National Hockey League players are known for their toughness and perseverance. During the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, players often gut it out and play through nagging and sometimes significant injuries. As teams have their season end, news emerges about certain players that played with various injuries.
On Friday, we learned via Twitter that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel had suffered a hand injury during the Penguins first-round series against the New York Rangers. On Friday, the hand in question was surgically repaired.
Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford confirmed Saturday that Kessel had surgery to repair a hand injury that had been bothering him all season.
Phil Kessel having hand surgery today. Injury sustained during 1st vs NYR. Played rest of playoffs on way to Stanley Cup win.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) July 8, 2016
During the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoff, the 28-year-old Kessel scored 10 goals and 22 points. Kessel was also a plus-five. During the regular season, Kessel finished third on the Penguins in points scoring 25 goal and 59 points. Kessel was a plus-nine.
What’s even more remarkable, that the hand injury didn’t seem to slow Kessel down. The Madison, Wisconsin native who played on the famed HBK Line, scored 16 of his 22 points during the final three rounds of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Including, a three-point effort against the Washington Capitals in game six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Kessel should be ready to go by training camp.
Eric is a 1996, 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota. Eric covers the University of North Dakota Hockey and Division I college hockey. Eric is the Contributing Editor for Inside Hockey.