Ryan Kesler has broken right foot, probably also has Mummy’s Curse

Manny Malhotra skated with the Canucks Wednesday afternoon, a move that, just like last time, sent many Canucks fans into the sort of panic they exhibit when something doesn’t make sense. (Why is he skating if he’s gone forever? Didn’t the Canucks neuralyze him and send him back into the world? What’s happening?)

But the explanation was very simple. Malhotra may not play any more games this year, but he’s still going to skate with the team on occasion, since they aren’t a threat to catch him with a blind-side head shot. Wednesday was one such occasion, especially as the Canucks found themselves in need of a 12th forward after waiving Aaron Volpatti and giving Ryan Kesler the day off because of his broken foot.

HOLD ON. WHAT.

Feel free to let that sink in one more time: Ryan Kesler has a broken foot. In fact, Ryan Kesler has had a broken foot for almost a week. He broke it three games ago, last Thursday in Dallas after blocking a shot, but the team just discovered it today. Thus, according to Alain Vigneault, Kesler will be out “a little while”.

It’s important to note that English is Vigneault’s second language. He seems to be confusing the word while for the word month.

This is going to lead to some people suggesting that Ryan Kesler is injury-prone, a term I’ve never liked since, for the most part, it just blames players for a string of bad luck. It’s not like Kesler is re-aggravating the same nagging injury here. He’s getting it everywhere. Shoulder surgery. Wrist surgery. Groin and hip labrum surgery. Kesler’s afflictions are like gladness to the Dave Clark Five: all over. You can’t blame him for that string of bad luck.

That is, unless Kesler was foolish and careless enough to cross paths a mummy. Has he contracted the Mummy’s Curse, a disease that slowly turns the body to dust, as outlined in Dr. McNinja, Volume 23?

If Kesler’s insides were made out of compressed dust — not unlike Ikea furniture — that would go towards explaining his sudden fragility.

The good news is that Kesler appears to be able to play through the injury, since he’s been doing that for three games already. The bad news is that, now that the team has realized his foot is broken, that’s likely going to stop. Andrew Ebbett appears to be headed back to Vancouver in his stead.

That’s a serviceable short-term option, but would be a good time for the Canucks to finalize a deal for a middle-six centre. They have a couple goalies someone might want. How about trading one of those guys? Has anybody suggested this yet?

This would allow Kesler the opportunity to rehab at the right speed instead of rushing back. I think we’d all prefer Ryan Kesler, totally healthy person, to Ryan Kesler, bull-headed injury ignorer. That’s a trade that would need to come with a prospect.

Or, speaking of prospects, here’s a wild thought: how’s about offer-sheeting that Ryan O’Reilly kid? Who cares if the Avalanche get mad? They’re leaving the division next year anyway.

33 comments

  1. DanD
    February 27, 2013

    Totally with you on O’Reilly. Unless he brings his own “plague in the locker room” type curse. Actually, even then he’d probably be a good addition.

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  2. garth
    February 27, 2013

    Not sure about O’Reilly. Didn’t we just move a player with supposedly overly-involved parents?

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    • Abby
      February 27, 2013

      Oh gosh please no.

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    • Wetcoaster
      February 27, 2013

      My first reaction. “Is Kesler the new Salo?”

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  3. Jen
    February 27, 2013

    Somewhere, Jason Arnott is jumping up and down with his hand in the air yelling “pick me! pick me!”

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      February 27, 2013

      Jason would be a great pickup in my opinion, plus would be like that good veteran guy that every team that wins the Cup always seems to have.

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      • Daniel Wagner
        February 27, 2013

        Arnott failed his physical when he got signed by the New York Rangers, which is the only reason he’s still on the free agent market. I’m guessing the Canucks will be hesitant to sign a 38-year-old who can’t pass a physical.

