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The Province Article On Ryan Kesler

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The agent for Ryan Kesler clearly wasn't impressed by the comments of Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault regarding his client in Wednesday's press conference.

You can bet the player wasn't either, but Kurt Overhardt said Thursday that Vigneault saying Kesler's dropoff in offensive production had nothing to do with the major shoulder injury the centre suffered on Feb. 9 should not necessarily cause a problem between the two.

“I think everyone is a professional and I think the only one that will try to create a rift is the media, with all due respect,” said the Denver-based Overhardt. “But, no, Ryan is a professional and the head coach is a professional. They've both got a job to do and that's it.

“A comment like what was thrown out there yesterday in a news conference that a person signed an extension, you can't just take that off the cuff – so that's why we felt like we had to respond.”

And respond Overhardt did. When initially asked about Vigneault's dismissal of Kesler's shoulder injury as a factor in his play down the stretch and in the playoffs, the agent quipped: “I am not a doctor, I'm a lawyer, but after having conversations with the player and with the club, anyone who thinks this injury did not affect his play must have fallen off a turnip truck.”

Overhardt, who spoke with Kesler, 27, earlier Thursday said his client won't be saying anything about Vigneault's comments – but the player was obviously frustrated by them.

“Ryan's not going to comment on it,” said Overhardt, who also represents Canucks Kevin Bieksa and Andrew Alberts.

“Ryan's moving forward. I just think in the future if a coach has an issue with a player the coach should show the respect to the whole process and speak to the player one on one about it, rather than speak to the media.”

Vigneault, in a conference call on Wednesday after the Canucks announced a two-year extension for the coach, was asked whether Kesler's February shoulder labrum injury could have been managed better to mitigate his drop in production.

“Obviously, Ryan had a shoulder issue and the decision was made at the end of the season to operate on that shoulder,” said Vigneault. “That being said, though, that was not, in our mind, the reason for his diminished production.

“I'm sure if you were to ask him, the injury wasn't the reason his production fell. His rehab and the way he stayed on top of that permitted him to play at the pace he was used to playing but for whatever reason, his performance slipped this year. We've got to get on top of that and we've got to get him back to where he was before that.”

Kesler, the Canucks' second-line centre who had 22 goals over the season, managed just four in the final 28 regular-season and five playoff games after injuring his shoulder. He was goal-less through the final 17 of those games. It's believed diagnostics showed the labrum in Kesler's shoulder was completely torn. After surgery was performed on May 8, Kesler was expected to be out six months.

Vigneault's comments appear inconsistent in that Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman seemed to acknowledge the injury did affect Kesler's play. In an interview with the Vancouver Sun the day of Kesler's surgery, Gilman said: "His productivity was down, so you would assume he wasn't playing to the level that he normally would have."

Kesler, who won the Selke Trophy two seasons ago and had a breakout 41 goals, had labrum surgery on his hip last summer but only missed the first five games. Kesler, who acknowledged after the season he came back too early, was already struggling offensively by the previous season's standards when he injured his shoulder.

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His agent is overreacting too much.

I'm sure Kesler would be the first one to admit that his shoulder wasn't an excuse for his lack of production.

AV should really learn his lesson about not talking about players injuries though. He's not a doctor.

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I don't know if that was a smart move by AV.

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just perform. too many excuses every yr.

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An example of over-coverage in this town.

Seriously. Who cares?

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Maybe he'll ask for a trade?

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Way to blow it out of the water. Typical overkill by the Province and Mr. "I'm a lawyer" Overhardt. Over reaction by all but those involved (AV and KES).

"Can't we all just get along?"

NUFF SAID

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good grief, and now Elliot Pap just tweeted that AV told a French-language TV station that Lou "wants out." What the heck is AV doing??

Gillis needs to tell him to shut his yap before he does any more damage.

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Kesler told the fans that his shoulder wasn't an excuse and his production was down for other reasons. AV probably just wanted to present a unified front, if that's how Kesler wants to spin it to the media, fine, AV will play along with that.

