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Column: The Blackhawks and Phil Kessel Should Have a Chat



Admit it, a Blackhawks – Phil Kessel pairing could be high levels of entertainment. The 36-year-old reportedly is over in the Swiss league staying in shape while he waits for an opportunity again in the NHL.

Man, could it be fun seeing him play in Chicago.

It’s been a brutal watch these last few weeks. Between injuries taking a chunk out of the lineup or the losing beginning to really outpace the winning, the glow of Connor Bedard skating around in a Blackhawks jersey hasn’t been as bright, even though the rookie has been everything they’d hoped for.

So how better to help an ailing team while making sure the needle moves forward enough to not kill confidence–while not losing prime lottery positioning?

Hello Phil Kessel.

A Win-Win for the Blackhawks and Phil Kessel

Aside from his iron-man streak and scoring prowess, Kessel’s personality is what makes him alluring. Nick Foligno commands the locker room with his wisdom and humor. Kessel could add to it with his noted humor and experience as a three-time Stanley Cup champion.

Want to build a locker room some more? There’s your answer.

But for me, it’s Kessel’s humor that would liven things up even more. Known for his quips, or even better, his troll of putting hot dogs into the Stanley Cup after winning another one–it’s a chef’s kiss.

For a team being bamboozled with loss after loss, Kessel seems like one of those guys who would lighten the mood a bit and well, selfishly, provide some great one liners postgame or in a scrum.

But he’d also provide value beyond the room–likely good for a chunk of goals if he indeed signs and would end up on that top line with Bedard.

Or, want to give Lukas Reichel someone to set up and help build his confidence? Kessel could check a box there, too.

Want to keep that power play humming after a two-goal performance the other night? Ahem, Kessel can help there, too.

But if the Blackhawks wanted Kessel, would they likely have made a call already? Perhaps. But if injuries keep piling up as they are, there would be a number of Blackhawks fans thrilled to see him taking a few laps around the ice in the iconic sweater.

After all, if there’s any city where Kessel could get another mile out of that hot dog jab, a Chicago style could certainly do the trick.

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