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Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler

Mar 3, 2014, 9:18 PM EDT

Ryan Kesler AP

If TSN’s Bob McKenzie is correct, the Vancouver Canucks have indeed named a price for Ryan Kesler, and it certainly isn’t cheap.

The Canucks want this approximate package for the 29-year-old forward, at least according to McKenzie in this Insider Trading segment:

1) A center (approximate age: 25) who can fill much of the void left behind by Kesler.

2) A high-end prospect. McKenzie indicates that Vancouver might lean toward a forward in this regard, although he also notes that gaining a defensive piece could allow them to move a blueliner themselves.

3) A first-round draft pick. (Standard stuff at the deadline, in that regard.)

Who would be willing to bite? That remains to be seen as the Wednesday afternoon trade deadline approaches, as teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers are among those rumored to be batting around offers. Darren Dreger adds the Toronto Maple Leafs to the list of teams who are at least interested.

There is no word on whether any of those teams are coming anywhere close to such pricey demands from Canucks GM Mike Gillis.

Some believe that the best time to deal Kesler may in fact be around the 2014 NHL Draft, but we’ll need to wait and see.

For the rest of the Insider Trading segment, click here.

  1. canucks30 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    You don’t say?

    • kaptaanamerica - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:19 AM

      Canucks don’t even have to trade Kesler… he’s got another 2-3 years on his deal. They can just hold onto him. The guy is a machine. goes hard every shift. makes other players better and is a fan favourite.

      Canucks won’t trade him unless there is a legitimate overpayment.

      • hockey412 - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:03 AM

        How’d that strategy work with Luongo?

      • davebabychreturns - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        Poorly, given his retirement contract and the new CBA rule specifically intended to punish the Canucks.

  2. live4hockey - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    I keep hearing (from what seems like everyone) Brandon Sutter, Simon Despres, and a first….would fit that requirement.

    • killerpgh - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:39 PM

      The last rumor I heard was Sutter, Despres or Brain Dumoulin, 1st this year and a 3rd next. I wouldn’t be against that deal. It upgrades the current teams and don’t give away anything currently off the roster without upgrading it except possible Derspres. With the lack of forward prospects it sucks trading a1st round picks just about every year, but the team is set to compete for the Cups now. You have to go for it and deal with the future down the road. Hopefully Kesler and Bylsma got along at the Olympic, because Kesler has to waive his NTC to go anywhere.

      • bwayblueshirt - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:24 PM

        As a Ranger fan I can tell you exactly how that plan works out (it doesn’t). Look at what happened to you last year. Shero went nuts, brought in Jokinen, Murray, Morrow, Iginla, and… got bounced rather unceremoniously. Pens need to hang onto their 1st and 2nd round picks for a couple of years, re-stock the farm.

      • c9castine - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:13 AM

        listen to blueshift trying to tell the Pens how to draft and build a contender.

        Shero tried some things and we got into the ECF. how’d the rangers do? how’d 26 other teams in the league do?

        Kesler doesn’t have an expiring contract, also, so this wouldn’t be a trade for cup or bust. this would be a trade for now and the future.

      • kaptaanamerica - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:24 AM

        that is the offer on the table. the 1st and 3rd are useless to Vancouver since their scouting dept. sucks so bad. probably the worst head scout in the league, ron delorme. they can’t scout for shiite. if they had a top five pick last year they would have overlooked mckinnon, jones, barkov, monahan, and drouin. they probably would have picked some total no name. totally useless at drafting based on history. they should just ask for players and prospects and totally forget about picks.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:29 AM

        c9castine: if they trade for Kesler they would have $35.8 million tied up in 6 forwards, that’s not a very good way to build a team. And yes 26 other teams were done before Pittsburgh last year, but how many of them went all in for a cup win like the Pens did? You can brag all you want about how awesome the Shero is at team building but they haven’t won a cup, or been to the finals, since 2009, with as much talent as they have had over the years they need to labelled as an underachieving team.

        And getting back to the team building aspect, when you have $35.8 million (or about half the cap) tied up in 6 forwards, and have $10 million in cap space for 8 players, you’re going to be counting on draft picks and prospects to fill out your roster, Shero continues to trade those pieces for deadline players though, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the Pens are going to run into some depth issues in the not too distant future.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:41 AM

        Kaptaanamerica: going back to what we were talking about yesterday (before you slandered me by calling me a Leafs fan!) if the Canucks can get a return like that for Kesler that would go a long way towards fixing that team. They may go from being on the Flames path to being able to pull a Sharks type rebuild as you go.

