This season certainly hasn’t gone Ryan Kesler’s way. He wasn’t able to play in the Vancouver Canucks’ first 12 contests after undergoing shoulder and wrist surgeries.
Now he’s skating and trying to return from a broken bone in his foot that’s sidelined him since Feb. 26.
“Obviously being out there you want to play tonight but that’s not realistic,” Kesler told the Vancouver Province. “I am itching, I am itching big time. It’s been a tough year for me but everything happens for a reason.
“My goal is to get some games in before playoffs and feel good about my game heading into playoffs.”
The Canucks haven’t speculated on when he might return, although Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy reported on Monday that Kesler “could be back in a week.”
Kesler has played in just seven games this season and his absence created a hole for Vancouver up the middle. Canucks GM Mike Gillis recently addressed that issue by acquiring Derek Roy from the Dallas Stars.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.