Is it too late to nominate a late entry to the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eat contest this weekend? Because Phil Kessel seems like a worthy contender.

The polarizing forward was traded Wednesday from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Pittsburgh Penguins in what was the biggest move of one of the NHL’s busiest days of the year.

Thus ended Kessel’s contentious time in Toronto, where he and the Leafs never really lived up to expectations. Factor in a rabid media base and Kessel’s disdain for speaking with reporters, and you’ve got the recipe for plenty of hot takes from Toronto scribes. Steve Simmons, who’s been one of Kessel’s biggest detractors, took the forward to task in a column published Thursday.

It’s a pretty strong take, but the literally the first thing that catches your eye is this anecdote about Kessel’s affinity for hot dogs.

“The hot dog vendor who parks daily at Front and John Sts. just lost his most reliable customer,” Simmons wrote. “Almost every afternoon at 2:30 p.m., often wearing a toque, Phil Kessel would wander from his neighborhood condominium to consume his daily snack.”

Is this necessarily relevant to Kessel’s time with the Leafs? No, probably not, but it makes for one fantastic visual, and for that part, at least, we’re thankful. We’re also pretty sure Kessel’s thankful to be out of Toronto — not to mention the fact that it happens right before Fourth Of July weekend, which mean there will be plenty of celebratory hot dogs to be had.

Thumbnail photo via James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports Images