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Best 10 NHL moments of the year: Phil Kessel, Mr. Irrelevant

Dec 25, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Merry Christmas, everyone. Since we can’t buy all our readers an iPad2, we’ve put together a list of the best 10 NHL moments of the past year that we’ll be rolling out on the site all day long.

Phil Kessel, Mr. Irrelevant

In an effort to spice up the 2011 All-Star Game, the NHL opted for a “fantasy” draft — a fantasy that turned into Phil Kessel’s nightmare. There he sat, awkwardly, as 35 players were selected ahead of him.

So, why is this on our “best moments” list?

For one, Kessel handled the ignominy like a champ.

“I don’t care one bit at all,” he said after the draft. “When I was a kid, I would never have dreamed of being here. Hopefully the fans in Toronto are happy to see me in the game. I’ll play well in the game for them.”

Two, he’s been on fire ever since. Kessel scored 30 points in 33 games following last year’s ASG and this season, he’s the NHL’s second-leading scorer with 41 points through 35 games.

Not bad for Mr. Irrelevant, huh?

  1. barkar942 - Dec 26, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    I guess he will be selected first this year, and last years captain, Eric Stall will be picked last!

  2. imleftcoast - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Classy guy, and he obviously put it behind him. What other sport would do that to an elite player? Nonetheless, Bud Selig calling the 2002 baseball all-star game is the all-time worst all-star game moment.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1671)
  2. P. Kane (1303)
  3. S. Matthias (1161)
  4. D. Carcillo (1060)
  5. C. Ehrhoff (1034)