Even in the offseason Ryan Kesler and Ryan Johansen cannot peacefully co-exist, and the two took to Twitter about an offer to throw down before the season starts.
Right when everything seems quiet in the hockey world, an old personal rivalry has been rekindled.
Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Kesler took to Twitter on Sunday night to let the world know that he still does not like his old friend Ryan Johansen and offered to throw down with him before they even step foot on the ice in October.
Ryan Johansen responded two hours later, and seemingly accepted the challenge placed forth by Kesler.
The rivalry between these two kicked off in the 2017 Western Conference Finals when Kesler aggravated Johansen on the ice with his controversial play style, namely with constant spearing to the groin. Johansen took to the press after Game 2 and questioned how Kesler’s family and friends can cheer for a guy like that.
The two kept going at until physically and verbally on the ice until Johansen suffered a thigh injury in Game 4 of the series that required emergency surgery and kept him out for the rest of the postseason. Nashville defeated Anaheim in six games to head to their first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history
The rivalry between the two did not calm down heading into the next season either, and they dropped the gloves during their final meeting of the season. Kesler grappled Johansen to his knees and mocked him for covering up on the way to the bench. Kesler probably felt good about it, but Nashville won the game 4-2 and swept the season series.
In all likelihood, if Kesler and Johansen want another go at each other they might need to meet in the streets. Rumors are persisting that Kesler could miss the entirety of the 2018-19 season with a hip injury that has bothered him since the end of the 2017 playoffs. The injury was clearly affecting his play for the 44 games he was able to play, as he was only able to produce 14 points during that span.
The challenge has been put forth and accepted in writing. Will these two actually take the time to meet up for some offseason drama? Probably not. But if Kesler is ready to go by the time Anaheim and Nashville meet up again, you can bet these two old friends will have some words for each other.