Did you know that Sami Salo eats gloves? Yeah. He totally does. It’s a nerves thing. Don’t believe me? I have proof. Here’s a photo of Sami Salo in which, if I’m reading his facial expression correctly, he finds his gloves tantalizingly delicious-looking. They call to him. “Put me in your belly,” they say, and he is powerless to resist their call. I heard that, sometimes, at Christmas parties, Sami Salo steals into the coatroom, and when he comes back, there are bits of yarn in his teeth.

I’m not really sure there’s any other explanation for this photo, which I find exceedingly odd. Unless, maybe, he thinks his gloves are fondant-lidded sprinkle-sided vanilla lemon cakes? That’s a common mistake, right?

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The Canucks announced today that Ryan Kesler underwent successful surgery to repair a labral tear that he suffered during game five of the Western Conference Final. You probably remember exactly what happened. Racing Dan Boyle for a puck, the entire lower half of Kesler’s torso exploded and his leg fell off. Then, he went to the dressing room, fashioned a new leg out of hockey sticks and tape, and returned, only to score the game-tying goal with thirteen seconds to go. Or at least that’s how fathers everywhere explained it to their kids.

Anyhow. Kesler’s recovery time is 10-12 weeks, meaning the Canucks will be without his services until November, at the earliest. (We’ll have more on what this means for Cody Hodgson later. But here’s a hint: his dark times may have passed. Again.) In the meantime, Kesler will have to spend a lot of time off his feet, which means he’ll have plenty of time to practice his tweeting.

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Keith Ballard had a tough first-year in Vancouver. Acquired to add depth and offensive punch to the blueline, Ballard struggled mightily in the regular season, registering a career-low 2 goals and 7 points (14 points below his previous career low). Worse, by game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, he had dropped off the depth chart entirely, as rookie Chris Tanev and a handful of too-hurt-to-play defenders were dressed instead of him. In short, Keith Ballard had a pretty sucky year.

With the loss of Christian Ehrhoff, Ballard appears to have a massive opportunity to redeem himself in 2011-12. After failing to live up to expectations, a rejuvenated Keith Ballard would be like the Canucks finding a top four defenseman in the attic. Alex Edler needs a new best friend, preferably a right-hander with a decent first pass, the ability to join the rush with the Sedins, and some hittiness. Alain Vigneault’s going to need to be convinced, but it’s not entirely impossible, especially if Ballard does the stuff he does in these clips at a rate more in keeping with his career averages. Here’s every goal Keith Ballard scored in 2010-11.

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