Penguins winger Phil Kessel is a reticent person, and he likes to keep it that way. Unfortunately for him, his former teammate’s blowing up his spot. New Blues center Tyler Bozak showed up on The Players’ Tribune and explained what it was like to live with Kessel when the two played in Toronto. Phil has a dog, and he talks to her a lot.

Bozak revealed that Stella the goldendoodle was practically a third roommate:

Phil and I had the same interests. A lot of nights you’d find us on the couch, watching a game with Stella.

Stella is a goldendoodle, the light of Phil’s life.

I got to know Stella after Phil asked me if I wanted to be roommates. It was a few years after I got to Toronto, and the way he did it was totally Phil. He just said, “So you wanna live together or something, or…?” I wasn’t going to say no — he had a sick apartment downtown. It was a no-brainer.

Some nights I’d be in another room in our place and I’d hear Phil’s voice.

“No, no, I just didn’t play well tonight. Yeah, I dunno really …”

I’d walk into the room, and he’d be in mid-conversation with Stella.

I understood why. Sometimes I did the same thing — Stella was a good listener and a big hockey fan.

An old Sportsnet feature reveals a little more about Stella’s origin story, and confirms that Phil loves her a lot:

Kessel laughs and smiles easily, swivelling on the chair, shifting his weight from one leg to the other like a kid with too much energy. He really gets going when the conversation turns to his dog, Stella. He got the brown goldendoodle three years ago with his now ex-girlfriend. Kessel fought to keep the dog. “Spoiled little rat,” he says, shaking his head. “But I love her, eh? Honestly, if I didn’t have her, I don’t know what I’d do.”

Dig deep enough into Kessel’s Instagram and you’ll find photos of Stella:

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Great photography, Phil:

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She’s furry and wears a permanent apprehensive expression, just like her owner.