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Phil Kessel's Time is Up in Pittsburgh

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - FEBRUARY 19: Phil Kessel #81 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on February 19, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. The Penguins defeated the Devils 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Phil Kessel's partnership is about to come to a close, to no fault of his own. Sometimes, marriages run their course.

Kessel and the Pens won two Stanley Cups together, with Pittsburgh rescuing him from the depths of hell that is being lambasted by the Toronto media on a daily basis. Kessel was given a chance to prove his worth and learn under Mike Sullivan. Yet, even the Boston native coach eventually got tired of Kessel's antics, even if he's rather quiet off the ice.

Kessel is not demonstrative nor is her a threat to break up a tram with locker room tirades. However, it's his lack of effort defensively, specifically, that has coaches up in arms. The minute his next team acquires his rights from Pittsburgh, the hourglass will be turned over. A fresh start is necessary for both sides.

The Penguins must to everything in their power to prolong their championship run, and keeping things as is isn't an acceptable solution. So, in order to shake things up and perhaps attach Jack Johnson to the tail end of a trade, Kessel is on his way out the door.

Despite all of his accomplishment as a Penguin, this is how his tenure deserves to end, for better or worse.