Canucks C Kesler ready for first game

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Ryan Kesler is healthy again and looking for another big year.

The Vancouver Canucks center, who scored 41 goals and won the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward last season, declared himself ready to return Monday -- almost three months after surgery to repair a torn hip labrum. He will play his first game of the season on Tuesday night against the New York Rangers.

Kesler is a welcome addition to a 2-2-1 Canucks team that has struggled at times coming off the shortest offseason in franchise history. Vancouver lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to Boston in mid-June.