Kessel Ryan Hillman was born on Mother’s Day at Butler Memorial Hospital in Pennsylvania. His parents, Nicole and Adam, told WTAE that they didn’t know the baby’s sex beforehand, but had already decided if they were having a boy they would name him after the Penguins’ forward.
“The perfect name for our son,” Adam Hillman said.
Little Kessel was born while his father played “Let’s Go Pens” in the delivery room, mother Nicole said. Nicole said after baby Kessel was born, they realized, it was meant to be.
“Sure enough, they put me in bed No. 81,” Nicole said, referring to Phil Kessel’s jersey number.
And while Phil Kessel probably wasn’t aware of little Kessel’s birth earlier this week, he certainly made the Hillman’s great week even greater by scoring the late game winning goal against the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final on Monday night.
Little Kessel Ryan doesn’t have a No. 81 jersey yet, but that’s on the Hillman’s to-do list before Game 4 on Friday night.
The Hillman’s are the latest Penguins fan couple to use the team’s roster for inspiration while coming up with their baby’s name. Two years ago, the Longs named their newborn after Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. We’re now imagining in 20 years a line featuring Malkin Crosby centering Kessel Ryan and Guentzel Sheary. Hopefully they’ll be able to fit it under the salary cap.
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