Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf spent five and a half years together as teammates with the Toronto Maple Leafs until they were both eventually ran out of town and never fully appreciated. Kessel was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in July of 2015, just a few months before Phaneuf was shipped to the Ottawa Senators.
Kessel and Phaneuf formed a bond in Toronto and their friendship remains tight even after being on opposite ends of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals.
Back in March of 2015, Kessel went on an epic rant against the Toronto media because of the way they treated Phaneuf, who was the Leafs captain at the time.
“He’s our best defenseman and you guys act like he’s not trying out there,” Kessel told reporters while standing in front of Phaneuf’s locker. “Is it his fault we’re losing? No. Did he build this team? No. It’s not Dion Phaneuf. The stuff he takes, the crap he takes, I’m just tired of it.”
The Senators are in Pittsburgh for a meeting with the Penguins later tonight and the old teammates got together for dinner on Monday night. Phaneuf posted a picture of the duo on his Instagram calling Kessel “one of my best friends in the game.” Based on the hashtag Dion used, Phil picked up the bill!
Great to see one of my best friends in the game for dinner. #freedinner
A post shared by Dion Phaneuf (@dionphaneuf) on