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Phil Kessel Did Not Fit In The Toronto Mold

from Bill Harris of the Toronto Sun,

It’s trickier when your most talented player isn’t driven.

But in Toronto, this scenario isn’t just a disappointment.

It’s a train wreck.

As I’ve watched the Chicago Blackhawks in their various playoff runs over the past few seasons, I reached this vague conclusion: Phil Kessel is Patrick Kane.

Toronto wanted Kessel to be Jonathan Toews. But the key isn’t turning Kessel/Kane into Toews, because that never works.

The key is getting a Toews, too.

There’s an extra layer of complication in Toronto.

Since 1993, when the Leafs made their magical playoff run and came within a game of reaching the Stanley Cup final, Gilmour and Clark have combined to form the star template that we crave in Toronto.

Gilmour, looking more like a skeleton with each game, so vicious about winning that he would do absolutely anything.

And Clark, having survived many dark seasons in Blue and White when he had to be the scorer AND the fighter AND the hitter AND the leader, wringing every last morsel of energy out of his battered body, and rising to the occasion.

If you don’t fit that model in Toronto?

You are greeted with annoyed bafflement.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com