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.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.