        And as for the Canucks drafting issues, if the Pens are willing to offer up this much, the Canucks should see if they’ll keep the picks and give them Sutter plus both prospects…there’s no harm in asking.

      • bwayblueshirt - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:08 AM

        @c9castine: The whole reason this is obvious to me is because I’ve been watching the Rangers franchise make the same mistakes for two decades now. They are finally starting to take the steps I’m presenting. Callahan, Girardi, Hagelin, Stepan, Kreider, Miller, Lundqvuist, all players the Rangers DRAFTED (technically, Girardi went undrafted, but was signed after the draft, so whatever). And we’ve finally got a healthy crop of young players like Lindberg, Fast, Allen, and McIlrath up and coming. Rangers will be in a good place in a year or two. Penguins will be a nursing home if they’re not careful.

      • c9castine - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:02 AM

        atwater; first if your team is not going all in for a cup, I’m sorry for you. I would hate to be a fan of a team that doesn’t give it its all for a cup every year. It would be unreasonable for me to expect them to win every year, like everybody else seems to, no matter how much talent they have.

        second, they may not have been to a final since 2009, but they won that one. and it was the second one in a row.

        3rd, Pens farm system is still deep and they have plenty of picks. just because you have the perception they don’t have any picks doesn’t mean they don’t. they picked two first rounders in 2012 and olli maata was one of them, derrick poukiot the other. Beau Bennet, Simon Despres are other recent first rounders currently on the team.

        Furthermore, they have a 1st, 3rd, 4th, 2 5ths, a 6th and 7th round pick this year, and all of their picks in years after that. So, basically, they have the same amount of picks as everybody else minus their 2nd rounder.

        as far as prospects, we have had 3 forwards come up and have an impact this year, and at one point were using an all prospect lineup roster on defense besides matt niskanen and were winning. Our 3rd string goaltender is 9-2-1 in the NHL.

        SO…what else ya got?

      • c9castine - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:07 AM


        Pens have plenty of their own draft picks playing for the team or close to. Crosby, Malkin, Bennett, Megna, Vitale, Despres, Maatta, Orpik, Scuderi, Bortuzzo, Engelland…

        free agents, and guys we traded for a long time ago, like Kunitz and Dupuis, and waiver pickups, fill out the roster.

        I hope you don’t think your going to win anything with that group of players you named. good group, lot of solid roller players, but your gonna need something more to get you over the top. I don’t see a true number 1 center on that list. I don’t see a true power play specialist defenseman.

      • bgrillz - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:53 AM

        As a Rangers fan, you should know all to well what bounced unceremoniously means. Losing in the Eastern Conference finals after running into the Buzzsaw from Beantown is not really a total flop. Kessler, is younger and more skilled than all of those guys you mentioned, and all we have to give up really is Sutter, a useless first rounder, and a prospect, in which we are heavy in. For a guy under contract. I’ll take that.

  3. Stiller43 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Why would the flyers be interested? He’ll do them no good when theyre all on the gold course come mid april

    • charlieconway96 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      Whats a gold course? It sounds awesome.

      • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:39 PM

        Keno room at the Golden Nugget?

    • mikedoc315 - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:22 PM

      Where can you find these gold courses you speak of.

      • desertfan - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:56 AM

        Ask Dorothy!!

  4. stakex - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Wow…. that’s quite the price.

    Perhaps someone can explain to me why Kesler is worth that much, because I sure don’t see it looking at his stats. Yes, he scored 41 goals in 2010… but looking at the bigger picture that seems like an anomaly as he’s never scored more than 26 in any of his other nine seasons. He also hasn’t been lighting in up over the last couple seasons, and his production seems to have hit a peak three seasons ago. Right now it seems safe to assume he’s good for 25 goals and 50-55 points. Solid numbers…. but top player, top prospect, and a 1st rounder kind of numbers? I don’t see it.

    • valoisvipers - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      Fully agree with you Stakex.Price is way too much but you ask for the moon and settle for the stars.

    • salmon90 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      1. He’s the Canucks best player – there’s no way they take anything less then that. Why would they? They obviously have no problem with keeping guys around even if they’ve asked for a trade.

      2. He’s better defensively than offensively – not bad for a guy who scored 40 – you’re right he probably is more a 25-30 goal guy but there’s usually only 30-40 of those players per season in the whole league.

