Well that didn’t take long did it? Vancouver Canucks Head coach Alain Vigneault declared today that Ryan Kesler will “more than likely” suit up for the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday vs. the New York Rangers.
Kesler himself declared that he is “fit to play”. Kesler has continued to recover from offseason hip surgery, which he underwent to repair a torn labrum, but is ahead of schedule in his recovery looks like its reached a point where he’s good to go.
It also looks like Cody Hodgson will be playing wing on the Kesler second line.
Hodson has said he played some wing last year in the AHL for the Winnipeg Moose.
Kesler practiced Monday morning between wingers Chis Higgins and Cody Hodgson. He also worked with Vancouver’s first unit power play.
Tomorrow’s game against the Rangers will be Kelser’s first since the Stanley Cup final against Boston last season. Kesler sustained his injury during game 5 of the western conference final against the San Jose Sharks this spring and didn’t miss one playoff game because of it.
Instead he went through physiotherapy and temporary pain knowing that post-season surgery would be necessary.
Skating hard in preparation for the past two weeks, Kesler admitted his performance may be a little weaker than usual to start, after being in recovery-mode for 11 weeks.
He’s mentally preparing himself for the frustration he expects to feel as a result of starting out late.
Kesler doesn’t like losing or being slow, and has been sitting out for all five regular season games this fall.
Coach Vigneault told the Vancouver Sun he’s happy to have Kesler back in the mix and believes that he is more than ready to play.
“He assured me that the injury was behind him and we weren’t going to see him limping and we weren’t going to see any ‘pain faces’.
He’s ready to go and we’re going to put him in.”
The Canucks begin a 3 game stint against the New York Rangers at Rogers Arena tomorrow night. The team will be honouring former teammate Rick Rypien who passed away this summer in a pre-game ceremony in Vancouver.