokxtQR5S">pic.twitter.com/HbokxtQR5S</a>—@penguins
But don't fret, Penguins fans, Kessel is excited to be a Penguin. Actually, he said, "real excited" after his July 1 trade from Toronto along with winger Tyler Biggs, defenceman Tim Erixon and a 2016 second-round draft pick for forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Spaling, defenceman Scott Harrington and first- and third-round picks next year.
Kessel arrives in Pittsburgh following a 25-goal season in Toronto, his lowest output in a full season since his second year with the black and gold Boston Bruins in 2006-07 (19 goals).
However, the 27-year-old scored 181 goals in 446 games with the Maple Leafs and suited up for 446 consecutive contests.
when u see that picture of Phil Kessel in a pens jersey <a href="http://t.co/YfOoZVLsFu">pic.twitter.com/YfOoZVLsFu</a>—@torontoleafer
Kessel posted 66 goals in 222 games with Boston before the Bruins traded him to the Leafs in September 2009, giving the nine-year veteran 247 goals and 520 points in 668 NHL regular-season games.
Possessing a blistering release, the speedy Kessel has scored 151 goals in the previous four seasons, more than anyone in the league save for Washington's Alex Ovechkin (206), Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos (202) and Anaheim's Corey Perry (178).
Toronto visits Pittsburgh on Oct. 17 and who knows, you might see a few smiles from Kessel.