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 2, 2015, 1:20 AM EDT
Big win for San Jose.
Apr 2, 2015, 1:04 AM EDT
Apr 2, 2015, 12:46 AM EDT
Easily handled the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
Apr 2, 2015, 12:16 AM EDT
Looked like a sure goal.
Apr 1, 2015, 11:45 PM EDT
That’s bad defending.
Apr 1, 2015, 11:20 PM EDT
Pittsburgh lost to Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Apr 1, 2015, 10:50 PM EDT
Started off well for Pittsburgh, but got worse from there.
Apr 1, 2015, 10:12 PM EDT
Both desperately need wins to stay alive in playoff race.
Apr 1, 2015, 9:54 PM EDT
Apr 1, 2015, 9:23 PM EDT
It’s been a while.
Apr 1, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT
He’s having a “down year,” apparently.
Apr 1, 2015, 8:18 PM EDT
Red Wings forward reflects on Tuesday’s scary skate cut incident.
Apr 1, 2015, 7:49 PM EDT
Just 12 forwards, and five defensemen.
Apr 1, 2015, 7:39 PM EDT
“It was vicious, and it deserves to be penalized.”
Apr 1, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT
Kings defenseman also suffered a ruptured Achilles.
Apr 1, 2015, 6:38 PM EDT
Catch the game on NBCSN, or with NBCSports.com’s Live Extra.
Apr 1, 2015, 6:13 PM EDT
He’ll play on a line with Carl Hagelin and Kevin Hayes.
Apr 1, 2015, 5:26 PM EDT
Has been playing in Finland this season.
Apr 1, 2015, 4:48 PM EDT
Click for all the odds.
Apr 1, 2015, 4:24 PM EDT
Certainly better than they were in February.
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