Phil Kessel had his introductory press conference in Arizona today, you can check it out here if you would so like.
Phil Kessel Introductory Press Conference https://t.co/FnIVR8dr8W— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) September 3, 2019
It started with Phil smiling and putting on his new “Kachina” Coyotes jersey.
Kessel cited being “good friends” with current Arizona head coach Rick Tocchet but pointed to being excited about joining a team with young talent.
“My time in Pittsburgh was coming to an end, and I felt that, but I think it is a great situation for me [in Arizona] and I wanted to be a part of that.”
Kessel had a roller coaster off-season that saw him use his no trade clause block a trade proposal that would have sent him to the Minnesota Wild in May. The Pens continued to test the market and make a move for him, and eventually consummated a deal on June 29th to send the veteran winger to Arizona for Alex Galchenyuk and prospect Pierre-Olivier Joseph.
Phil then talked about other perfunctory and expected comments that he wanted to help the young players and help the team get to the next level with typical cliche and hopeful comments that are only natural at the start of a season and being with a new team.
Kessel appeared to be in pretty good shape and look fairly trim and fit, there have often been questions about his appearance or his training habits and even an admitted dietary concerns, but it looks like he’s ready for this season.
Phil Kessel in town for the first time as a Coyote pic.twitter.com/qDS3vmIgsO— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) September 3, 2019
As far as his initial reaction to the trade, Kessel said he was “excited” and again went into his desire to help the Coyotes become a playoff team. He didn’t dive too deep, as to be expected, but pretty clearly he was aware that Pittsburgh was looking to move him and seems very comfortable about his landing spot out west with Tocchet.
Other than that, Kessel didn’t really touch on any other aspects of his stint in Pittsburgh that lasted four seasons and resulted in 303 points in 328 games and two Stanley Cups. It should be an exciting time for him now in Arizona as he closes in on milestones like 1,000 NHL games, 400 goals and even eventually 900 and 1,000 points individually and will also be a key player to watch to see if his contributions can help the Coyotes back into the playoffs for the first time since 2012.