Kessel has cancer-related surgery

BOSTON -- Bruins rookie forward Phil Kessel underwent cancer
surgery and is "on the road to recovery," his agent said Tuesday.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed that the
19-year-old Kessel, the fifth pick in this year's NHL draft, had
"cancer-related surgery" and that any further update on his
treatment or the length of his absence would come from Kessel's

"That's something that the Kessels will disclose when they're
ready," Chiarelli said before the Bruins played the Canadiens in
Montreal on Tuesday night. "We're just trying to honor their

Kessel's agent, Wade Arnott, said the center had surgery on
Monday at Massachusetts General Hospital, according to The Boston
Globe's Web site.

"He got thrown a curveball," Arnott told the Globe, without
specifying the kind of cancer. "But he's holding up pretty well."

The condition was identified "very recently" after Kessel felt
minor symptoms, Arnott said. WBZ-TV of Boston reported Monday night that Kessel was diagnosed with testicular cancer; the Bruins have neither confirmed nor denied the report.

The speedy Kessel has five goals and four assists in 27 games.
He played one season at Minnesota before signing a multiyear
contract with the Bruins in August. He led Minnesota and was sixth
in the WCHA in scoring with 18 goals and 33 assists in 34 games. He
also was the career leader in goals for USA Hockey's national
development team.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.