Phil Kessel left quite a legacy in his wake with four seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2015-2019. His return was the shot in the arm a fading team needed to get back to their Stanley Cup days. Kessel was at times the Pens’ best player in parts of the 2016 and 2017 championship runs.
Kessel never missed a game with the Pens, and recorded 303 points in 328 regular season games with the black and gold.
Friday night was his first return to Pittsburgh since a summer trade sent the mercurial forward away, and as is customary the team honored him during the first TV timeout during the game with a nice video package thanking him for his time and contributions with the Pens.
Fans and teammates always loved “the Thrill” and the Pens’ video team always presents a top-notch product and this was a very worth look at what made Kessel’s time in Pittsburgh such a special chapter in franchise history.
Kessel got a nice, extended standing ovation from the crowd and acknowledged the fans with a wave and later a big smile as the cheers continued loudly right up through the drop of the puck to start the play when the break ended.