Vancouver Canucks v Colorado Avalanche

Canucks get good news on Kesler’s fractured foot


One of the Vancouver Canucks’ biggest necessities heading further into the stretch drive and the post-season is a proven NHL center.

While general manager Mike Gillis could acquire one through a trade, the Canucks have received good news with respect to the injured Ryan Kesler.

Ben Kuzma of The Province reported that a CT scan Monday revealed a hairline fracture in his right foot was fully healed.

Dan Murphy of Sportsnet reported on Twitter Monday evening that Kesler “could be back in a week.”

Kesler has played in just seven games for Vancouver this season. He missed almost a full month of the truncated regular season after having wrist and shoulder surgeries during last year’s off-season.

In seven games, the 2011 Selke Trophy winner had one goal and five assists.

Kesler suffered the injury blocking a shot on Feb. 15 against the Dallas Stars, which happened to be his first game back from his off-season operations and rehab.

Sharks name Pavelski captain; Thornton, Couture alternates

Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton
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Joe Pavelski is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks. The club made the announcement today via Twitter.

The former captain, Joe Thornton, will be an alternate captain, along with Logan Couture.

Pavelski, 31, was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season, finishing with 37 goals and 33 assists. He’s also signed through 2018-19, so giving him the ‘C’ makes sense from a long-term stability perspective.

Couture, 26, is also signed through 2018-19, while Thornton, 36, only has two years left on his contract.

The Sharks had four alternate captains (Thornton, Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in 2014-15, but no captain.

Related: DeBoer says Sharks will have a captain next season

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.