Friday, August 18, 2006

Hockey's Terrell Owens ?

Phil the Thrill Signs With Boston

Well, I don't know about the TO comparisons but some think Phil Kessel, the highly talented and highly confident rookie of the Boston Bruins, will bring a bit of controversy and flair to a league badly in need of interesting characters both on and off-ice to create a buzz about... particularly in the American market.

Allan Muir writing for Sports Illustrated explains how Kessel just might fit that bill.
There's no arguing that the kid has all the physical tools to be a star in this league. He may not be polished yet, but Kessel's a gem.

Kessel is also well aware of his gifts, and that has led to more than a hint of hot-doggery on occasion . . . which brings us back to Terrell Owens.

Like the Dallas Cowboys' controversial wide receiver, Kessel has had trouble with teammates in the past. He can be a me-first player who sometimes neglects the other four skaters on his side. He's been dogged by allegations of underage drinking, and he has a tendency to talk first and think later in front of the cameras.

And like Owens, he's a player who, love him or hate him, people won't be able to get enough of. And isn't that exactly the type of young player the league needs? [...]

America loves the bad boy almost as much as it loves the homegrown star, and that's where The Thrill comes in. He'll be cocky. He'll make capital M mistakes. And every now and then, he'll do things on the ice that will drop your jaw. He's the poster boy for sports in the Aughts [...]

Two years ago, Kessel was called America's Sidney Crosby. He's not.

Realistically, the B's have to be hoping to get 50 points out of him this season, and that's if all goes well. But style counts these days, too, and Kessel has that in spades. Just like Owens. And that's big news for the NHL.
Here's a little of that Kessel on ice talent and crowd baiting panache that many hope he's able to bring to the Bruins and the league.

Personally I think the kid's a bit overrated, which probably means he's going be a huge success. Which actually would be fine by me.

It looks to be another fun year in the league with rookies like Malkin, Kessel and others bursting onto the scene. I can hardly wait.

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