Kessel in Town

     About 200 fans showed up on a warm summer Saturday morning to see Phil Kessel of the Boston Bruins interact with a Superior Bantam B team at the Heritage Sports Center in Duluth.

     Kessel, 21, on behalf of Bauer, was part of a package won by Kyler Moss, 15, of Superior which was called a "Practice of a Lifetime." Moss had his entry picked by computer in February from thousands of entries at 198 Play It Again Sports stores nationally.

      Moss had 20 members of his team along for an hour and 15 minutes of ice time as Kessel directed things from the bench (he had rotator cuff surgery in May, is still recovering and not allowed to be on skates). Kessel, a former University of Minnesota player from Madison, Wis., was particularly cordial and available to talk with the bantams and fans, before, during and after practice.

       The bantam team was provided skates and sticks to be used at practice (which were then bundled up and taken by the Bauer folks). The cost of the prize practice was estimated at $5,000.

       Kessel was to return to Madison later Saturday and then head to Chicago on Sunday for the start of pre-season camp for candidates for the 2010 U.S. Olympic team. He hopes to be skating by November.