From Nicholas J. Cotsonika at Yahoo! Sports:
Ryan Kesler grew up in Livonia, Mich., a Detroit suburb about a 25-minute drive to two Canadian border crossings. It was there that he and his older brother, Todd, played with mini-sticks and mini-nets while their sister, Jennifer, cheered on the sidelines. “They would literally play for hours,” said his father, Mike Kesler, “and it was always for the Stanley Cup.”
It was there that his quiet intensity first came out, where he began developing into the top two-way player he is today, where he gained that chip on his shoulder – and where he still returns over the phone or in person to feel at home.
He was 4 when his father, a former college player and longtime youth hockey coach, now a scout for the U.S. national team development program, first took him onto the ice.
“He grabbed my hand, went around the rink once, and then he said, ‘Dad, I don’t need your hand anymore,’ ” his father said.
read on—A great, in-depth piece about Kesler’s childhood and hockey history