On the eve of his first training camp as an Anaheim Duck, Ryan Kesler had some parting shots for the scribes that used to cover him in Vancouver.
One big issue with Kesler was the perception that he wasn’t the ideal guy to be around when the Canucks went south last season. The reported trade demand that came out of the Sochi Olympics didn’t help.
Can he be moody during a losing streak? Sure. Is he a bad teammate? Hardly, he insists.
“I don’t buy that I’m not a good teammate,” he said. “You can ask any of my teammates. I know when I was traded, if I was such a bad teammate, 95 percent of the guys wouldn’t have texted me (afterward).
“That’s the problem with Vancouver. The media makes up a lot of stories that aren’t true. To be honest, I was really sick of certain media guys throwing people under the bus.
“No matter how much my old teammates say it doesn’t bother them, it affects them. It does in that city.”
This isn’t the first time Kesler has commented on the zealousness of Vancouver’s media. While playing for the U.S. in Sochi, he addressed his heavy workload under John Tortorella and the attention his additional minutes received:
Given the Canucks’ struggles of late, Kesler’s ice time — along with that of the Sedin twins — has been an especially hot topic in the hockey-mad city.
“I think I play maybe two minutes more per game,” he said. “I mean, it’s not that much more. My body feels great, and I’m ready to get this going.”
And all those people in Vancouver making a big deal out of it?
“A lot of people in Vancouver make a lot of everything,” he said. “It’s two minutes. It’s two shifts. It’s not that big a deal for me.”
In case you’re into circling dates on calendars, Kesler’s first game back in Vancouver will be on Nov. 20, when the Ducks take on the Canucks in a Thursday night affair.