      3. He’s plays his a$$ off – every shift – every night.

    • killerpgh - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:58 PM

      There are a few reason he can ask for so much. The biggest being he isn’t a rental player. If he gets traded the team that lands him will get him for 3 playoff runs and for a reasonable cap hit of 5 million. Anther reason being there aren’t many players like him available (60+ and Selke potential).

    • bwayblueshirt - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      Very reminiscent of the Rick Nash dealings, except that VAN is under no pressure to trade him. And in terms of his play style, he is more valuable than his numbers indicate. He plays a physical Rick Nash style (albeit without the same ability to finish) and he plays in all situations. This would be key for a team looking to plug multiple holes with one player. Even strength, PP, PK, Kesler plays and scores in all situations. Also, his Corsi numbers have been solid for several seasons running, which is a good thing, if you’re into advanced stats. Kesler isn’t the superstar fix-all, but he could be just the cog that a team like Nashville, Columbus, or perhaps even Philadelphia.

      • zta7991 - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:54 PM

        Just curious…where would you see him fitting on Philadelphia? I see Nashville, I see Columbus. But even as a flyer fan I cant see how that would work…all I know is I don’t want the pens to get him…as much as I don’t like the pens adding a guy like Kessler would make them pretty scary.

      • bwayblueshirt - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:01 AM

        @zta7991: Well, just to get him the Flyers would have to open up a spot for him, probably making Couturier or Simmonds the centerpiece from the Flyers. Throw in Brandon Manning maybe, or Ben Holmstrom, and of course the pick(s). Of the teams that have been mentioned and considering that he’s refused to waive his NTC for Colombus, Philly is actually looking like the most logical option (again, if he moves at all). It’s worth noting that GM’s rarely get what they ask for in a big trade (i.e. Rick Nash). Big gamble for Holmgren though. The Flyers are a relatively young team, but their defense is older, and in need of more help than their top six. I’m not sure it would be wise for the Flyers to miss the chance at a 1st round defenseman.

    • mp1131211 - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:42 AM

      They just want Luongo to seem like a steal by jacking up the price of their other pieces. ha! j/k I have no idea.

  5. ethanmacleod1685 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    Mike Gillis is one terrible ass GM. Who the H is going to give up that for Kesler?

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:41 PM

      ……oh wait, I didn’t read the part where it said Philidephia is interested.

      • miketoasty - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:37 PM

        Penguins have been rumored to have offered Doumolin/Depres, a first rounder, and Brandon Sutter which fits every single one of what the Nucks are asking for. As a pens fan I can’t say I’m one hundred percent for the trade but I also can say I wouldn’t mind getting the likes of Kesler to play winger for Crosby until Dupuis gets back.

      • elrock7 - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:46 PM

        Nucks wouldn’t take the rumored Pens offer. Gillis has a relationship with Nonis, look for Kadri, Jake Gardiner, and maybe a 2nd rounder.

      • ethanmacleod1685 - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:50 PM

        Mike, Crosby doesn’t need a winger to play with him. If the pens are interested in Kesler it’s because they want a Staal replacements. A 1,2,3 punch down the middle that teams can’t match up with. The Sharks do it when their fully healthy(which is never), they have Thornton,Couture and Pavelski all down the middle. It creates huge problems for the other teams. Depth is the key to a successful team in the playoffs which the Pens are clearly trying to obtain.

      • kaptaanamerica - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:14 AM

        @elrock7 everyone knows you are a leafs fan. now way Canucks deal Kesler to the leafs. everyone hates Nonis and his shenanigans at the deadline last year. Kadri is useless, can’t play defense at all, Gardiner is a defenseman who can’t play defence, and you 2nd rounder is a joke… the Penguins have already offered up 3 pieces better than what you proposed. don’t embarrass yourself anymore with such a ridiculous offer.

      • desertfan - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:03 AM

        Rumour out of VCR is that a key to the deal is that the winner of this sweepstakes also has to take Lui.

