Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs Recieves a Fan Letter

Peter KleissAnalyst IIFebruary 25, 2011

TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 19:  Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs shoots during warmup before taking on the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre February 19, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

Dear Mr. Phil Kessel,

I wanted to write to you and let you know how much I appreciate you and your contribution to the Toronto Maple Leafs. I know it hasn't been as easy for you as it should have been to play for this team.

The fans and the media are constantly reminding you of what was given up in order to obtain your services. They are continually comparing you to what the team could have had or throwing you under the bus in favor of just about any other player offered up in trade rumors.

Instead of being welcomed to the Maple Leafs with open arms, many have treated you like an ex-con who just moved in next door—with scrutiny and suspicion.

No matter how unfairly you have been treated, you have shown yourself to be a man of great character. The Leafs are lucky to have an individual such as you playing for this team. You are currently the cornerstone of the franchise—the main building block around which this team must grow—though many refuse to acknowledge this fact just yet.

Please do not concern yourself with trying to prove your worth to those who couldn't care one iota about you. Just keep focusing on your game and the rest will follow. 

I know that you are a talented individual and you have the ability to make those around you play better. I have seen you do it. You have inspired me and (hopefully) a good portion of the rest of Leaf’s nation with your recent play.

Many predicted that with Francois Beauchemin and Thomas Kaberle traded away, the team would struggle. So far, that has not been the case, and the reason for that continued success is mostly due to your individual performances.

You have really stepped up your play on the ice over the past couple of weeks. Perhaps you finally feel comfortable wearing the blue and white uniform. Perhaps you decided to take on more of a leadership role for this team. Or perhaps it was just time that your true talent shone through the murky clouds that have been unjustly thrust over you by the fans and media of Toronto.

In any case, I want you to know that there are some of us out here who think you are a great player and are proud that you play for the Leafs and hope you will remain a Maple Leaf for the rest of your career.

Thank you, Mr. Kessel.

Signed, your adoring fan.

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