Phil Kessel: Pittsburgh a more relaxed environment than Toronto

Phil Kessel comments on his off season training regimen under Gary Roberts, the relaxed atmosphere in Pittsburgh and playing with superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

We all know Phil Kessel shies away from the spotlight, but the Pittsburgh Penguins winger took a few minutes to speak with media after a team skate Thursday.

Kessel is entering his 10th NHL season and his first with the Penguins after a July 1 trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 27-year-old said he’s getting adjusted to a new setting, one that’s drastically different than the one he’s coming from.

“I think it’s a more relaxed environment than Toronto,” Kessel told reporters. “I think obviously the media’s a little less here but like I said I expect to do well here and I expect our team to do well so I’m looking forward to it.”

“It’s a whirlwind but I’m getting settled and getting ready,” Kessel said. “I’ve got a place here and I’m real excited for the start of the season.”

In addition to relocating, Kessel spent some time in the summer working with former NHLer Gary Roberts on his strength and conditioning.

“I think I ate a little healthier this summer, but training-wise I don’t think I did anything crazy different or anything like that,” Kessel explained. “But Gary’s a great guy and I had a lot of fun there.”

Recent reports suggested that Kessel lost 13 pounds working with Roberts, but the five-time 30-goal scorer denied that.

“I didn’t lose any weight,” Kessel added with a smile. “Same as I’ve always been.”

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