Ryan Kesler

He’s back (for now): Kesler to play vs. Wild tonight


Ryan Kesler will return to the Vancouver lineup on Friday night when the Canucks host the Wild at Rogers Arena.

Kesler, the focus of great trade speculation over the last few days, missed Vancouver’s first game following the Olympic break with a hand injury suffered while playing for the U.S. in Sochi. The severity of said injury was originally unclear — reports claimed Kesler had been telling people it was broken — but the fact Kesler is now back after such a short time off only adds intrigue to the situation.

According to The Province’s Jason Botchford, Kesler was overheard saying “I hope my hand isn’t broken because that would impact my trade,” in Sochi. Read into that what you will (or take it for whatever you feel it’s worth), but it’s certainly interesting to see Kesler playing, not sitting, with just six days remaining until the NHL trade deadline.


Report: Pittsburgh ‘pitched’ Vancouver on Kesler deal

Kesler calls reported trade request ‘completely false’

Canucks GM plays it coy with Kesler rumors



Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.