I think we'll be fine until he comes back. It's not the regular season that people are worried about anymore.
While that is a worry (regarding who will replace him while he's out), I'm more-so talking about Kesler and how he'll play when he's eventually back (missing training camp and all, having surgery, etc.). He is the second line's motor, when he's at his best, we're tough to beat.
Three surgeries in a calendar year: Ryan Keslerís return delayed to January
Ryan Keslerís targeted return from offseason left shoulder and wrist surgeries has been pushed back to January ó a month later than what the Vancouver Canucks centre predicted during the summer.
ďThat was before the (June 27) wrist surgery,Ē Kesler said Monday, following his first on-ice rehabbing session at UBC with Canucks strength and conditioning coach Glenn Carnegie. ďIím going to be re-evaluated at the Cleveland Clinic in early December, but the wrist really hampered the shoulder (May 8 surgery). I couldnít do much for eight weeks.
ďIím pretty banged up. I canít shoot or stickhandle yet. Strength-wise, healing the shoulder is going to be pretty tedious the next few months. Iím pretty far behind.
ďI saw the doctor a week ago in Cleveland and my strength is so far behind with my wrist. If I had my shoulder surgery on the right side, it might have helped a bit. Itís going to take time, but time heals everything. And because Iím injured, I canít have contact and I canít shoot, so I would be pretty useless out there if I skated with them [teammates] now.Ē
Kesler is being paid his $5-million-US annual salary because he was injured when the collective bargaining agreement expired Sept. 15 and players were locked out by the owners. He was told to be back in Vancouver by the start of this month, and arrived Sunday night. He will skate three times a week with Carnegie and spend the rest of the time rehabbing at Rogers Arena while his locked-out teammates find their own ice.
At least the surgeries explain a lot.
Occasional hip-flexor stiffness from a previous procedure, a wonky shoulder and a bothersome wrist greatly affected Keslerís shot and battle level last season in dropping from a career-high 41 goals to 22 and no goals in five playoff games. After amassing 17 points in a 15-game span in December, then scoring in five consecutive games from Jan. 31 to Feb. 9, he then went eight without a goal. Kesler suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder on Feb. 9, but played through it.
Then came the wrist.
ďI did it in November and I donít even remember the play or incident,Ē said Kesler. ďI just chalk it up to bad luck and nobody likes to have three surgeries in a calendar year.Ē
Well someone is benefitting from the lock out. I just hope he comes back when he's 100%.
This plays very well actually for the Canucks. Remember the Canucks schedule gets much easier after December. Kesler will get lots of time to get his legs under him with less travel. Hell, if the lockout ends at the end of December, it will bode very well for the whole team.
It's not going to hurt the Canucks either in contract negotiations with Edler (that they are paying him full salary during lockout even though they don't have to). Edler will "remember" that and sign a bit cheaper.