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Kesler (sprained knee) out ‘at least a couple of weeks’

Mar 14, 2014, 12:18 PM EDT

The knee injury Ryan Kesler suffered during Wednesday’s win over Winnipeg will keep him out of action for the foreseeable future, according to Canucks head coach John Tortorella:

Kesler was hurt after colliding with Jets forward Jim Slater late in the second period, immediately left the ice and didn’t return:

Slater received a tripping penalty on the play.

As for Kesler and the Canucks, the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. The center has been remarkably healthy this season, appearing in 67 of 68 games after missing nearly two-thirds of the ’13 campaign with a shoulder injury and broken right foot.

The 29-year-old leads Vancouver in goals this year, with 22, and is averaging 22:08 TOI per game — most among all NHL forwards.

As such, the Canucks will have a remarkably difficult time filling his void in the lineup…a troubling development, given they were already without the services of Daniel Sedin and are fighting for their playoff lives in the Western Conference. Heading into Friday’s play, they sit four points back of Dallas for the final wild card spot, and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

  1. pfpmb - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    I’m glad this article didn’t mention anything about the Slater tripping penalty being a cheap shot. It was an unfortunate play with two players in awkward positions battling for the puck.

    • 19to77 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      Yeah. After watching it through a few times, he simply doesn’t realize where his trailing leg is relative to Kesler. The way he was moving I think he expected they’d just glide by each other and then caught the leg quite by chance.

  2. runhigh24 - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Good thing that Vancouver kept him for their “playoff run” as opposed to trading him for future assets.

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      Well if the rumoured deals were the best ones on the table I have no problem with the team keeping him and either sticking with him going forward or trading him at one of several future major opportunities (two more deadlines and drafts each before Kesler has played out his current deal).

      That said, hopefully this is the last nail in the coffin of any pretenses of making the playoffs this year.

    • salmon90 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Future assets including:

      1. One of the worst possession players in the league in Sutter – who may one day get to 20 goals but that’s questionable
      2. A mid-grade defensive prospect
      3. A late first round pick in a weak draft…throw in a 3rd or whatever it was they’re claiming.


      One of the best 2nd line centers in the league who has one of the best contracts in the league. No thanks!!! Why on Earth would Gillis do that? Keep giving those thumbs up to runhigh24 if you think thats a good deal…I hoping people have a little more hockey sense then that though

    • elvispocomo - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      Or that they kept him because they were such lowball offers that there was no way they’d move him for that price.

  3. jpat2424 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Something new huh

  4. joey4id - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    I hope he’s not too badly hurt. Time to get off this train wreck anyway.

    • kaptaanamerica - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      .. What is it with you running down the Canucks every chance you get? Don’t you have a team you cheer for instead of being negative about the Canucks all the time?

      • joey4id - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:04 PM

        I give my opinion irrespective of the team, and, no, I don’t cheer for a particular team, which allows me to stay objective and impartial, unlike a fanatic. Go Canucks!

    • machosasquatcho - Mar 15, 2014 at 12:24 AM

      Joey, you useless peasant.

  5. kaptaanamerica - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    What is it with you running down the Canucks every chance you get? Don’t you have a team you cheer for instead of being negative about the Canucks all the time?

  6. canada2014gold - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    Joey just loves to hate, it helps him feel validated when we respond to his dumb theories and observations.

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