  6. crazemastercraze - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Figures Philly would be interested in Kesler. I mean, why bother taking care of your Achilles heal in that abomination called a defense. Hilarious.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      It’s so easy to point to the Flyers D (as everyone has posted and can see) but it’s not like adding Kesler wouldn’t make the team better. A top-2 center combo of Giroux-Kesler would be good. And this organization has had a love affair with Kesler since they made him an offer when he was an RFA (before he broke out). Now I’m not advocating for dealing Brayden Schenn, Sam Morin/Scott Laughton?, and a 1st plus whatever else for a 29-yr old center when you just picked up an aging Lecavalier to go with your youth movement up front(?). They should’ve just kept Mike Richards if they wanna go that way. But like I said, replacing Schenn with Kesler would make the team better, defense aside.

      If they make a move it should obviously be to improve the blueline, however there is some logic to be found in kicking the tires.

  7. penguins87and71 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    So I’m guessing if a trade went down it would probably be Sutter, a 1st round draft pick, and either Despres, or Dumolin. I’m just crossing my fingers that Derrick Pouliot isn’t traded.

    • desertfan - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:10 AM

      Pouliott, Maata, Sutter, Fleury and a 1st for Kesler and Luongo.

  8. penguins87and71 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Why would Kesler want to go to Pittsburgh to be a 3rd line center? Why would he leave the west coast where his been for 10 years?

    • miketoasty - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:42 PM

      Because as of right now the Canucks are a sinking ship and he knows hes going to go so why not go to a cup contender while he can still perform? I don’t know if that’s his actual thoughts but if he does a accept a trade to the Penguins I would assume that would be his reasoning.

  9. penguins87and71 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Why would the Flyers be interested? Do they have the cap space to take on a $5 million contract? I thought I heard somewhere they were basically up against the cap.

    • killerpgh - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:08 PM

      With the cap dropping this past season just about every team that is considered a contender is up against the cap. But with the the ability for teams to retain salary and the fact the team he goes to wouldn’t get charged with the full $5 million cap hit (the cap hit is prorated for per day he is on the roster) plus you lose the daily cap figure for the player(s) you are giving up off your roster it’s not all that hard to fit in a player at the deadline.

    • flyerspsu - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      the cap wouldnt be a problem, the cap is going up a lot and Timonen and Meszaros will come off the books at the end of the year which is 10 mil right there and the Flyers could always just trade a player to free up space

    • zta7991 - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      Right now they are strapped for cap space but the flyers are dropping mez off either via trade or he just goes FA so there is 4.5 mil I believe. Also if the flyers did do the deal it probably would involve brayden schenn, Scott laughton and a first rounder, which I don’t think is worth it. Maybe if it was a deep draft, but from I understand it I a very mediocre draft class.

  10. deathbat20 - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    I’m hoping that the only reason the Flyers are interested is to drive up the price for the penguins

  11. atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    That seems like an awful lot to give up for a player you’d be asking to come in and be a third line center (which Pittsburgh obviously would) especially since they’re already in a bit of a precarious cap position for next year and it would leave them about $10 million to fill 8 spots. Maybe Shero thinks that if they don’t win this year that will be someone else’s problem?

    • miketoasty - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:39 PM

      Or he knows something about the cap that us armchair GMs do not?

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:46 PM

        If they acquire Kesler they would have $35.8 million tied up in 6 forwards, that seems a little high, even if the cap does go up to north of $70 million.

  12. blomfeld - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:28 PM


    the bottom line is that Kesler’s going nowhere … it’s ‘Luongo’ who’s going to be packing (packed) his bags … truly surprising that even PHT has failed to pick up on what’s really going down here ? … I remain a fan nonetheless ! :)


    blomfeld – Jun 24, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    A) Aquilini Investments restructures Luongo’s K by ‘writing off’ at least 20-25 million, thus leaving a much more ‘palpable’ circa 20 million over the next decade

    B) Aquilini Investments then sends Luongo to the Bolts and in return receives some worthless ‘face-saving’ asset(s) … Loo and wifey-poo very very happy !!! :) :) :)

    C) Aquilini Investments then liquidates Gillis in retaliation for the hideous financial loss and thereafter immediately promotes John Tortorella to the position of ‘Coach & GM’ of the Canucks

    there you have it friend, all gift-wrapped and ready to go ! :)

    • elrock7 - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:50 PM


  13. nashernation - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    The team that needs Kesler big time is the Rangers. We need size at the center position. He is the perfect fit. Package Stepan a prospect and a number 1. Get Kesler and we can challenge teams like the Bruins.

  14. jimw81 - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    flyers have plenty of centers. just sayin

  15. jl9830 - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    If anyone has a 25-year old center who can fill Kesler’s spot, why would they trade him, plus two other prime assets, for Kesler? That makes zero sense.

