Golden Knights Sign Kessel In An Attempt To Replace Lost Offense

Phil Kessel was coming off an 8-year, $64 million contract and for a while has been the best free agent winger available for teams to target. He is now officially off the board as the Vegas Golden Knights have signed him to a 1-year, $1.5 million contract.

This signing, in some ways, should make up for the fact that they had to trade Max Pacioretty away to the Carolina Hurricanes for nothing. Kessel is a 12-time 20 goal scorer, reaching 30 goals six times. He's found success anywhere he's played throughout his career (Boston, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Arizona) and has spent the last three seasons playing for the Coyotes.
While on a young team that is in complete rebuild mode, Kessel may have scored only eight goals, but he still put up a good amount of points (52) in 82 games. An underrated aspect of what the Golden Knights are getting with Kessel is his ability to stay healthy. The veteran winger hasn't missed a game since 2009-10 and has been effective throughout.

Kessel may not be the most defensively gifted, but the team has players including Mark Stone to do that work. Kessel, while playing with better talent than what was available on Arizona, should bounce back in the goal department while still utilizing his speed and scoring ability to consistently put up much-needed offense for Vegas this season. He will likely slot in on the third line to give the depth some help scoring beside Nicolas Roy. This was a great signing for the Golden Knights as they must get back into the playoffs in 2022-23.

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