Maple Leafs star Kessel on the Toronto media


Kessel has 18 goals and 41 points in 40 games this season. (Chris Young/CP)

You’ve probably seen the video of Phil Kessel calling a reporter “an idiot” after he was asked whether he’s uncoachable in the wake of Randy Carlyle’s firing. If not, here you go:

Decide for yourself whether Kessel overreacted, or whether he responded as he should have to what some people are calling a stupid question, or whether it’s something in between.

In September, before this season started and long before Carlyle was fired, Kessel sat down for an interview with Sportsnet magazine for a profile story.

Before any of this happened, here’s what Kessel had to say about his relationship with the media:

“I think that a lot of times, I feel like they write stories about guys they don’t actually know,” he said. “They don’t know the guys, and a lot of them haven’t played the game. They don’t know what it is, what it’s like to play the game, what it’s like to have our lives. Yes, it’s a great life, but it’s very gruelling too, you know what I mean? It’s not that easy like people think.

“You’re tired, you’re gonna have bad days, right, so when you have those bad days, you’re in Toronto, it’s under the microscope and they’re like—but they don’t get it—they’re like, ‘Oh my god, this guy’s terrible.’ Maybe ask us, ‘What’s goin’ on, what’s the travel like? You played three in four, you guys flew back last night.’ It’s not as easy as it sounds you know? Yet you’re used to it, you’re professional so you have to be accountable for everything you do. [It’s] part of the job.”

Asked—sarcastically—if it was his favourite part of the job, Kessel let out an equally sarcastic, “Yeah.”

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