  16. penvik - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    He’s going to pittsburgh or not leaving Vancouver. Pittsburgh has the pieces to offer and Philly is not going to trade b Schenn not a chance and that’s what Vancouver wants. The penguins are already offering an overpayment and other teams won’t go higher.

  17. deezenucks - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    Kesler is a huge pickup for a playoff team. Van likes that Pittsburgh deal but not that 1st rounder because it’s gonna be around the late 20’s, possibly 31-32 if my pens blues final holds up. If they trade with Philly I hope they get someone like Simmons, Canucks need some grit.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:22 AM

      Picks 31 and 32 are the first two picks of round 2, there’s only 30 teams in the nhl.

  18. deezenucks - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    After the way Nonis played out that potential Luo trade there is NO WAY he goes to the laughs

  19. deezenucks - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    my bad, I comment a lot on NFL articles too and im in the middle of a 24 hour shift.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:49 AM

      It happens, as a die hard fan of the team with pick 31 in the nfl draft I’ve quit looking at first round prospects and just started looking at the top of the second round.

      You are right though that pick location may dictate things for the Canucks, from what I’ve heard this is a pretty lacklustre draft, they say there’s 45 second round prospects (so half of the first round will be second round players taken) and that the player the Canucks took at 9 last year (his name slips my mind at the moment) would be slam dunk top 3 pick in this draft. Given that it might not be a bad idea to load up on 2015 first round picks, maybe get some ammo to try and get into the McDavid sweepstakes?

  20. rainyday56 - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    Why are they not asking for a stud winger who could kick start the twins? Geez its only the first line we’re talking about here. Who is running that team anyway?

  21. mp1131211 - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:48 AM

    This would be a typical Flyers move. No sense of the team as a whole. No bigger picture for which direction to move the team in. Just break the bank, bet the farm, and go home early.

  22. pdmjr - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    Pens are offering Luca Caputi and Luca Brasi and a dead fish wrapped in newspaper

  23. tcclark - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    I don’t understand the Flyers hate from flyers fans on this one. This is typical Holmgren, but it makes sense. People have been asking for years now to improve the defense, but the fact of the matter is, there’re no top defensemen available. The next best option would be to trade for Kesler.

    Ryan Kesler is already better defensively than any other player on the Flyers roster, defensemen included. If the Flyers trade a package with Brayden Schenn included, that would make Claude Giroux the worst defensive center on the team. That’s pretty damn good.

    The Flyers defense would improve by playing better TEAM defense. Kesler is the type of two-way forward that improves the abilities of those around him, he’d be a great mentor for Couturier, and as mentioned, he’s a former 40 goal scorer.

    Kesler would improve the Flyers. It’s just a matter of trading the right package. I’d trade Schenn. He’s a RF at the end of the year anyway. I’d trade the first because it’s a pretty weak draft, but I’m not trading Laughton or Morin. Kesler is great, but he’s really not worth more than Mike Richards was worth when the Flyers traded him. They’re similar players with similar skills and output, but Richards had 10 more years left on his cap-friendly deal and the flyers had zero pressure to trade him. With that they got a forward, a top prospect, and a second. The Canucks can have Schenn a first and a second tier prospect, or Vinny, a first, and a top tier prospect. I doubt they’d take Vinny.

    • jbink2585 - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      Why it makes sense for Flyers is because Kessler is better than B schenn. The rumored offer on Philly radio is B scheen, Laughton, and 2015 1st bc flyers are reluctant to trade this years first because Draft is in Philly. Flyers aren’t capped out have little under 3 million in space. @TCCLARK– Id trade Laughton flyers have depth at that position so hes positonally blocked anyway, and from reports I read he isn’t adaptable at wing.

  24. pdmjr - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Shero good at trading defensemen prospects who never make it to the NHL, or aren’t there long.

  25. therealjr - Mar 4, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    So if a team already has “center (approximate age: 25) who can fill much of the void left behind by Kesler”

    Why would they be trading for Kesler?

  26. chrisk61 - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    pens have issues that go beyond signing guys at the deadline. first the player leadership — crosby and malkin — lacks heart and respect. second the coach bylsma lacks the skills to get the most out of this highly talented team.

    huge amount of pressure on pens this yr. nightmare scenario is to bet bounced again by flyers in a div round. if that happens, heads will roll. bylsma gone. malkin maybe gone.

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