December 13, 2012
NHL notes: Ryan Kesler 'months away' from return
By QMI Agency
Lockout or now, Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler won't be ready to play for months, his agent said.
Kesler had surgery on his left shoulder in May and a left wrist operation in late June but he's still nowhere close to being ready to return to action. Kurt Overhardt told the Vancouver Province that Kesler is "several months away" from being cleared for action.
"The re-evaluation was positive in that the surgeries were successful," Overhardt told the Province. "However, the compounding nature of both of those surgeries being on the same side of the body, it's been very hard to properly rehab either one of the them -- particularly the shoulder -- because that's obviously a big deal.
"I don't think it's fair to have any sort of time frame when he's going to be 100% and cleared to play. I don't have a crystal ball and it's certainly months away, it's not weeks away."
The Canucks, though, disagree with Overhardt.
"I wouldn't necessarily say it's months away -- that's news to me -- and I haven't been given a timeline," Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman told the Province. "The rehab for his shoulder was complicated by the surgery that happened with his wrist and it has impacted his ability to build strength in his shoulder. It's a gradual process and he's improving every day. We assume he'll be healthy in due course but when that's going to be, at this stage that's not clear."
Unlike many of his young counterparts, St. Louis Blues defenceman Alex Pietrangelo didn't sign a contract extension before the old CBA expired.
He opted to wait until the new CBA is signed, something the likes of Tyler Seguin, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Jeff Skinner and Cam Fowler didn't do. All inked lucrative deals before the CBA expired in mid-September.
"It got to a point where we thought we'd take a step back and see what the CBA brings," Pietrangelo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It could work out in my favour, it may not, but we wanted to see some sort of clarity before we made a decision. You always want some sort of security.
"It's definitely going to have to be the right situation for me in terms of the length of the deal and where the team is headed."
Pietrangelo, who finished fourth in Norris Trophy voting after recording 12 goals and 39 assists in 81 games, has one year left on his entry-level contract.
KOIVU GOING HOME?
Anaheim Ducks forward Saku Koivu could soon be playing for the team he owns a piece of, according to the Orange County Register.
Sources told the Register Koivu will play with TPS Turku, a team he partly owns along with his brother Mikko and Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, after Christmas if the NHL lockout continues. Or it could be when/if the NHL season is wiped out.
Either way, it looks like Koivu is going home to play. He signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Ducks after recording 11 goals and 27 assists in 74 games last season.
Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier will play for Canada at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, if the lockout is still going on. Bernier is currently playing for Heilbronn in Germany ... The Raleigh News and Observer is reporting that Carolina Hurricanes forward Jussi Jokinen will re-join Finnish club Karpat. He's played a total of 14 games with the team this season -- during two separate stints -- and has 14 points.