It’s Sept. 20, 2016, and Phil Kessel is still a Stanley Cup champion.
Better yet - he’s a Stanley Cup champion who anticipates being ready for the start of the regular season.
Phil Kessel says he'll be ready for the start of the season. pic.twitter.com/vkgrO1DNxA— Jonathan Bombulie (@BombulieTrib) September 20, 2016
Kessel had a bone chip in his hand apparently dating back to roughly a year ago, during the 2015-16 training camp. He played through it not only throughout the entire season - one that still saw him play all 82 games, and score 59 points along the way - but through the playoffs as well, during which he was the Penguins’ leading scorer.
He only finally underwent surgery for it a couple of months ago, back in July - which apparently is going to give him just enough time to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Kessel hasn’t missed a game since the 2009-10 season, his first year in Toronto.
This quote from the end of his interview definitely sums up everything about Kessel the best:
"Obviously it was a great year last year that ended up unbelievable, and hopefully we can do it again."
Imagine what he can do starting the season off on a team he’s familiar with, with a coach he’s familiar with, and without anything ailing his hands? It’s gonna be a good one.