Phil Kessel reached his breaking point Tuesday, hours after the Toronto Maple Leafs announced the firing of head coach Randy Carlyle.
Carlyle became the second coach fired during Kessel’s time in Toronto. Ron Wilson, who coached the Leafs when they acquired Kessel from the Boston Bruins, weighed in on Carlyle’s firing shortly after the news broke and ripped into Leafs players.
“Some of these players have failed under two of three coaches,” Wilson said during a radio interview with TSN. “You have to surmise that some of them are uncoachable now.”
He then zeroed in on Kessel.
“Phil’s problem, and I think it’s pretty much how Phil’s been his whole career, is that he is two weeks on and two weeks off,” Carlyle said. “You can’t rely on (Phil). That’s just the way he is. It affects his game and his relationship with players.”
When Kessel faced reporters later Tuesday, Toronto Star writer Dave Feschuk asked him if he believed he was uncoachable.
“I don’t think so. That’s a weird question for you to ask,” Kessel responded. “You think it’s my fault? Is that what you’re saying? Is that what you’re saying? Is that what you’re saying? OK …”
Feschuk went back at Kessel: “I’m asking a question. Are you difficult to coach, do you think?”
“I don’t think so. I play, eh?” Kessel quipped.
After that feisty little exchange, presumably a Leafs PR person decided it was time to end Kessel’s availability. That’s when things got real good.
“This guy’s such an idiot here,” a smiling Kessel said as reporters started to leave his stall. “He’s always been like this.”
Good times in Toronto. You can see the full interaction here.
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports