Saturday, 7 June 2014

Ryan Kesler first domino in NHL trade talks for centres?

We just covered how the trade market for centremen may be heating up, and that may play in the Canadiens' hands, as they have a bit of a glut at that position, and need to shore up other areas.

TSN's Darren Dreger is quoted on Vancouver TEAM 1040 that Ryan Kesler met this week with new Canucks GM Jim Benning, and has expressed he'd prefer to move on rather than stay for a long rebuild.  Paradoxically, his leaving would 'kickstart' the rebuild, since as I've written before the farm system there is bare.

Again, this conflicts with his public statements that he hasn't demanded a trade, that he loves the city of Vancouver and doesn't want to leave.  We can see this as P.R., a mostly-truth, he does love Vangroovy, but thinking to himself "Well if I gotta..."  Loving his teammates and the climate on the West Coast doesn't outweigh the winning and losing equation, the low likelihood of a Stanley Cup in Vancouver during his career.

The problem for the Canucks would be that he still only apparently has six teams he'd accept a trade to, and Mr. Dreger lists Anaheim and Philadelphia as two of them that are a good fit, who can spare the young roster player, the prospect and the draft pick the Canucks would want in return, and who want to load up with a veteran to win now with their current team, not build for the future.

As talks continue and offers pour in to Jim Benning, he may be able to report back to Ryan that there are other interested teams, other destinations that might be a good fit, and that may release the shackles a little bit.  We saw how hamstrung the Canucks were when trying to trade Roberto Luongo to a very short list of teams, maybe they can work with Ryan's agents to find a solution that works for everyone.

Except the Oilers.  He ain't going there.  And probably not the Jets either.  You think your GM's hands are tied...

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