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Posted 12:39 AM ET | Comments 2
Here we are on a Tuesday night and, yes, summer is practically over. Of course, I couldn't be happier. Training camp is almost here and before you know it, television will be watchable again. Although news is slow, the league is alive as ever with teams rounding out their rosters and players ready to compete for Lord Stanley. Here are a few things that are on my mind currently. 1)I never thought I would see Phil Kessel say a positive thing about Toronto after he left. I'm sure a lot of members of the Toronto media were surprised as well (I'm talking to you Dave Feschuck and Steve Simmonds). This isn't about the media, though, and it never should be in the big smoke. This was a message to the fans. The real ones, that is. Phil Kessel isn't a perfect hockey player, and I don't think he has ever claimed to be. For ups and downs he was the best player in the blue and white for a few seasons. I'm sure there are a few people in Toronto who will miss #81 streaking down the right wing. I, for one, hope that Phil shows up in training camp 10 pounds lighter, and finishes the season 10 goals heavier. 2)Speaking of Phil’s former team the Toronto Maple leafs; they recently announced that they signed former 30-goal-man Devin Setoguchi to a PTO. Apparently he has cleaned up and, at 28, maybe there is some life left in his career. Everyone loves a comeback story, right? Maybe not everyone. One has to imagine that few Leaf prospects that have been in the organization for a while can't be rooting for Seto to make the squad. Josh Leivo, Sam Carrick and Matt Frattin could all argue that they should be playing full time for the Leafs when camp ends. However, this is a Mike Babcock team; he will no doubt pick the best players available and will hold no bias. 3)One last thought on the Pens. Coach Mike Johnson told the media that Kessel will start training camp riding shotgun with Sidney Crosby. I doubt that I'm the only person thinking this won't last long. I have always thought that Crosby was the best skilled grinder in the league. It almost sounds like a slight at the Cole Harbour kid, but it’s really a compliment. He works just as hard as anyone in the league without the puck as he does with it. His game also doesn't completely revolve around rush hockey. This will always be a combo that Mike Johnson can use at any time during the season, but I think Kessel will find his place more with Malkin. Leaf fans have always dreamed of seeing Phil play with a number-one centre. Having two of them in Steel City to choose from is quite a nice problem to have. That's all for now , hopefully a few of you have wasted your time looking at your laptop or smart phone reading this instead of enjoying the rest of the good weather.
Filed Under:   kessel   maple leafs   penguins   prospects   malkin   crosby  
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