Team USA could have used more goal-scorers at the World Cup of Hockey and Phil Kessel made sure the world knew he was available.
The former Gophers star and Pittsburgh Penguins forward tweeted Tuesday night after USA’s 4-2 loss to Canada “Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn’t put my finger on it.”
Team USA scored just two goals in two games, leading to back-to-back losses and an early exit from the international competition. Europe shut out the Americans 3-0 in the opening game. USA will play one more game against the Czech Republic (0-1-1) before heading home.
Minnesotans Ryan McDonagh and T.J. Oshie scored Team USA’s only two goals.
Kessel was arguably the most notable name left off the Team USA roster. He played on the last two U.S. Olympic teams and is coming off a standout effort during the Penguins’ run to winning the Stanley Cup. The Wisconsin native scored 10 goals during the postseason and led USA with five goals, eight points at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Kessel’s tweet Tuesday quickly went viral. As of Wednesday morning it has more than 62,000 retweets and nearly 86,000 likes.
The big winger isn’t one to blow off steam using social media. He has tweeted only three times this year and 11 times since January 2015.
Team USA’s final six players were announced during the Stanley Cup Finals. Kessel addressed his absence from the roster by saying “You're always disappointed, but it is what it is. I think I’ve had a pretty good playoffs and I’ve always done pretty good for them when I’ve played (for Team USA). But we are in the Stanley Cup Final, so I can't be that disappointed.”
Fast-forward four months and it is safe to say Kessel is still disappointed.
Wild star Zach Parise, who was on the USA roster, rebuffed Kessel's comments and said "I liked our team. I thought we played hard. It's not a player's job to speculate who or should be on the team after the tournament."
David Backes, another Minnesota native playing for Team USA, said Kessel's tweet was "distasteful and aggrivating" and "those comments don't get lost in the fray. ... Those comments will be remembered."
Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn't put my finger on it.— Phil Kessel (@PKessel81) September 21, 2016