Ryan Kesler out till December

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Vancouver Canucks’ forward Ryan Kesler (shoulder) is out at least until December, according to his agent. Canucks’ General Manager Mike Gillis on the other hand, believes Kesler to be “slightly ahead” of schedule.

“He’s not ahead of schedule and there’s no rushing him back. He’s on course to return in December and he’s not returning until he’s 100 per cent. Don’t expect him until December.” Kesler’s agent commented on Gillis’ assessment.

Kesler played in 77 games last season, racking up 22 goals and 27 assists for a combined 49 points. The second line center is a pivotal piece in the success of the Canucks’, who had the most points last season between both the Eastern and Western Conference with a total of 111 points.

The season is still up in the air on whether or not it will begin on time as both the NHL and the NHLPA are currently working on a new collective bargaining agreement. Last heard, the NHLPA is reviewing 76,000 pages of team financial reports.

Vancouver is in the midst of changing the face of their organization. Most notably, with the still yet to be determined fate of long-time goalie Roberto Louongo. Louongo is expected to land elsewhere, most likely the Florida Panthers. This move allows younger goalie Cory Schenider to take the number one role. Schneider started 28 games last season, posting a 20-8-1 record with a 1.96 goals against average and a .937 save percentage.

Presuming the season starts on time, or even if it does start closer to December, Kesler will still need time to get back up to speed. The loss of Kesler will surely weaken the teams depth. Fantasy owners will need to consider if he is worth drafting considering the time he will miss, as well as the possible time he will need to get back into form. My advice, let him get drafted, and when he returns but is not producing, offer a trade for him while his value is perceived low.

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