NHL: The Return of Booth and Kesler to the Canucks’ Roster
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

At beginning of this 2013 lockout shortened NHL campaign, the Canucks were short-handed due to a couple of injuries to their best two-way forwards Ryan Kesler and David Booth.

Now Ryan Kesler is a Selke winner well known for his defensive prowess, but few observers tend to think of David Booth as a two-way ace. But he is. Booth doesn’t kill penalties generally speaking, and isn’t a guy who often appears to be doing the hard work in his own end. Largely that’s because he doesn’t have […]


NHL: Ryan Kesler Versus Regression
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

On Friday night, Ryan Kesler will return to the Canucks lineup against the Dallas Stars (Dallas Stars at Vancouver Canucks (-200, 5)). His return couldn’t have been timed any better, really. With Manny Malhotra exiting stage left due to the lingering impact of his eye injury, and Vancouver’s special teams sputtering mightily to begin the season a Kesler injection was pretty much exactly what the doctor ordered for the Canucks.

To the credit of the entire organization, the Canucks managed to do a lot more than merely […]


NHL: Friday Five for 15 February
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

In today’s instalment of the Friday Five, I take a look at the Ryan O’Reilly holdout in Colorado, Alexander Semin’s impact in Carolina, the return of Ryan Kesler, and more.

5. COLORADO MISSES RYAN O’REILLY
Colorado Avalanche at Edmonton Oilers (-162, 5)
It appears as if O’Reilly’s days as a member of the Colorado organization are over. The club and O’Reilly have been unable to close the gap in terms of expected salary – O’Reilly wants a contract with an annual cap hit in the […]


NHL: 10 Questions From Opening Weekend
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

NHL hockey is back, and even though the 2013 season is only a few days old, there is no shortage of interesting storylines to (over) analyze. Let’s take a look at 10 questions from around the NHL that need some answers…

10. LUONGO IS STILL A CANUCK…BUT FOR HOW LONG?
Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks (-175, 5.5)
The Vancouver Canucks haven’t traded Roberto Luongo yet, but a deal may be close. GM Mike Gillis was quite candid in a recent interview with the Vancouver Sun, […]


NHL: Canucks Projections – The Second Liners
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

Continuing on with our Canucks Projections project, we take a look at the second-liners – a group of players with a good deal more uncertainty in their projections than the Sedin twins have.

RYAN KESLER
We’ll start with Ryan Kesler, who will be out to start the season, and no one seems to be sure when he’ll be back (a matter that has previously caused me concern). I was in a similar situation when running these projections last year and ultimately guessed that Kesler would miss […]


NHL: The Ryan Kesler Injury Saga
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

The two sides have spent months contradicting each other, obscuring the truth and taking shots at the other side in the press. No I’m not talking about the continuing negotiations between the NHL and the Players Association; I’m talking about the Canucks and their injured star centre Ryan Kesler.

You might remember that Kesler was injured in February of last season, but he played through the pain and was reasonably effective (though not necessarily productive) in the team’s first round playoff exit at the hands of the […]