It’s summer, it’s hot, and the takes are sizzling, which can only mean one thing: the Canes Country Hot Take-a-Thon is underway. Our writers have come up with their hottest takes. Some of them are for real. Some of them are satire. All of them are entertaining. Want to contribute your own take? Head to the FanPosts section, put on your fire suit, and get to takin’.
We all know that the Carolina Hurricanes are in a non-traditional market. For two-time Stanley Cup champion Phil Kessel, traditional markets are all he knows. He once faced plenty of scrutiny with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but now with two Stanley Cups on his resume, he’s undoubtedly ready to take on another sort of challenge again.
Let’s face it: Kessel has little chemistry with Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. The Carolina Hurricanes have a deep talent pool of up and comers, which would give Kessel more prestige in the locker room and on the ice as a top guy. It makes sense that someone like Kessel could add some edge and sharp shooting ability to a team that needs a little bit of both.
Malkin claimed he would rather be the number two guy behind Crosby rather than the number one center in Carolina. Meanwhile, Kessel played behind the likes of Conor Sheary and Jake Guentzel as they were paired with Crosby a bit. Needless to say, Kessel doesn’t have the same mentality as Malkin.
Rumors have surfaced he’s on the block to be traded again, and he clearly lacks the ambition that is needed to propel the Penguins to a third consecutive Stanley Cup. With old friend Jim Rutherford at the helm, anything is possible. Knowing that Rutherford likes to bring back old faces and keep a good relationship with past co-workers, couldn’t you see Kessel becoming a Carolina Hurricane?
Kessel has produced at least 60 points in four consecutive 82-game seasons and, although a wrist injury kept him out of the World Cup, he’s been healthy. But that said, he still looks like he could shave a few pounds off his frame. That’s nothing that The Bod, Rod Brind’Amour, couldn’t fix. Brind’Amour could get Kessel in tip top shape by stringing a doughnut to a fishing pole as Brind’Amour gets his morning 5k in.
Bill Peters is a no B.S. guy, as we saw when Eddie Lack caught the wrath of Peters’ colorful vocabulary. Although Kessel skipped town before Mike Babcock came to Toronto, you wonder how a successful coach like Babcock could have changed Kessel’s mentality. Beyond that, Kessel likes to get mouthy with Sidney Crosby, and that could provide some color, personality, and fire into what seems like - let’s be honest - a pretty vanilla Hurricanes locker room.
Kessel is not your cookie cutter NHL sharpshooter, but damn if he doesn’t a nice release. He was once traded for a pick that became Tyler Seguin, for Pete’s sake. He’s been successful enough around the league to where he can help a team like Carolina get to the other side.
Remember when Francis came back from Pittsburgh to sign with Carolina in 1998? This would provide basically the same thing: instant credibility. The Hurricanes have faced scrutiny about their franchise over the years and Kessel is no stranger to it either. It’s a perfect match. He’ll be the anchor to the Hurricanes’ second Stanley Cup, and his third in a row.