NHL Rumors: Phil Kessel Was Close to Signing in Canada

According to sources, the Calgary Flames were very interested in signing free-agent forward Phil Kessel. The veteran winger ended up inking a one-year deal with the Vegas Golden Knights for $1.5 million against the cap.

Flames general manager Brad Treliving has done a fine job this offseason, considering how everything started with Johnny Gaudreau leaving for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Matthew Tkachuk essentially demanding a trade. Treliving missed on Kessel, however signed Nazem Kadri and traded for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar instead. It would have been interesting to see Kessel and Kadri reunited from their days with the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

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As for Kessel, he's excited to play for a team that wants to win as he admitted the Coyotes management team steered him in the wrong direction, saying they were going to go for it and instead it was the polar opposite.

Full Kessel press conference below as expect a big season from the 34-year-old offensive talent who is coming off a fine season, recording 52 points in 82 games on a struggling Coyotes roster:

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