Feb 15, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT
Vancouver center Ryan Kesler will play in his first regular season game of the year on Friday when the Canucks take on the Dallas Stars at Rogers Arena.
Kesler, 28, spent the offseason and lockout recovering from shoulder and wrist injuries — both of which required surgery — and returned to practice in a non-contact capacity last week.
“I flipped AV’s coin and it said I’m playing,” Kesler told reporters on Friday, alluding to head coach Alain Vigneault’s ongoing joke that he flips a coin to decide which goalie to start on a nightly basis.
His return will be a huge boost to the Canucks lineup. The former 40-goal scorer had 22G-27A-49PTS last season while averaging over 20 minutes per contest.
Kesler represented the Canucks at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game and also won that year’s Frank J. Selke Award, given annually to the league’s top defensive forward.
To make room for Kesler, the Canucks put center Manny Malhotra on injured reserve yesterday, announcing that the 32-year-old veteran would not play for the remainder of the season.
Ryan Kesler: “I’m fully convinced it’s not too early. It’s pretty exciting for myself. It’s been a long road.” #canucks
— Elliott Pap (@ElliottPap) February 15, 2013
Apr 17, 2014, 11:36 PM EDT
He had a big night.
Apr 17, 2014, 11:22 PM EDT
These teams don’t like each other.
Apr 17, 2014, 10:58 PM EDT
The Blues forward is usually the aggressor.
Apr 17, 2014, 10:47 PM EDT
Opting to go with Mike Brown instead.
Apr 17, 2014, 10:35 PM EDT
He’ll remember that one.
Apr 17, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT
Battle of California.
Apr 17, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT
Stating the obvious.
Apr 17, 2014, 9:58 PM EDT
Could this be a key one?
Apr 17, 2014, 9:42 PM EDT
A cap hit of $7.5 million this season.
Apr 17, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT
Carl Hagelin’s face haunts Philly in Game 1.
Apr 17, 2014, 9:26 PM EDT
Did you hear Patrick Roy’s playing career ended against the Wild?
Apr 17, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT
Perhaps 23 goals in three games didn’t hurt, either.
Apr 17, 2014, 7:55 PM EDT
He calls it … The ‘Steeglemore.
Apr 17, 2014, 7:40 PM EDT
Somehow a first-round matchup.
Apr 17, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT
Their first playoff series since 1997.
Apr 17, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT
He didn’t skate on Thursday.
Apr 17, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT
After twice serving as an assistant.
Apr 17, 2014, 4:49 PM EDT
Head coach Todd McLellan took his time announcing this one, though.
Apr 17, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT
Meanwhile, no word on Torts.
Apr 17, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT
Oh, this should be good.
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