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  4. Rob
    February 27, 2013

    Are the Ducks still shopping Bobby Ryan? Wouldn’t want to face Lu or Schnieder 6 times in the same division next year, but it wouldn’t necessairily be a bad thing facing Lu in the playoffs though ;)

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  5. Nee
    February 27, 2013

    Soooooooo

    When does the Whitecaps season start?

    /cries

    (Joking, but dear lord the old pessimistic me is lobbying to return)

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  6. Sarah
    February 27, 2013

    We’re all blaming Chris Higgins, right?

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    • best behaviour
      February 27, 2013

      Zombies, mummies – you kids have it easy. In my day it was werewolves and vampires. (Actually, Garrison really doesn’ t shave that often… secret werewolf? And Edler could make a good vampire, like that blonde Swede from TrueBlood.)

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  7. TamaraB
    February 27, 2013

    O’Reilly is a good choice.

    As for the parents… hard to say.

    Both O’Reilly’s (Cal & Ryan) come out and support my son’s special needs hockey team. They play hard, have fun, then sit and meet ALL the kids, the grown ups, whomever. They sign autographs and pose for pictures and apologize when they have to leave!

    On heart alone, R O’Reilly is a great option. I’d love to see him as a Canuck. And not just because when I meet him next time, he’ll be wearing a ‘Nucks jersey! :p

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  8. Yobbei
    February 27, 2013

    in other news, Manny malhotra is cleared by Gillis to play making a miraculous come back.

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  9. Brent
    February 27, 2013

    Well lets hope that since it is such a minor break that it will heal up quicker than a month. Maybe ultrasound will speed things up? Maybe he can go in Trevor’s hyperbaric chamber. Hell, bring out a witch doctor for all I care! Actually,m that could be the only way to solve the mummy’s curse…

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  10. Dave
    February 27, 2013

    TO NEW YORK ISLANDERS:
    Ryan Kesler
    Roberto Luongo

    TO VANCOUVER CANUCKS:
    Rick DiPietro
    John Tavares

    Solves everything!

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  11. Carlo
    February 27, 2013

    O’Reilly would be awesome!

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  12. Chris the Curmudgeon
    February 27, 2013

    Doesn’t matter, we have lots of depth at centre, just move up Cody Hod…oh right yeah. Well at least we got a top 6 forw…oh wait, I forgot. Stupid Gillis.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 27, 2013

      Haha let it go, Chris.

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      • Chris the Curmudgeon
        February 28, 2013

        That’d be hard, since I view that ill advised deal as the turning point towards this core’s decline from elite status.

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        • Rob
          February 28, 2013

          TBH Chris, I understand where you are coming from, Hodgson is an impressive talent with a lot of potential which is now showing in Buffalo. On paper Gilles traded away one of the best young centers in the league for considerably less, and its very easy to critisize him from the comfort of your computer chair, but the truth is you have no idea what was going on behind the scenes. Do you honestly think any GM – not just Gilles – would trade away a player like Hodgson just on a whim? The issues between Hodgson and the club must have been severe enough to warrant the trade. No one player is more important than team and if the benefit to keeping Hodgson did not outweight the damage or distraction that he was creating within the organization than it was time for him to leave. Should Gilles have gotten more in return? heck yes. But obviously there was enough damage done between the club and the player to warrant the trade.

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          • Brent
            February 28, 2013

            I guess I would be more worried about his defensive play. I suspect that some of the other personalities in the locker room would have helped to keep him in line, it was likely mainly a problme with Gilis and AV. I know he has been racking up big numbers in Buffalo, but they have been loosing and he is -4. Anyone know how his Corsi is doing?

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            • Rob
              February 28, 2013

              There is no way of knowing if the problems with Hodgson were between him, Gilles, and AV. The assumption you made about the personalities in the locker room keeping him in line could also be false, for all we know it could have been the personalities in the locker room that didnt want him around too, the truth is we will never know.

