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Today marks fifth anniversary of Phil Kessel beating cancer

Dec 16, 2011, 8:54 PM EDT

Phil Kessel; Mike Komisarek AP

For whatever reason, Phil Kessel has been a divisive figure in the NHL when he should instead be a source of inspiration.

Just look at his rookie year: character issues were sited as he dropped a bit in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, but that hurdle didn’t compare to what happened about a month into that 2006-07 season. Kessel was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November 2006, yet he only took about two weeks to return from the surgery that resulted.

Today marks the five-year anniversary of Kessel being cancer-free, as TSN’s Katherine Dolan covers in this video.

Kessel already has an assist on a Joffrey Lupul goal, pushing his points total to an astounding 37. Obviously, that battle with a scary disease is far behind him, but it makes his amazing season that much more impressive.

  1. 8man - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Ex-Bruin. Current stud. He’s where he wants to be and the Bruins got some amazing talent in return. Everyone won.

    When the Leafs win it all, I will be happy for all of Toronto. Those sweaters are smokin’. They are in blue what Wings gear is in red.

  2. lapsncaps - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    I can’t believe it has already been 5 years! its amazing to hear it happened that long ago now. I am real happy for him for how he has recovered and not had any setbacks. Most people dont realize the dangers of testicular cancer. I have been checking myself every month since 2002 when i thought i had a scare myself, while in a non english speaking country. That was scary, and while i am relieved i was ok, there are probably a bunch of guys who have it and dont even know.

  3. nhlbruins90 - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    From what I understand, it’s a very survivable cancer that rarely spreads. Given the location, removal must be rather easy.

    Tough thing for a young guy, but lucky it wasn’t a more dangerous cancer. Given that he’s a very private guy, and that he’s never spoken about it publicly AFAIK, it’s sort of an odd post. I don’t think I’d discuss his private health issues without his consent, even if it might be helpful to other young guys like him. Who knows, maybe he feels differently.

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