There aren't a ton of athletes whose level of obsession with hot dogs would remain a mystery, but Phil Kessel tends to be an exception to a lot of athletic rules. Kessel doesn't really care to talk about things outside of hockey in public, so when he was depicted as an average Joe, hot dog-inhaling schmuck by the Toronto Sun after being traded to Pittsburgh a little under three years ago, people ran with it.
Bad news everyone: It appears that Kessel is not that into hot dogs.
It was Phil's sister, Amanda, that dispelled the myth when she was taking questions from fans on Twitter. Amanda,with the U.S. women's hockey team in South Korea and scored a shootout goal against Canada in the gold medal game, was asked the inevitable question: "Does your brother Phil really love to eat hot dogs?"
According to Amanda: "Phil does not really love to eat hot dogs. He does eat hot dogs sometimes maybe on the golf course, but no he does not love to eat hot dogs."
When Amanda was asked (by the Pittsburgh Penguins' Twitter itself) for one hockey skill that she could beat Phil in every day, Amanda's response directly challenged The Toronto Sun's accusation.
Phil Kessel's Pittsburgh numbers hadn't been all that different from his time in Toronto until this year, his cast is just better. He averaged 65.6 points per year in Toronto, and is currently at 68.6 per year in Pittsburgh. Kessel definitely knew the reputation he built in Toronto. After winning the Stanley Cup with the Penguins for the second time last season he posted an Instagram photo of himself eating hot dogs out of it. The photos were subsequently removed, but their legacy will live forever.
As for this season, Kessel is currently at 77 points -- five off from his career high (set with Toronto) -- this season with 14 games to go. The Penguins lead the Metropolitan Division, but trail three Atlantic teams in points, including the Maple Leafs. It seems like everyone won in this story, except for the fans. It feels like the end of an era for great hot dog jokes.