For David Poile, it was bad enough that Ryan Kesler beat the Nashville Predators almost single-handedly in their second-round playoff series.

But it was the way Kesler did it that rankled the Predators' GM. In Game 3, Kesler drew a weak penalty on Shea Weber, then scored the game-winning goal in overtime on the ensuing power play. With Preds' coach Barry Trotz making pointed comments about "embellishment," Kesler then scored a highlight-reel game-winner in Game 4.

In Game 5, there was another highlight-reel goal followed by a preening, dig-me celebration before the Canucks finished off the Preds in Game 6 with, of course, Kesler assisting on both goals.

So given all that – and given some of the commentary which followed the team around the playoffs – Poile was asked if the Canucks, and Kesler's, reputation is deserved?

"That's not a fair question," he answered.

But he didn't stop there.

"When you play somebody for six or seven games, you're going to be picking at different things," Poile continued. "Do I like everything (Kesler) did? Not a chance. But I was also the associate GM (of Team USA) during the Olympics and did I like everything he did there? Absolutely.

"Do I want Ryan Kesler on my team? Yes sir."

Kesler, the player everyone loves to hate on the team everyone loves to hate, marked another rite of passage in his career when he was named the winner of the Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward at the NHL Awards show in Sin City. After finishing behind Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk for two consecutive seasons, Kesler was the runaway winner this season totalling 1,179 votes from the Professional Hockey Writers Association, including 105 first-place votes.