NHL·Poll

What should the Leafs do with Phil Kessel?

Former Maple Leafs bench boss Ron Wilson was the latest hockey man to question Toronto winger Phil Kessel’s day-to-day commitment to the team on Tuesday. Is the temperamental sniper's attitude beyond repair?

Sniper's temperament continues to be questioned

Toronto Maple Leaf's forward Phil Kessel goes off on a reporter when asked about coach Randy Carlyle being fired 0:49

Former Maple Leafs bench boss Ron Wilson was the latest hockey man to question Toronto winger Phil Kessel’s day-to-day commitment on Tuesday, after the team dumped head coach Randy Carlyle.

Wilson said this about Kessel on TSN Radio:

“You can’t rely on Phil,” said Wilson. “Phil’s problem, and I think it’s pretty much how Phil’s been his whole career, is that he is two weeks on and two weeks off."

Hours after Carlyle’s dismissal, Kessel was asked by reporter Dave Feschuk if he was a difficult player to coach. A testy Kessel called Feschuk an “idiot.” 

There is some history there. Feschuk, a Toronto Star columnist, reported back in September that rookie assistant coach Steve Spott told a coaches’ clinic Kessel didn't appreciate a new breakout play he had devised.

"I'm not doing it," Kessel said, according to one of the attendees at the clinic. 

Just days before the report, outgoing MLSE CEO and president Tim Leiweke called out some unnamed Maple Leafs players to a Ryerson MBA class.

“There are players we have in our organization today whose numbers are off-the-chart good, and whose character is just terrible,” he said.

This brings us back to Kessel.

Can the new, permanent Toronto coach — let the Mike Babcock rumours begin — fix Kessel or is the temperamental sniper's attitude beyond repair?

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.