              His Corsi rating so far this year is -0.42 and his quality of competition is +2.21. But you have to remember that he is playing on a terrible team which has only 5 players with a positive corsi. If he were playing on a team with just a hint of defence his corsi numbers would be much much higher.

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        • nanodummy
          February 28, 2013

          I forgot that CoHo was playing on a team that was top of its division and behind only two teams in it’s conference, both of whom are riding RIDICULOUS luck streaks…

          Oh, wait, the Sabres are the worst team in their conference. Yep, riding Thomas Vanek’s coattails sure beats learning to play hockey under a Jack Adams winner who has groomed a great roster to be perrenial cup contenders.

          Boxcars don’t tell the whole story. Also, Kassian is a year younger than CoHo.

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      • Chris the Curmudgeon
        February 28, 2013

        That is such a convenient putdown, that he’s “riding Vanek’s coattails”. Guess what, CoHo has more goals than any player on the Canucks, and it’s not like Vanek is some kind of noted playmaker or anything. Cody obviously impressed the coaches enough to beat out several other centers (eg: Steve Ott) for the no. 1 job. Also, like many teams, they mix it up for special teams and CoHo doesn’t share the 1st unit PP with Vanek, so it isn’t as though he’s just getting a bunch of second assists on Vanek’s power play goals or something. Buffalo is last because their defence blows, they give up more shots than anyone in the NHL. Anyone remember Christian Ehrhoff? Bottom line, Cody is a number one center in the NHL. On a bad team, sure, but it also means he’s facing top defence pairings, taking defensive zone faceoffs (still need a little work), and expected to contribute offensively on a consistent basis, which he’s doing. He’d look really nice on our second line with Kesler out, whereas Kassian may be young, but if we’re talking about the present, then that’s hardly relevant, because this team needs to win now. On Tuesday night, Kassian logged about 7 minutes of ice time and was a -2, while CoHo won 10 of 18 faceoffs, had a goal and assist and logged nearly 20 minutes. I realize that’s only one game, but you can see why I am comparing how those players would be useful to us in the here and now.

        If Gillis couldn’t handle a young player with a meddling father and agent and let his personnel decisions be dictated by that, he’s not a good GM. In a room full of veterans, a kid is not able to sour the atmosphere, it just doesn’t happen. Not to mention that by all accounts, Cody was fitting in just fine with the players and the issues were purely front office level. Gillis could have just screened his calls if he wanted to, but GM is a hard job and if you can’t handle a few jerks trying to mess with your business, well every day I walk by a Subway that’s hiring. Trading a player for below value was the easy way out, especially when that player has no real recourse if you just ignore his request. He’ll learn to like playing for the President’s Trophy winner really fast, problem solved.

        I know I’m like a broken record on this subject (it’s how I became “the Curmudgeon” after all), but to me, the real problem is that Gillis actually thought he was improving our team with that trade. I saw it as being a sign that Gillis had lost the proactive mindset that had marked his earlier success and developed a reactive mindset in crafting the team. In 2010-11, this team was a juggernaut. They were by far the best team in the league in the regular season, and despite a scare against the Hawks, they were one win from the Cup. The following year, they were less good, perhaps because Kesler probably wasn’t fully healthy, but still decent. However, at the deadline, Gillis seemed to subscribe to this theory that he hadn’t built a team that could win and traded for “toughness”. I even hear that parroted on Canucks sites that the team needed “size” to win. To me it was a sign that Gillis thought the Boston Bruins template for winning was one that he could easily follow, ie: something of a reactionary approach. To me, it was clear that what the team was really short on was playmaking ability after Henrik Sedin. People forget that the Bruins had a number of very skilled playmakers to compliment a bunch of talented goons (Marchand, Lucic, Kelly, etc). It was Krejci, a 6’0 180 lb Czech center who takes about 15 penalties a season who led the NHL in playoff scoring that year. We, like the Bruins, have a good cohort of rugged forwards (albeit less skilled ones), but what was really at a premium for us was guys who could make the tape to tape pass in stride aside from Henrik. So if he had traded Cody for a skilled center or perhaps a passing winger for Kesler, I could have accepted it, but when he instead acquired a goon with moderate scoring potential, it was sign that he was misreading all of the signs. And sure enough, the team didn’t have the scoring depth to skate with the Kings (I maintain that was our biggest problem, 8 goals in 5 games after all). They could carry the flow of play, but they weren’t getting the really top notch scoring chances that would have gotten past Quick, especially early in the game when they could’ve forced the Kings to open up a bit. This year, I see a very average team taking advantage of a weak division (they’re 4-5-3 outside of it), that’s plenty tough and rugged but that simply cannot hang with the best teams in the West the way we’re all used to them doing. That’s not all to do with the Cody trade of course, but the trade is emblematic of how Gillis’s vision of a winning formula has changed and why I am pessimistic about this roster’s ability to win when it counts.

