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Report: Penguins ‘very interested’ in Kesler

Mar 1, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

Ryan Kesler Getty Images

There was a report yesterday about how the Pittsburgh Penguins made a pitch to the Vancouver Canucks regarding center Ryan Kesler.

Reports being what they are, the amount of truth involved is always questionable. This time around, however, the Penguins’ interest in the former Selke Trophy winner may be valid.

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the Pens are “very interested” in Kesler and that they are on his list of teams he would approve a deal to.

This season, Kesler has been healthy and is third on the team in points with 39 points. He leads the Canucks in goals with 21 and has 65 penalty minutes to go with all of that. With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin already locked in on the top two lines, Kesler playing center on the third line or even on the wing with either of those star centers makes for a daunting look.

  1. brycewest - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    If this deal goes down and Fleury doesn’t pull an Emery in the playoffs, the Penguins will play for the Cup! Exciting couple days ahead of us…buckle up!

    • mshantz22 - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      I think the pens Stanley cup chances depend much more on their defense and health of Letang.

      • brycewest - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

        Do you mean the same defense that played without Orpik, Martin, Scuderi and Letang for a large portion of the season and still kicked ass? mshantz, your village called.

      • c9castine - Mar 1, 2014 at 7:13 PM

        pens are a top 5 defense and have been for two seasons.

        Letang is a big loss but we have the assets to cover it up.

    • thebink1967 - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:20 AM

      Don’t forget the Pens have a mastermind for a coach. It doesn’t matter who the players are. With Abysmal behind the bench, we cannot lose.

  2. theageofquarrel - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    If the Penguins landed him,there would be an chaos in the streets of America and some of Canada

    • canucks30 - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      Why?

      • theageofquarrel - Mar 1, 2014 at 5:28 PM

        Because people would whine and cry that the Penguins did something,that’s why

  3. slaugin - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Why would he want to be a 3rd line center?

    • canucks30 - Mar 1, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      Because he wants to win a Stanley Cup?

      • ethanmacleod1685 - Mar 1, 2014 at 6:18 PM

        Look what the Sharks do (when their healthy), Pavelski plays third Lind behind Thornton and Couture. It makes for a much more balanced attack that most teams struggle to match up against

    • c9castine - Mar 1, 2014 at 7:36 PM

      Its not like he wouldn’t play a lot. Sutter plays 15:27 per night, all situations. Kesler plays about 22 now and yes would likely see that drop to 18-19, which is how much Staal played, sometimes more…but none of our forwards play that much. Crosby is the only one in the 20s and he’s at 21:43 so

  4. canucks30 - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    It’s going to take more than Brandon Sutter and Derrick Pouliot.

    A lot more.

    • c9castine - Mar 1, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      i wouldn’t say a lot more. a guy like Pouliot can completely change your team in a couple years. Brandon sutter can also change the makeup of your team. Sidney Crosby asks Sutter when he is unsure about his defensive responsibilities. Sutter is responsible for educating all the AHL call ups and newly acquired players and getting them up to speed in the system. They all start on the 3rd line with him. Look up some of his goals this year, including the one he scored against Montreal where he pick-pocketed Subban and went backhand shelf on Budaj. He has skill and is still very young.

      I think a 2nd rounder will sell the deal, if the Canucks are looking for those kinds of pieces.

  5. orangegesus - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    I like the move…but they’ll just get swept in the playoffs again. So , it doesn’t really matter .

    • c9castine - Mar 1, 2014 at 7:42 PM

      sounds like you need some prozac

  6. muckleflugga - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    were it to happen it would outrank the iginla debacle when penguins won the trade deadline cup … the disney fantasy land version …

    gee mickey why are they all wearing tin foil hats

    kesler’s vastly overrated … mind you … where hockey minds are mindless … pittsburgh would be a fit … shero and bylsma

    pure genius

    pure olympics pot metal

    definitive also rans … how long before mario cleans shop

    the week before the draft …?

    • claudegirwho - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      Your still hearing voices in your head?

  7. sumkat - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Not really sure about it. On paper, of course. But in reality, is he really suited for the role they would ask him to play? He’s used to getting lots of minutes on the top line, is he going to be OK playing 3rd line minute or moving to the wing?

    Kind of amazing the Pens have so many prospects and pieces to move to keep making deals like this the last few years (and stay under the cap), and I’m far from a Pens fan, but I have to applaud the front office. Windows to win titles are only open so long, worry about 5 years from now, 5 years from now.

    You only have a 5 year plan if you know any 1 year plan won’t work

  8. rushledger - Mar 1, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    I love Sutter but if they do this deal he’s going. Along with Derrick Puliot, as good as he will be with Maatta he can be expendable for the right deal. Maybe Despres goes too, plus a lower round pick.

    • canucks30 - Mar 1, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      You’re grossly undervaluing Kesler.

      The guy won a playoff series against Nashville virtually by himself in 2011, held Jonathan Toews to 1 goal in a 7 game series in 2011, was a dominant force in the 2010 Olympics including the 2 games against Canada, and unlike the rest of the Canucks, has a well earned reputation of consistently elevating his game come playoff time.

      He’s not quite 30 years old and still has 3 playoff years left on his contract at a very reasonable cap hit of $5 million.

      His biggest weakness is that he plays the game with too much of a kamikaze style leading to a multitude of injuries.

  9. canucks30 - Mar 1, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    The Penguins have a lot of quality young defenseman:

    Olli Maatta, Brian Dumoulin, Derrick Pouliot
    and Scott Harrington.

    However, the Canucks, much like the Penguins, have a dearth of quality young forwards.

    As a result I think teams like the Red Wings, Blue Jackets, and Flyers are better trade options with players like Anthony Mantha, Sean Couturier, Boone Jenner, etc.

  10. canada2014gold - Mar 1, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    I don’t think the pens can put this offer together. There is better options for the Canucks here. Unless Pens overpay, but why would they?

  11. penguins87and71 - Mar 1, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    I think it would be a great move it would put the Penguins in as front runners in the east to win the cup, however I wouldn’t give up Pouliot.

  12. bluc112784 - Mar 1, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Kessler to Pittsburgh works out perfect for both Pittsburgh and Vancouver. Im extremely high on pouliot but when you talk about possibly landing Kessler and have the defensive depth pittsburgh has, its a no brainer. Sutter,pouliot and a conditional pick for Kessler. Kessler wouldnt be the third line center, jokinen would center the third line and kessler would play with sid and kuny this year and either megna and depending on bennets health he would play with Malkin and neal. Kessler wouldn’t see third line minutes but would see sometime on the third line when bylsma rolls the lines. Win win for both clubs….

    • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:32 AM

      What defensive depth? The 6 d-men assigned to the task of attempting to contain Chicago tonight should provide a wakeup call for you.

  13. pdmjr - Mar 1, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    Why would the Pens trade for a third line center? They have one and have issues on defense and ned a winger for Crosby.

    • lettercable - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      Ryan Kesler is 29 years old. He has 21 goals and 19 assists.

      He may be the best player on the Canucks.

      He also plays with grit every single game. He doesn’t like to lose!

  14. muckleflugga - Mar 2, 2014 at 2:01 AM

    canucks30

    kesler’s so valuable canucks have been doing their best to shop him for two years … quietly … not so quietly in the present by all accounts

    his numbers don’t meet the hype … only in canada do those numbers get the blow from the hyper hockey hype factory in canada

    and kesler does not look happy and has not looked happy since the vancouver olympics … he wants to be the man on a team with luongo and the sedins … not likely

    i believe kesler believes he’s worth more in the contemporary market … easy to see given the largesse made available to some pretty ordinary talent in recent months

    a move suits his ability to work a new deal … go south … have a good season … then sign a career closing extended contract

    in u.s. dollars

    who knows, he may become the man now that he’s dropped the diving crap

  15. noffy32 - Mar 2, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    Is Sidney still sleeping at Lemieux’s house? Has he got his room yet?

  16. lettercable - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Ryan Kesler was a member of the U.S. Olympic 2014 hockey team. He is 29 years old. He has 21 goals and 19 assists. That is the most goals on the team.

    He may be the best player on the Canucks.

    He also plays with grit every single game. He doesn’t like to lose!

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