Phil Kessel Is Grumpy And I like It

Phil Kessel’s interview with reporters yesterday showed his disdain with the media in Toronto and I think it’s a good thing. Why? I think the current sentiment from many Leafs fans is that there is an increasing level of apathy within the Leafs dressing room. To me, this interview showed that Kessel reached a bit of a breaking point and let his feelings out. There’s no doubt that Toronto must be a difficult city to play in, the media are relentless and, it seems, sometimes antagonistic. Phil Kessel certainly felt that way earlier in the year when he affectionately referred to a reporter as an ‘idiot’.


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Lupul, in the wake of that famous tweet that got passed TSN’s screeners, also isn’t super thrilled with the media.


Joffrey Lupul, TSN, Twitter, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs
(Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE)


I’m actually enjoying this bit of disdain and honesty in Toronto. The truth is, their performances on the ice do look apathetic. Now that’s not to say they are, anyone that’s played competitive sports knows that, it can sometimes be the case that those days you look the worst, are actually the days you’re playing the hardest. These little outbursts though show me that the players in Toronto aren’t happy, nor should they be. The old refrain of the standard hockey interview gets old and it shows zero personality. At least these outbursts reveal some character. They also show that there might be more cohesion in this team than we’ve been led to believe.


I want the players to be annoyed and angry. That makes sense to me, otherwise they just seem complacent. Their record in 2015 is downright embarrassing. Their GM has gotten himself into such a mess that he really couldn’t make any deals for a team that’s trying to rebuild (whatever that means). It took a crappy event, and while I’ll admit that I did chuckle a bit, I’m sure it isn’t any fun for Phaneuf and his wife (and probably not for Lupul either). It’s obviously too late for this Leafs team, but I hope that the positive aspect of these events is the demonstration of solidarity and the willingness to stand up, together, as a team. I know a lot fans want the Leafs to tank, but I don’t care about that. I want to see a glimmer of the team that I love in these last few weeks.



3 thoughts on “Phil Kessel Is Grumpy And I like It”

  1. It is difficult to be a Maple Leaf’s fan. They start off the season looking like a contender but always, and I mean always, stop playing after Christmas and fade into the background culminating in this season’s complete meltdown. It is shameful that players, getting paid ( I can’t say earning) tens of millions of dollars, suddenly decide it is not enough and, effectively, go on strike. Kessel may be the highest scorer on the team but only because he is fed by his team mates. As I watch him he appears to me to be overweight and lazy. He doesn’t hit, can no longer stick handle or carry the puck. He just stands around waiting for someone to feed him. They all should have no compete clauses in their contracts. In this case it should mean that if they stop competing, as they all have completely this year, they don’t get paid. A jolt in the income might wake them up. Were it within my power, I would send the entire team to the minors and bring up some younger players with a desire to win. Any of the farm clubs could beat this bunch of over paid and under performing so called professionals. I have come to enjoy watching the Montreal Canadians, a team with a desire to win.

    • I was thinking if the team really wanted to ‘tank’, why not bench everyone, and bring up the entire Marlies team and see how they do! At least we’d probably see some desire out of the team.

    • A guy like Kessel is an absolute killer in the dressing room. And I don’t mean that in a flattering way. His attitude and character are simply deplorable, both on and off the ice. His characteristics on the ice you mention are entirely accurate – he has a sense of entitlement when he plays and refuses to make any sacrifices to earn a win. Pretty disheartening and disappointing when a guy willingly gives up the puck so that he doesn’t have to take a check. How do Leaf fans expect to win with a guy that shows an indifferent attitude and doesn’t take team commitment as seriously as others?

      I don’t even understand what Kessel was getting at in his comments to the media. The reporters and journalists aren’t the ones who are crapping on Phaneuf and ripping him – the fans are. I highly doubt that TSN purposely aired the unfortunate tweet. Pretty sure they hold themselves to higher standards than that.

      The Leafs had better deal Kessel as soon as the summer comes and free agency opens up again. I wouldn’t want his piss-poor attitude around my younger guys if I were Nonis/Shanahan. Players like Rielly, Nylander and whoever the Leafs draft in a few months don’t need a “woe is me” mentality like Kessel moping around the dressing room and setting a bad example for the rest of the team.

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