October 25 — A New Ironman, Unretirement & HBD Wendel Clark

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

THE HITS KEEP COMING: Things are going from bad to worse for the Vancouver Canucks, with injuries piling up to add to the early season woes of an 0-4-2 start. Quinn Hughes is week-to-week with an upper-body injury, while Brock Boeser is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: To celebrate Diwali on Monday, the Canucks wore special warmup jerseys designed by local artist Sandeep Johal. And while these gorgeous sweaters are available for auction, they couldn’t help Vancouver triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes to earn its first win. 

ENNIS HEADS OVERSEAS: Tyler Ennis, a 14-year NHL veteran, has signed a one-year deal with SC Bern in Switzerland. He compiled eight goals, 16 assists, and 24 points in 57 games with the Ottawa Senators last season and was an unrestricted free agent. 

PRICE NOT READY TO RETIRE: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price addressed the media and said he is not planning to retire but has no timetable for when he can return to the ice. He acknowledged that his rehab hasn’t been successful and admitted that carrying his kids up and down stairs is difficult. Fingers crossed that Price can make his way back to 100 percent sooner rather than later. 

STILL STREAKING: Phil Kessel tied Keith Yandle’s NHL Ironman record last night, appearing in his 989th consecutive game as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-1. Kessel will pass Yandle for sole possession of the streak tonight against the San Jose Sharks.

SUPER MARIO BROTHERS: Continuing a 12-year tradition, the Boston Bruins have returned to local hospitals to cheer up children in costume. With the last few years going virtual due to health concerns surrounding the pandemic, the Bruins donned Super Mario Bros. costumes to resume their in-person visits. Patrice Bergeron (Mario), Brad Marchand (Luigi), Jeremy Swayman (Bowser), Linus Ullmark (Toad), Brandon Carlo (Donkey Kong), Derek Forbort (Princess Peach), Charlie Coyle (Yoshi), and Nick Foligno (Wario) all took part in the outing. 

Trivia Tuesday

How Well Do You Know Wendel Clark?

Wendel Clark, Toronto Maple Leafs and Rick Wamsley, St. Louis Blues, April 1986. (Photo by Graig Abel)
  1. What year did the Toronto Maple Leafs draft Clark first overall?
    • 1981
    • 1987
    • 1985
    • 1983

  2. Clark finished his career as a member of which NHL team?
    • Toronto Maple Leafs
    • Detroit Red Wings
    • Chicago Blackhawks
    • Tampa Bay Lightning

  3. Clark was honored by which Hall of Fame with an induction in 2011?
    • Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame
    • Ontario Sports Hall of Fame
    • Hockey Hall of Fame
    • Saskatoon Blades Hall of Fame

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

Getting to Know the Ironman

Phil Kessel is an outlier. And not just for playing in an NHL record-tying 989 consecutive games (he’ll take sole possession of the record with No. 990 tonight). This hotdog-loving, dad-bod-boasting, cancer-surviving hockey star has always been celebrated as an everyman, even while carving out a legendary and potentially Hall of Fame-worthy career.

Cancer, his durability, the goal-scoring prowess, and the wildly inaccurate “lazy” reputation—these things you know (or at least you think you do) about Kessel. So, in honor of tying Keith Yandle for the NHL Ironman crown (for a day, anyway), here are some things you don’t know about the cult hockey hero.

The Hot Dog Story Is—False?

The now-legendary link between Kessel and frankfurters came about thanks to a 2015 story in the Toronto Sun that alleged the then-Toronto Maple Leaf would grab a daily dog along the walk from his condo to the rink. However, some observant internet sleuths ultimately deduced from Kessel’s condo being depicted in HBO’s 24/7 series on the Leafs that he couldn’t have lived in that area. Why would he go out of his way to a specific, inconvenient location when Toronto has hundreds of hot dog vendors?

An Athletic Family Tree

Everyone knows that Team USA mainstay Amanda Kessel is just as big a hockey star as her older brother. But the athletic genes in the Kessel clan don’t stop there. Their dad, Phil Sr. (who knew Phil was a Jr.??), was a star quarterback in college and was drafted into the NFL, although he never played. Amanda and Phil’s brother Blake was an NHL draftee, and cousin David Moss played for Calgary and Phoenix across over 500 NHL games.

President Phil?

Kessel was well-liked in Pittsburgh while winning two Stanley Cups with the 2016 and 2017 Penguins, but just how popular was he? Ahead of the 2018 US Presidential election, the Wisconsin native amassed a reported 53 write-in votes for the presidency. At least we know he’d show up daily for work in the Oval Office!

Back For More

On Oct. 22, rumors swirled that former Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson could make a return to professional hockey after announcing his retirement in July 2021. The news report states he is training with HV71 of the Swedish Hockey League in a possible comeback effort. In light of this development, let’s look back at some recent hockey players that came back to the game, Tom Brady style!

Mike Fisher

Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher announced his retirement after an 18-year career in Aug. 2017. Yet, six months later, he announced he was returning to the Predators, stating that he felt the team had a good shot at winning the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately for Fisher, the Predators got eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets, and the captain ultimately retired for good afterward. 

David Krejčí

In July 2021, Boston Bruins center David Krejčí announced he would finish his playing career in his native Czech Republic after 15 years and one Stanley Cup with the Bruins. He never filed retirement paperwork, which gave him the option of returning, but his statement seemed set in stone that this was it with the NHL. Much to Bruins fans’ delight, the team announced they signed Krejčí to a one-year, $1 million deal in August. The 36-year-old explained he wasn’t ready to retire and wanted to run it back with Patrice Bergeron. They’re going for their version of “The Last Dance!”

David Krejčí, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Sean Avery

Sean Avery played in the NHL for 10 years and is most known for his time with the New York Rangers. He retired from the NHL in March 2012 and attempted to make a comeback as late as this year. In February, the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL signed the 41-year-old Avery to a standard player contract. However, the dream of playing again was short-lived, as the Solar Bears released him two days later.

Trivia Answers

  1. 1985
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs
  3. Ontario Sports Hall of Fame

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