Phil Kessel put on his ‘good teammate’ hat Tuesday and simply blasted the Toronto media for the way it treats captain Dion Phaneuf. The comments came from a Toronto morning skate in Florida in the above video.
Below are some of the highlights:
“I think the way the media treats Dion Phaneuf in this city is embarrassing.”
“I think you guys (unfairly) criticize Dion. He’s our best defenseman and you guys act like he’s not trying out there.”
“Is it is fault we’re losing? No. Did he build this team? No.”
“He’s owed some apologies by some people”
Buried in there is this nugget:
“This city is a great hockey city and I love playing here.”
So at least Phil Kessel loves Toronto!
Preach on Dr. Phil!
Could this stem from the trade rumors involving Phaneuf leading up to Monday’s deadline? The statements about blame for Toronto’s losing, perhaps. The comment about the treatment of Phaneuf and attacks from the media may have to do with the tweet that ended up on TSN’s TradeCentre broadcast about inappropriate relations between Phaneuf’s wife, actress Elisha Cuthbert and Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul.
First off, honestly, if he thinks reporters there blame just Phaneuf for the team’s losing, there’s a list of guys higher up on the rung than Phaneuf.
If he’s ticked off about the TSN thing, he has been joined by Lupul, who tweeted out that he is giving the Toronto media the full Marshawn Lynch 'no comment' treatment
And Toronto's management (assistant GM Kyle Dubas specifically below) isn't exactly thrilled with the portrayal of its players either per the Toronto Sun:
Sources tell us Leafs management was incensed at TSN - whose parent company Bell is also an owner of the NHL team - and let management know about it. And Dubas confirmed it in an interview that had to be awkward for TSN brass.
And it’s clear that Leafs players are not amused, either.
“I think players have a right to be pissed off,” Dubas told the TSN Radio trio of Gareth Wheeler, Jeff O’Neill and Craig Button.
“Phil’s very passionate about that,” Dubas said. “He wants to show that the team and the guys care.”
To be honest, all three players are simply relics from the Brian Burke tenure as this team tries to make changes and rebuild. Props to Kessel for defending his teammate. But if this squad wasn’t a total zoo already, it certainly is now.
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