UPDATE 10/17/11: Kesler will play tomorrow night vs. the Rangers
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UPDATE 10/17/11: Kesler centered the second line today, indicating he will draw in tomorrow night when his Canucks host the Rangers. The team sent defenseman Chris Tanev back down to the AHL which is a strong hint that they took Kesler off IR. See the team’s full line changes here and expect a confirmation tomorrow prior to the puck drop.
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UPDATE 10/12/11: Kesler sounded like he was in good spirits today when questioned by local reporters, explaining that his return simply depends on him lengthening his skating strides. From The White Towel:
“It’s what we expected because I have such a long stride when I skate,” Kesler said. “Right now, it’s going through the process of lengthening that stride. I knew I’d have to do this to get back.”
“I’m feeling better by the day. There was a stretch where I was getting frustrated because there wasn’t a lot of improvement, but not now.”
Improved skating, less frustration — we like the sound of this. The club plays tonight and tomorrow which are both a bit ambitious. However, he could return this Tuesday when the Canucks host the New York Rangers.
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UPDATE 10/10/11: Today, Ryan Kesler ruled himself out of the Canucks’ current road trip according to Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun, via Twitter. That would mean his earliest expected return would be on Tuesday, October 18th at home against the New York Rangers. Stay tuned for a further update.
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UPDATE 10/6/11: Vancouver Canuck fans and Ryan Kesler fantasy hockey owners can rejoice at today’s news. Originally expected out until November, Kesler is expected to return after five-to-six games putting his arrival, and Cody Hodgson ‘s likely demotion, somewhere around October 15th – 18th.
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UPDATE 9/27/11: Kesler was spotted “taking a twirl” today. According to Dan Murphy of Sportsnet, via Twitter, this skate was his first with the team. Nothing has changed in his prognosis, which should be a good thing as the damage obviously could get much worse. Expect him back in November.
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Clearly Ryan Kesler doesn’t care about the start of the fantasy hockey season.
Following offseason hip labrum surgery on July 25th, Kesler could be ready for the beginning of the season but will chose not to rush his recovery. His Vancouver Canucks simply won’t be the same without him but they would prefer him healthy in April opposed to October. The Sedin Twins, as reigning Art Ross Trophy winners, should be able to carry the team into the playoffs, and let’s face it: the Northwest is a relatively weak division to play in.
Kesler could come back as late as November, which certainly affects his fantasy hockey value. While such a long recovery time certainly bothers Kesler and everyone affected, the 27-year-old maintains a positive attitude, citing his willingness to get back on the ice. From The White Towel:
“With my personality, I want to get back and playing. That’s the person I am. I love competing. I love playing in this game. It’s definitely been a little hard and a little weird not skating in the summer. But I’m not going to come back until I’m 100% ready to go.”
I suppose fantasy owners would appreciate Kesler at 100 percent — where he scored 40 goals and holds back-to-back 70-plus point seasons — opposed to him operating at last year’s Stanley Cup level where he managed only one assist and a minus-6 rating through 7 games.
So there you have it, fantasy addicts. Stay tuned for future updates on his injury both in this thread and in our player updates section and draft accordingly.