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Kesler’s agent on client’s recovery: “He’s not ahead of schedule”

Aug 2, 2012, 10:10 PM EDT

Ryan Kesler AP

As reported by the Vancouver Province, Canucks GM Mike Gillis went on TEAM 1040 and claimed that Ryan Kesler was “slightly ahead” of schedule after undergoing shoulder surgery in May.

If you heard that and took it as a sign that Kesler might still be ready for the start of the season, you should hear what his agent, Kurt Overhardt had to say.

“It’s not happening,” Overhardt said. “He’s not ahead of schedule and there’s no rushing him back. He’s on course to return in December and he’s not returning until he’s 100 per cent. Don’t expect him until December.”

According to Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman, Kesler also underwent minor wrist surgery.

“He had been experiencing some mild discomfort and had some tendon issues that needed to be cleaned up,” Gilman said.

Although Gillis previously argued that Kesler had “no excuses” for his disappointing 2011-12 campaign, it’s not hard to buy into the idea that these injuries impacted his play.

Perhaps he’ll be capable of putting of putting his rough season behind him when he returns in December, but in the meantime, the Vancouver Canucks are reportedly thinking about signing Jason Arnott.

  1. rushledger - Aug 2, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Shoulder surgery is serious business if you hurry back from it your risking going back under the knife again. Smart for Kesslers career and health short term and long.

  2. jpat2424 - Aug 2, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Stay out as long as you like.

  3. loinstache - Aug 2, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    No matter what Kesler is always going to be used more defensively than his 40 goal year (he’s too good not too), so you want him as patched up as possible. Also gives Canucks time to try new lines.

    • warpstonebc - Aug 3, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      The other reason he may never be used like he was in the 40 goal year: no Manny Malholtra in his prime. Malholtra himself could have been a Selke candidate that year. He shouldered a lot of Kesler’s current load and helped #17 get more preferential zone starts.

      It will be hard for the Canucks to land such an effective third line center again.

  4. ray2013 - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Tough break for the Canucks. With the rest of the division improving (well, except Calgary), they can’t really afford to lose one of their best players for an extended period.

    • velocirapist - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      Well there’s only one other team in the division that is a legitimate playoff team, and it seems like we always lose to the Wild anyway, so I don’t think there’s any reason for the Canucks to really worry. They got better on defence and should be very solid in net again. They also might pick up a solid veteran in either Doan or Arnott to add some depth to their forward lines.

      Then there’s the possibility of losing part of the season, which I think would tremendously benefit the Canucks. The whole team gets healthy and there’s less wear and tear on the team. While these benefits are univeral throughout the league, the Canucks have kept the vast majority of the roster and front office together, so I doubt they’d have trouble coming together quickly as a team.

      • ray2013 - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        I guess we’ll see how they do, but it’s tough to lose a key player on your team for an extended period of time.

      • velocirapist - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        Yeah it is but they are definitely a playoff team and as we’ve seen lately any team has a chance once they’re in

  5. warpstonebc - Aug 3, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    I have to wonder what Cody Hodgson is thinking right now…

  6. velocirapist - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ryan Kesler is overrated. His 40 goal season will be a glaring statistical anomaly once he retires. He is not very creative with the puck (he just drags it into the middle and shoots) and the way he plays with such disregard for his body means that he will never be completely healthy for an entire season. He is also not a great second line center as he is completely incapable of noticing anyone else in a Canucks jersey on the ice. Also, there have to be some very serious questions about his character considering the shenanigans we’ve seen since the 2010 Olympics.

    Don’t get me wrong he is an invaluable part of the core and anybody in their right mind would want him on their team, but there is no way he should be locked in at 5 mil per as a second line center. He would be an absolute dream as a third line center, but I think there will always be questions about the effectiveness of the 2nd line as long as he centers it.

    • velocirapist - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      That being said I’m glad he is actually going to take the time to heal this year.

    • davebabychreturns - Aug 3, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      He dished out 50 assists with Mason Raymond and Mikael Samuelsson on his wings for most of the 2010-11 season, that’s with second line ice time (and tough matchups) and second unit powerplay time.

      You’re right in that Kesler is always going to get the tough matchups; against some teams (Nashville or whoever) it’s fine to match up your bottom six against their scorers but Kes will always have to go up against the Toews, Thornton, Crosby type players.

      He may not be a prototypical offensive center but he’s put up the numbers to justify his salary in two of the last three seasons (in other words when he’s been healthy) and with the rest of the game he is damn well worth that cap hit.

      Honestly, try to name ten centers with a better two-way came than Ryan Kesler. Pavel Datsyuk.. Patrice Bergeron.. Jonathan Toews.. Jordan Staal? Maybe there are a few others (Backes, maybe Ryan O’Reilly takes the next step this year) but I don’t think you can come up with a long list of guys who could do better in his role. And most of those who could make more money, unsurprisingly.

      Ultimately you don’t have to score 40 goals in this league to justify a $5m salary.

      • velocirapist - Aug 3, 2012 at 10:24 PM

        When he plays defensively he doesn’t score. That is a huge problem for the Canucks. He was able to take over the Nashville series because let’s be honest he didn’t have to do much. While he is most certainly one of the better two-way players in the game, when he plays like a checking center (which he should, he is absolutely fantastic at playing defense) he disappears for large stretches. When he was shutting down Toews for example, he really didn’t do much in that Chicago series. I know he finished in the top 10 in scoring those playoffs, but he scored 19 points in 25 games and 60% of his points came in one series.

        He is a great player. I don’t think he is a pure 2nd line center, and the Canucks really need someone who can go out and play pure offense behind Hank because when the Sedins get shut down this team seems like it has nobody else who can put up points consistently. They either need to give Kesler a playmaking winger and really let him run and gun out there, or they need to find someone else to provide scoring depth at center.

  7. jacketsfan7 - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    It’s Crosby all over again….and this is coming from a pens fan!

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