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Bonino shrugs off Kesler comparisons

Sep 4, 2014, 9:59 AM EDT

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 9: Nick Bonino #13 of the Anaheim Ducks skates with the puck during a NHL game against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on January 9, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.(Photo by Ronald C. Modra /Sports Imagery/ Getty Images) Getty Images

How will the Canucks replace Ryan Kesler?

Of all the questions facing Vancouver’s hockey team leading into the 2014-15 NHL season, that may be the biggest one.

Currently, Nick Bonino is slotted into the second-line center spot that Kesler vacated when the former Selke Trophy winner was traded to Anaheim for Bonino, Luca Sbisa and the 24th overall pick in the 2014 draft.

“With Bonino coming in, he’s a really good player,” winger Daniel Sedin said, per the Vancouver Province.

“But replacing (Kesler)? That will be a team thing. We’re going to need guys playing on the PK more than they have before and offensively we need someone stepping up to score those goals.”

Kesler led the Canucks with 25 goals in 2013-14. He also logged 21:48 of ice time per game, second to only Sidney Crosby (21:58) among league forwards.

Management’s hope for Bonino is that he can score 20 goals, something he’s only done once (22 goals in 2013-14) in his NHL career.

“Obviously, there are going to be the comparisons,” said Bonino. “But my game is my game and I’m not going to try and do what someone else did.”

  1. dipthatchip - Sep 4, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    I never talk trash on this site, damn I am glad that at least one team in the NHL is softer than my Capitals.

    I really don’t understand how this team fell so far from grace. Gillis should have been gone after the lockout season playoff flop.

    • 19to77 - Sep 4, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      And if not for the playoff flop, then at least after he managed to lose their best goalie. I refuse to believe there was no way to trade Luongo in that offseason instead of Schneider. I know they would have got a bad return, but hey, look what we’ve learned since then – Gillis just went out and made a bad trade to get rid of him anyway, and now he’s gone, the goalies are gone, and Benning’s signed Miller out of sheer desperation to not suck next year. Gillis should have swallowed his ego (impossible, I know) and dealt Luongo for a weak return. He just couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that sometimes, you don’t need to win the trade on paper to do the best thing for your team. Addition by subtraction would have let him keep Schneider. And then where would they be? Better-off than they are now, that’s for f**king sure.

  2. globalwheeling - Sep 5, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    With so many rumours as to what caused the downfall of the Canucks so quickly I doubt that we will ever really know. If the rumours about Kesler and Luongo being negative influences within the dressing room are true and with Tortorella’s hot headedness we might just see a quick turn around and see this team bounce back quicker than expected. The damage control thus far has been positive and with a bit of luck there is no reason that they can’t cause a few upsets and possibly sneak into the playoffs via the wildcard.

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