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        • Brent
          February 28, 2013

          Not only is this one of the longest posts I have ever read on this blog, there is a fair bit of sense in it. Unfortunately what’s done is done. We can just hope that kassian rises to his potential sooner rather than later (he is a year behind Cody), and we get some scoring depth happening.

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        • nanodummy
          February 28, 2013

          NHL numbers has us as one of the top 4 possession teams in the league right now. I think you’re blinded by the early loss to the kings, in a series where we were without Daniel basically, the same Kings who rolled over everyone to win the cup.

          Had we lost early to a second round exit, maybe a few panic buttons could be pressed. We did not, we lost to the Stanley Cup champions, after winning a second presidents trophy.

          Cam Charron just put up an excellent post over at nucksarmy detailing the canucks out of division record and concludes that we’d still be a top tier nhl team, winning one and almost winning two presidents trophies had we never played one game in the NW.

          I think you’re confusing an outlier season with what elite really is. The Lidstrom-post-lockout Wings didn’t win the presidents trophy every year, but they were always considered threats in the playoffs. The canucks had a year where the bounces went their way. That doesn’t happen every year like it did in the 70′s, because the talent level of the league is far higher now.

          As for CoHo: his ‘first line centre’ status puts him with such luminaries as RJ Umberger, Jiri Hudler, Stephen Weiss and Tyler Bozak. You would trade a 22 year old prospect who has shown scoring potential and is strong as an ox for any of them? If you would, you’re incredibly short-sighted. Don’t forget, he’s barely edging Tyler Ennis out for ice time, and the coach who had such confidence in him lost his job.

          CoHo would be playing Jordan Schroeder’s position, and possibly doing worse because his defense, like the rest of the Sabres, sucks. Schroeder has been everything a third line centre needs to be this season. It’s not his fault Malholtra is blind.

          Thomas Vanek is a mild victim of Scott-Gomez-Syndrome, where that idiotic offer sheet paid him a little more than he warranted and that over shadowed the fact that he is one of the top talents in the NHL playing with sub par talents he’s a consistent 30 goal scorer and when this hot streak dries up, so goes CoHo.

          The canucks are in the top five teams in the NHL, and if that isn’t elite, your expectations are ridiculous.

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          • Chris the Curmudgeon
            March 1, 2013

            Like I said, outside the division, we are 4-5-3. In other words, we’ve lost 2/3 of the games not against the worst division in hockey (or 2nd worst after SE). Over the last two seasons, I would agree with you about out of division but not this year. The top 5 teams in the league right now are Chicago, Montreal, Boston, Anaheim and Pittsburgh. You’re dreaming if you think the Canucks are better than any of those teams. We’re also probably not better than Ottawa, New Jersey, LA, San Jose or St Louis either, keeping in mind that those teams play divisional games against difficult opponents which deflates their overall records. I’d put us in around 10th or 11th best in the league, certainly not elite status. We have 7 regulation wins in 19 games, that’s not elite. We’re +2 scoring differential for the year, that’s not elite.

