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A Move for Kessel


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It really isn’t much of a secret that Kessel was frustrated over the last couple of seasons in New Orleans. Last season New Orleans had one of the worst EFL records, winning only 3 games and losing 13. Kessel, being a champion both in the NHL and in the ECFA was finding himself more and more frustrated by the losing ways of the Kraken. However, it wasn’t something that ultimately surprised Kessel. He’s been in the professional sports industry long enough to know what it meant when a player was drafted 1st overall.


In the S28 Draft, Phil Kessel was named as the 1st overall pick for the New Orleans Kraken. Of course, Phil and his friends and family were all incredibly excited. Up to this point most people thought that he wouldn’t do well in professional football, mostly due to his age and physique. But, Kessel continued to prove people wrong and clearly was a valued asset. He was someone that teams wanted, and Kessel loved that feeling.


When he first stepped onto the field for the Kraken he felt an unending level of energy surge through him, he was happy to be where he was. However, that excitement soon faded away as he saw the talent on the field. It seemed like nothing was coming together, and Kessel grew increasingly frustrated, at one point saying, “I’m tired of being the only person on the team who seems to even care.” However, after several promises were made to Kessel regarding the state of the team, he decided to stick around to try and help, and to be a veteran presence on the team. But, as one can tell by last season’s record, those promises were hollow.


Kessel got to a point where he didn’t really care. He grew tired of being the strength of the team, and wanted a break from it all. His practice attendance slipped, his work on the field depreciated, and his drive slowed down. Despite that, his season numbers were impressive. 147 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 8 pass deflections, these were great numbers. However, they were not great numbers for a veteran player who was drafted 1st overall. It got to the point where Kessel even considered retirement. Maybe it was time to hang up the pads?


But, then the news came out. The EFL was dissolving the Kraken franchise and Kessel would enter the dispersion draft. Maybe, just maybe, this was the change that Kessel needed. With the third selection of the S33 Dispersal Draft, the Seattle Predators selected Kessel. Immediately upon arrival, Kessel was met by an eager staff and an excited management. The atmosphere, to Kessel, seemed so much better. Now, the Predators still have their work cut out for them as they only went 8-8 in S32, but Kessel has a feeling that he will add to the team. The youthful excitement he had at one point has made a big return, a breath of fresh air has entered his lungs. It seems that, for now, the talks of retirement have simmered down. Only time will tell.

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