VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler was back on the ice and in the spotlight Thursday, but the hand he injured during the 2014 Sochi Olympics was far from the biggest story.
Kesler, who didn't play in the Canucks' 1-0 win against the St. Louis Blues the night before, spent most of his lengthy post-practice media scrum denying reports he had asked for a trade out of Vancouver.
"Completely false," Kesler said. "I'm happy. I love my teammates. I love the city. My son was born here, my kids grew up here."
Reports surfaced Wednesday night that Kesler had asked for a trade at the start of the season, and speculation has surrounded the Canucks for weeks that Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin are the team's only untouchable players.
"It's coming from our seven-game losing streak, and when you have reports that everybody not named Sedin is on the trading block, I think it stems from that," said Kesler, who has a no-trade clause on a contract with a $5 million annual salary-cap charge through end of the 2015-16 season.