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Coyotes hold on-ice ceremony for Phil Kessel’s 1,000 NHL games

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes had a pre-game ceremony prior to Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators, honoring the 1,000th game of Phil Kessel.

Kessel played his 1,000th game last weekend in a Saturday contest on the road at the Colorado Avalanche. Saturday’s game against the Senators, a rare 4 p.m. start time, marked the first weekend home game since Kessel played his 1,000th game.

Joining Kessel on the ice were his parents and his brother, former Coyotes captain Shane Doan, Coyotes CEO Ahron Cohen, GM John Chayka and head coach Rick Tocchet and current Coyotes Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Derek Stepan and Brad Richardson.

As is tradition, Kessel was presented with a silver hockey stick. It was engraved with text, along with both the Coyotes’ primary logo and Kachina logo. It was given to him by Tocchet, Chayka and Cohen.

Richardson, Stepan and Ekman-Larsson presented Kessel with a Rolex watch. Doan handed him a crystal plaque.

There was also a short video for Kessel displayed on the arena’s video screen prior to the on-ice ceremony.

Just in time for the ceremony, Kessel scored his first and second goals as a Coyote in the previous game. He helped the Coyotes to a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday.

Saturday’s game against Ottawa was Kessel’s 1,003rd career game. He played 222 games with the Boston Bruins, 446 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and 328 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who traded him to the Coyotes this summer.

He’s the 338th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 games and the 47th American to do so.

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