I hope they err on the side of caution. The solid team start lowers the pressure to get him in the lineup. No rush here, let's not have any summer declarations that he came back a bit too soon and re-aggravated, been there done that.
I think they are being very cautious with Kesler. One of the articles I quoted earlier in the thread said one of the issues in rehab was that he couldn't start rehabbing his shoulder as soon as they would have liked because he then had his wrist surgery.
This doesn't delay the healing and ROM exercises but rather the strengthening of the muscles surrounding the joint.
So essentially they are likely waiting until he had regained all the strength in his left are that he had previous to the injury before the gave him the OK to take contact. This is a good thing, basically means he should be 100% when coming back.
Now it'll be getting up to game speed and regaining the confidence in his surgically repaired arm. The reason he joined the team now was likely due to the two day break they just had and the upcoming one before the Minny game. It allows some good practice time. They also have 2 more 2 day breaks next week which should be great for Kesler and the team.
The timing is ideal to get him practicing with the team and back in the line-up around mid-February!
Nothing to do with the Canucks but apparently Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was hurt in the first shift of OT the other night and is not skating today.
Oilers fans have been speculating that he's been playing through a shoulder injury - by my count it would either be the fourth of his professional career, or one injury that has never fully cleared up.