            You want to know what the problem with your comparison is? RJ Umberger is 30. and Weiss will be too in a month. Hudler is 29, Bozak is 3 weeks from his 27th birthday. Cody Hodgson just turned 23, he’s less than a year older than Kassian. I would probably trade Kassian for a couple of those guys, and actually I’d consider trading him for Tyler Ennis too, because Ennis can actually pass the puck and skate with speed and has a little bit of discipline.

            I’m not complaining about Schroeder. But you are clearly and grossly undervaluing Cody Hodgson, this isn’t some throwaway player we’re talking about. Cody has been a top end talent at every level he’s played, for his playmaking and scoring ability as well as his leadership qualities. He’s shown all of those in the NHL too and is still improving. You say “Kassian is strong and has potential”. Maybe, but Cody is good right now, and still has easily as much potential to still get better. You talk about Vanek as if Cody’s riding his coattails, but Cody isn’t just piling up cheap assists, he’s also second on the team in goals. He’s pulling his weight on that line as much as Vanek is. Kassian is probably about one goof from the press box. To think Cody couldn’t help the team more than Kassian right now is a joke.

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  13. Rob
    February 27, 2013

    Signing O’Reilly to an offer sheet is a bad idea. Colorado is a young team with cap space to spare and have already offered him a more than reasonable sum (more than he is worth IMO) and he is still holding out, that tells me that he thinks quite highly of himself. The Canucks are already accused of having a few of those types on the roster, they certainly don’t need any more. There is also the issue of his father doing all the talking for him…. Its a little too groundhog day (ish) for me. Vancouver just rid themselves of one of those, and quite frankly with all that is going on with the Canucks right now, that is the last thing they need. TBH the Canucks should just avoid O’Reilly and not get involved in Colorado’s mess.

    Losing Kesler for 4-6 weeks is really no big deal. At one point last year there was the possibility that he could miss the entire season, getting him back at all is a bonus as far as I’m concerned. The Canucks have faired well without him in the past and I’m sure they will now. Schroeder moves up to the 2nd line, Ebbett and Lapierre center the 3rd and 4th lines. Its not ideal by any stretch of the imagination but it could be A LOT worse. No need to go out and make any rash decisions, just do what other good teams do and ride out the storm and hope that when he gets back he stays healthy. Considering he is the only injured forward on the team, they should be able to play through this without much of a problem.

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  14. NarkusMaslund
    February 28, 2013

    I really wish the Canucks would have taken the Scott Gomez flyer when that option was presented. I have a buddy who is a diehard Sharks fan and he’s happy with having that guy on a minimum contract that can cover these exact sort of situations…

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  15. Colby
    February 28, 2013

    He’s not injury prone, hes just prone to injury. It’s a testiment to his playing style that he didnt notice… He was probabaly at the morning skate trying to shove a giant swollen foot into a skate before he would admit it was broken.

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  16. J21 (@Jyrki21)
    February 28, 2013

    The problem isn’t even the time the team won’t have Kesler. It’s more that this all but assures that Kesler is not going to be in game shape at any point during this shortened season — by the time gets back, we’re basically already gearing up for the playoffs.

    Luck or not, I’m not sure a guy like Kesler can ever really be “healthy” because of the way he plays, but when he’s not 100% I feel he does the skate up, then wrist it into the glass from just inside the blue line much more, and that player is much less useful to us than what we’ve seen in the past.

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  17. TeeJay
    March 1, 2013

    Mummy’s curse ? Kes probably got the change up with Steven Pinizzotto .Now can anybody give him some spare RABBIT’S FOOT and don’t ask David Booth cause he has none to spare right now.

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  18. TeeJay
    March 1, 2013

    Or Maybe they need the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Medallion for luck because last year ,we have THE PRESIDENT’S TROPHY and maybe with the medallion,we’ll have the STANLEY CUP. You know it says” ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”.

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