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NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Hockey League's Biggest Stars This Summer

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IAugust 3, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 18:  Ryan Kesler #17 of the Vancouver Canucks reacts after a second straight penalty to his team during the second period against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on April 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks are a busy franchise this offseason, as they anticipate possible free-agent signings in the wake of Ryan Kesler's offseason surgeries.

Vancouver isn't the only team pressing pen to paper this summer though, as the Flyers have agreed to an extension of their own with a key piece to their pursuit of a Stanley Cup title.

Here we break down the latest buzz surrounding the NHL's biggest stars this summer. 

Ryan Kesler Out Until Midseason

Vancouver Canucks star Ryan Kesler likely won't be back on the ice until December, according to his agent, via Ben Kuzma of The Vancouver Province on Thursday. 

Kesler is in the midst of recovering from offseason shoulder and wrist surgeries which will now keep him out for a significant portion of the 2012-13 regular season. 

The biggest question facing the Canucks right now though, is how Kesler will bounce back from all of this. Kesler scored 22 goals and tallied 27 assists last season with the Canucks, and he'll turn 28 at the end of August. 

Although Kesler is a safe bet to return successfully from the surgeries, I think it's fair to say that his game is still in the balance as he works his way back to full health.

Flyers Extend Peter Laviolette

The Philadelphia Flyers signed head coach Peter Laviolette to a two-year contract extension, according to Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com.

All in all, this is a smart move by the Flyers, who guarantee themselves a steady leader in the locker room and on the bench for the next three seasons. 

Laviolette led Philly to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010, after taking over head coaching duties for the franchise in December of 2009. 

He's clearly capable of getting the most out of his players, and will certainly keep Philly among the top teams in the Eastern Conference next season and for the years to come. 

Jason Arnott Headed to Canada?

With Ryan Kesler taking longer than originally thought to recover from offseason surgery, Ben Kuzma of The Vancouver Province reports that the Vancouver Canucks have interest in veteran free-agent center Jason Arnott.

Arnott scored 17 goals and recorded 17 assists last season with the St. Louis Blues, helping lead the team to a No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. 

Although Arnott will turn 38 by the start of the season, he is still a superb pickup for a team needing to fill a void in the middle. 

The 18-year veteran knows a thing or two about how to be successful in the NHL, and he could bring some experience, skill and toughness to Vancouver, if the price is right of course.

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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