As reported by the Vancouver Province, Canucks GM Mike Gillis went on TEAM 1040 and claimed that Ryan Kesler was “slightly ahead” of schedule after undergoing shoulder surgery in May.
If you heard that and took it as a sign that Kesler might still be ready for the start of the season, you should hear what his agent, Kurt Overhardt had to say.
“It’s not happening,” Overhardt said. “He’s not ahead of schedule and there’s no rushing him back. He’s on course to return in December and he’s not returning until he’s 100 per cent. Don’t expect him until December.”
According to Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman, Kesler also underwent minor wrist surgery.
“He had been experiencing some mild discomfort and had some tendon issues that needed to be cleaned up,” Gilman said.
Although Gillis previously argued that Kesler had “no excuses” for his disappointing 2011-12 campaign, it’s not hard to buy into the idea that these injuries impacted his play.
Perhaps he’ll be capable of putting of putting his rough season behind him when he returns in December, but in the meantime, the Vancouver Canucks are reportedly thinking about signing Jason Arnott.
According to Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun, Shane Doan isn’t the only veteran forward the Canucks are interested in.
Zeimer reports Vancouver has also been in contact with 37-year-old Jason Arnott as a possible solution for its third-line center spot, and that Arnott’s agent — his brother, Wade — said “there seems to be some mutual interest.”
Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler are firmly entrenched as Vancouver’s top two centers but, with Kesler likely to miss the start of the season after torn labrum surgery, the club may need more depth down the middle — it’s unclear if the Canucks are comfortable with one of Manny Malhotra, Maxim Lapierre, Andrew Ebbett or Jordan Schroeder in the No. 3 spot.
Arnott spent last season in St. Louis and had a productive campaign, scoring 17G-17A-34PTS in 72 regular season games. A knee injury derailed him during the playoffs (he underwent surgery for it in early June) but brother Wade told the Vancouver Sun his client’s fitness level “has never been better.”
It should be noted Ziemer reports that Arnott will only be signed by the Canucks if they’re unable to land Doan.
When you look up and down the Chicago Blackhawks’ roster, it’s one oozing with talent. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook.
While we’ve talked about how goalie is one weakness for them, another one is hidden in plain view. They need a solid No. 2 center.
Last season they used Kane and Sharp up the middle to try and balance out their highly talented top two lines and while Kane got a shot to stay there, it ultimately ended with a thud. Both Kane and Sharp are clearly more comfortable on the wing.
Dave Bolland is a guy who excels as a center but he’s a third line guy with his defensive ability. When you consider the rumor involving Bolland being dangled to Vancouver for Roberto Luongo, the one thing stopping that from making total sense is the gaping hole in the middle it would leave for the Blackhawks.
When you look at Chicago’s farm system, there’s one guy with the potential to maybe help on the second line in Brandon Pirri, but he still needs more AHL seasoning.
Without much help left in free agency (Daymond Langkow? Jason Arnott?) the Blackhawks might have to swing a deal if they’re going to improve the second line center spot. With how Stan Bowman has played it cool in the past, don’t expect a big shakeup.