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Can Phil Kessel Actually Help The VGK?

Phil Kessel

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Phil Kessel
Can Phil Kessel actually help the VGK or will this signing go down as a vital mistake? Kessel certainly brings an interesting skillset to this Vegas squad. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Can Phil Kessel Actually Help The VGK?

I’m a bit tardy with this post. I needed sleep in the worst way. As you can tell by the way this site is run, I don’t normally sleep much so it was a pleasant surprise to wake up to see Phil Kessel signing a one-year contract with the Vegas Golden Knights. The deal will pay Kessel a $1.5 million AAV for the upcoming season.

Kessel, 34, has a pretty defined scouting report at this time. Not interested in playing defense, not throwing any hits, slow footed, not going to draw penalties, but can help you offensively.

Kessel had 44 assists on a terrible Coyotes team. If Kessel can have an uptick in finishing rate with better players around him, this signing could work well. He’s also a great add to the locker room. Vegas needs a guy like this because Keegan Kolesar sure as hell ain’t it.

Kessel will certainly help on the powerplay unit. A unit that ranked 8th worst league wide a year ago. Kessel should help you on that end because it can’t get worse. The head coaching change to Bruce Cassidy should make a difference too.

You would have to think that Vegas is going to give Kessel a top-six role. All indications have been that Cassidy plans on splitting up the misfit line. To start the year Kessel will likely play on the second line with William Karlsson and Reilly Smith. That would mean first line Jonathan Marchessault, Jack Eichel, and Mark Stone. For those that were hoping for a Chandler Stephenson breakout campaign, that may be on hold unless Kessel really falters.

The positive here is that Kessel at least plays. Kessel is going to break the iron man record that Keith Yandle currently holds. For a Knights team that has been hit with major injuries over the last year, being available is a very important trait right now. That alone makes him more valuable than that bum Max Pacioretty.

Next order of business: Finding a replacement for Robin Lehner. Braden Holtby? An offer sheet for Jake Oettinger?

We’ll see how much Phil Kessel helps the VGK. After Vegas dumped Pacioretty, it was clear they needed at least one winger. For those that like the signing, just remember those morons over at Sin Bin Vegas told you this team was an 8 seed that should sit on their hands on do nothing. For better or worse, Vegas fans are getting Phil the Thrill and that should excite everyone regardless of it he gets burned on defense.

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