TORONTO -- Phil Kessel, who was left off the Team USA roster for the World Cup of Hockey, on Wednesday said his tweet after the Americans were eliminated was not directed at the team's players.
"Of course it wasn't directed at the players," Kessel said in a text to ESPN. "I know how tough it is to play the game. It wasn't directed at anyone."
Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn't put my finger on it.— Phil Kessel (@PKessel81) September 21, 2016
"I understand there's hard feelings if you weren't picked for the team or whatever, but the comments are, I think -- as a team guy and as a guy that stands by my teammates, win lose or draw -- it's a little distasteful and aggravating," Backes said.
"It's disappointing. Those comments don't get lost in the fray, and those comments are there and have been read and I think will be remembered when whatever happens going forward happens going forward."
Backes signed with Boston as a free agent this summer, and the Bruins will face the Penguins on Dec. 14 at Pittsburgh.