On Wednesday night Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon announced the team had agreed to terms with the veteran forward Phil Kessel. The deal is a one-year contract that will pay him 1.5 million this upcoming season.
Kessel is a two-time Stanley Cup champion in back-to-back years of 2015-16 and 2016-17 and has accumulated in his NHL career so far 956 points ( 399 goals, 557 assists) in 1,204 games played and is ranked 10th in career points.
The Madison, Wisconsin native has appeared in 982 consecutive NHL games, which is the current longest streak, and is only seven games away from tying the iron man streak of Keith Yandle, whose record is 989. At 34 years old, he has played 16 seasons in the NHL with four teams.
He was drafted and played for the Boston Bruins from 2006-2009 before going to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2009-15, also playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2015-19, and most recently, the Arizona Coyotes from 2019-2022.
In the playoffs, Kessel has played in 96 games and led the Penguins during their run to the cup in 2016 with 22 points ( 10 goals, 12 assists). On the international side, he has represented the USA three times at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
He also made the Olympic team twice in 2010 and 2014, and was drafted fifth overall at the 2006 NHL Entry draft. He had been rumored to leave the desert the last couple of days and now has a new home in Sin City.
The Vegas Golden Knights are coming off a year where they missed the playoffs for the first time in their franchise history, fired head coach Pete Deboer and replaced him with Bruce Cassidy; they also moved on from Max Pacioretty due to salary cap issues.