Where the agent is coming from I have no idea, to publicly contradict his client's own words is just silly. Maybe he thinks Kesler fell off the turnip truck.

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His production fell a lot. Now, while Kesler won't say that's the reason, it probably is. He's not going to act like a little child and say, "Well, I'm hurt, that's why my production fell." It obviously IS the reason. How can anyone expect him to perform 100% when every time he takes a wrister his shoulder stings? How can people expect him to be the same skater when everytime he strides his hip is sore. He played hurt the whole damn season. It's a fact. He sad himself he came back too early.

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A few things are going on here......

One, this seems hauntingly familiar to the comments made by AV on willie Mitchell after his concussion...which ticked him off enough to peace out of Vancouver....AV should really keep a lid on that stuff....

TWO, if kesler was playing injured he needs to check his ego at the door come clean and get his butt out of the lineup....its a selfish move on his, and his agents part to take up a roster spot if your not able to perform...

THREE, If it was a nagging thing, which most people play with, then he needs to suck it up take responsibility for his decline and move forward.

I loved kes.....but his constant diving, inconsistant play, his chirping/excuses and if he indeed played injured just to get a paycheck....I'm not impressed. You make 5 million a year...work for it.

Thanks to Keslers agent for beaking off and bringing all this to light.

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The freakin media in this city, man, I swear they won't be happy until they tear this team limb from limb. Every quote is a controversy, every loss a reason to pursue their own agendas and personal views. Every transaction is an opening for guys like Gallagher and Willes to drive another wedge into their personal project, destroying the Canucks. Not necessarily connected to this Kesler thing...but I swear, these guys, Cole, Macintyre, they are the absolute worst. What are they trying to accomplish by these sorts of shenanigans? They're gonna tear it all down brick by brick if we let them, these clowns need to be run outta town. They all betrayed the team when we went to the Finals, they are enemies right there with Chicago and Toronto and the Canucks need to step up and toss these guys off their privileged perch. Let Mooney or someone who's a genuine fan take over the sportswriting.

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AV should have learned his lesson with Hodgson 3 years ago.

AV's gone from making a sour statement without knowing about an injury, to making one in spite of an injury.

That said, it seems to be downgrading to office politics. Kesler has a $5 mill contract, plenty of security just like AV does with his new contract. At that rate of pay, If I'm an owner I say you should have thick skin. I do agree with DeNiro that in different circumstances, Kesler would be saying it was not an excuse. We'll see if he goes back to playing or if he becomes a distraction. Kess was linked to Mitchell leaving, Hodgson leaving, Umburger leaving. Its a grown man's game; I guess guys have to outperform Kesler. Maybe AV is using politics to let Kess know its his turn to improve?

Or maybe Kess just wants a trade before his NTC kicks in...

His agent is overreacting too much.

I'm sure Kesler would be the first one to admit that his shoulder wasn't an excuse for his lack of production.

AV should really learn his lesson about not talking about players injuries though. He's not a doctor.

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Kesler plays a rambunctious style of hockey. As long as he keeps doing that, he will be worn out and injured by the time the playoffs arrive.

If he's going to not put up points because of injuries, we won't be able to call ourselves a deep team because, once again, we'll be leaving all the offense to the Sedins.

I think he had an off year all together. He played through injuries in 2011 and was in beast mode all playoffs long despite his ailments. I just think he had a bad year like a lot of other players and he needs to reset and get back at it next season.

Was it right for AV to call him out like that? No

Is AV known for underestimating player injuries? Yes

But Kesler loves playing the role of wounded war hero. He loves letting everyone know that he's playing though pain. Every player on the team plays through pain. It's hockey - it's what you do. I like that AV keeps him honest and doesn't give him a free pass just because he was injured.

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good grief, and now Elliot Pap just tweeted that AV told a French-language TV station that Lou "wants out." What the heck is AV doing??

Gillis needs to tell him to shut his yap before he does any more damage.

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