Kesler kidded for doffing clothes

Canucks forward Ryan Kesler during a stoppage in play in agame against the Sharks in Vancouver,...

Canucks forward Ryan Kesler during a stoppage in play in agame against the Sharks in Vancouver, B.C., May 18, 2011. (BEN NELMS/Reuters)

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:45 PM ET

VANCOUVER - The biggest Ryan Kesler news Wednesday was not that he participated in a full practice with the Vancouver Canucks.

Instead the reigning Selke trophy winner, who is sidelined with a hip injury, was the centre of attention for posing nude in the latest issue of ESPN magazine.

"It turned out well," said Kesler, who is not expected to start the season with the Canucks. "I had a lot of fun doing it."

The centre said he spoke with his family first before agreeing to take part.

"I'm happy I did it. (My wife) supported it 100%," Kesler said.

His teammates, though, had fun at Kesler's expense. The photo was set as a desktop wallpaper on a computer in the players lounge for all to see.

Goalie Roberto Luongo, when asked if he would consider doing the same thing, said, "I actually declined the invitation. This body is for one set of eyes only."

Said coach Alain Vigneault: "I didn't recognize (Kesler) this morning when he walked in with clothes."

Kevin Bieksa had the best dig.

"I don't think he's ever going to live this one down," said the defenceman, who rooms with Kesler on the road. "As 'Kes' would say, he has the body of a Greek god so he can pull it off. I'm sure we'll get it on a billboard somehow, maybe in the rink up in the banners. This picture is going to float around for a while.

"We're the most hated team in hockey? This isn't going to help us."


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