Phil Kessel in: Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde

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Phil Kessel in: Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde

By Justin Aucoin
WickedGoodSports.com

As both a Boston Bruins and NHL fan, its pretty hard not to get excited and a little giddy when Phil Kessel starts tanking and then acts like a prima donna thats accomplished something in the NHL when, in fact, hes done diddly.

And, thankfully, hes right on schedule for both.

Hes goalless in his last 12 games and has a mere four assists during that stretch. His last goal came on January 11th against the San Jose Sharks. He and Nathan Horton are probably having get-togethers tea parties on off days to talk about their troubles.

Last Saturday Kessel hit a boiling point.

He was benched during a 6-2 butt kicking by the slightly-more-talented Buffalo Sabres. He was also demoted to the third line, putting Mr. Irrelevant in a foul temper for the rest of the weekend.

The following day he vented his frustration to reporters:

"No, me and coach Ron Wilson don't really talk. That's all I have to say about that." And then, when pressured if he was asking for a trade out of Toronto added, "I don't know. Maybe it's just not working out, I guess. Who knows? I didn't get anything going. Maybe it's time for a change or something. Who knows?"

His coach riposted.

"Phil doesnt really want to talk much about goal scoring or even work on it that much in practice," Wilson said.
Touche, monsieur!

Marriage counseling probably isnt standard NHL protocol, but clearly theres some communication issues up north if Kessel and Wilson arent talking.

I don't think anyone talks to the coach that often, right? I mean, some guys might, but I don't. Theres no problem, Kessel said.

Umm if you go a whole month without a goal and your team is already the butt of jokes, it might be a good idea to talk to your coach. He might -- oh, we dont know have some tips or notes for you.

But Kessel -- being ever the horrible politician -- insisted that his words were taken out of context and he was referring to playing on the chum-change line not working out.

"I love Toronto, I want to be here," Kessel said. "I love this city. I love the fans. I love this team. The guys are great here. I don't want any trade or anything like that. I want to be here for a very long time."

To prove this point, Kessel went around hugging everyone in Toronto, kissing babies, shaking hands and even bought one of those I Love Toronto t-shirts.

So Kessel has gone from loving the Maple Leafs, to saying (in some capacity) that its not working out in Toronto, to loving the city all over again. Screw Keanu Reeves; Phil Kessel needs to star in the next Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

And if you read Bob McKenzies tweets youd get the impression that Kessel is bi-polar.

And so continues the train wreck that is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Were not quite sure if its at the Super BowlBlack Eyed Peas level of train wreck, but its comical nonetheless.

Once again we can say, Thank you, Kessel.

Report: Patriots, Gronkowski restructure contract for 2017 season

Report: Patriots, Gronkowski restructure contract for 2017 season

The Patriots and Rob Gronkowski have restructured the tight end’s contract for the coming season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. 

The reworked deal can bump Gronkowski’s salary for the 2017 season from $5.25 million to $10.75 million, according to Schefter. 

From Schefter on Facebook:  

Specific details on Rob Gronkowski's new deal with Patriots, per @RosenhausSports:

1st tier, which gets him to $10.75M either 90 percent play time or 80 catches or 1200 receiving yards or All Pro -- and he's made All Pro four times.

2nd tier to $8.75M: he has to get 80 percent play time or 70 catches or 1000 receiving yards or 12 TDs.

3rd tier takes him to $6.75M is 70 percent playtime, 60 receptions, 800 receiving yards or 10 TDs.

But a big new groundbreaking deal for Gronk.

Gronkowski was limited by injury to just eight games last season. He had 25 receptions for 540 yards and three touchdowns, all of which were career lows. 

The 28-year-old is entering his eighth NFL season since being selected by the Pats in the second round of the 2010 draft. He has played played in at least 15 regular-season games in four of his first seven season, though he’s twice played fewer than 10. 

Brandin Cooks ready to bring back arrow celebration after NFL rule change

Brandin Cooks ready to bring back arrow celebration after NFL rule change

Tuesday’s announcement from Roger Goodell that the NFL is “relaxing” its rules on celebrations is good news for at least one Patriot. 

That would be Brandin Cooks, who began celebrating the rule change on Twitter not long after the league made its announcement. 

Cooks, whom the Patriots acquired from the Saints this offseason in a trade that sent first and third-round picks to New Orleans, lost his favorite celebration last season when it was made clear that miming archery was off-limits. Josh Norman was fined $10,000 last season for such a celebration. 

Following Norman’s fine, Cooks lamented the league’s decision to punish what Cooks had previously done in reference to a Bible verse (Psalms 144:6). 

"Send forth lightning and scatter your enemy, and shoot your arrows and rout them," Cooks told the New Orleans Advocate. "I just remember it sticking with me for such a long time, I remember thinking, maybe I can do something with this."

Added Cooks: ”I’ve been doing it for three years now, and there was never a complaint about it. Now, all of a sudden, there is. It just reminds me that, it's almost as if they try to take so much away from us, but for something like this, that means so much to someone that has nothing to do with violence, it's frustrating. I'll definitely continue to speak my opinion about it, and if they have a problem with it, so be it."

When Tuesday’s news emerged, Cooks and former Saints teammate Mark Ingram were quick to react.