Ryan Kesler: One Change the Vancouver Canucks Could Make to Help Win the Cup

Max von KleistContributor IIIJanuary 21, 2012

Last year, the Vancouver Canucks were one win away from their first Stanley Cup. The Boston Bruins, however, would not allow it and won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals handily by a score of 4-0.

The Canucks were great up until they had finished their two-game home stand that started the series. After taking a 2-0 series lead, it was time to go to Boston.

From that point forward, they were not the same team.  They were outscored an outstanding 21-2.  

They got pushed around, outworked and lacked the passion needed to overcome the Bruins and win the cup.  Though getting to the Stanley Cup Finals is something to be proud of, I don’t think the Canucks can be proud of how it ended.

While Henrik Sedin is a great captain, he is not the leader the Canucks need to win. He may be one of the most skilled players in the game, and of course leads the team, along with his brother Daniel, with his offensive production, but that has proven not to be enough.

When you’ve got a target on your back supposedly being the most hated team in the NHL, you need a leader who can fight back. You need a leader who can provide his team with a sense of accountability, and you need a leader who can fuel his team with passion.

The Canucks need Ryan Kesler to wear the “C.”

Kesler is the heart and soul of the Vancouver Canucks.  He is arguably one of the most passionate players in the league and when he plays, he gives everything he’s got. He is fearless, and one of the league’s elite two-way players who sacrifices his body every shift.

In last year’s playoffs, he was an absolute monster. In the series against Nashville, he was by far the best player game in and game out. His passion shined throughout the entirety of the playoffs, and its true nature was evident when the Canucks announced that Kesler would be undergoing hip surgery due to a torn labrum—an injury that he did not let slow him down during the playoffs. 

With the "C" on his chest and the added voice of being captain, Kesler's fiery, hard-working and passionate demeanor would undoubtedly rub off on the rest of the team giving the Canucks the extra dynamic to overcome their drought.

With the "C" on his chest, Kesler is what the Vancouver Canucks need to win their first-ever Stanley Cup.