Mar 5, 2014, 3:24 PM EDT
Once again, it seems Mike Gillis is rolling the dice that patience will bring a better return for one of his core players. Other than sending depth defenseman Raphael Diaz to the New York Rangers for a fifth-round pick in 2015, the Vancouver Canucks didn’t make a move today, one day after Gillis dealt Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers in a move that did nothing to help the embattled general manager’s approval rating in the hockey-mad city.
Rumors were rampant that Kesler could be sent to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Anaheim and others. Instead, he remains with the Canucks, a team that’s becoming more and more of a long shot to make the playoffs with each additional loss.
Gillis will be criticized for wasting the value Kesler could have provided a contender this postseason. Now, the most the Canucks can guarantee a potential trade partner is two playoff runs with the 29-year-old former Selke Trophy winner, not three.
It could end up that Vancouver receives a better deal for Kesler in the summer, when teams have more flexibility to do deals. But Canucks fans have heard that before. Right now, there’s not a lot of faith it all turns out for the best, and speculation, valid or not, is only going to grow that Gillis will be fired.
- Lightning clinch playoff berth, but did they lose Hedman? 0
- WATCH LIVE: Kings at Blackhawks 4
- Blackhawks tease good injury news for Kane 4
- Tough times in Tampa: Garrison out 3-4 weeks after ‘pretty dirty’ Abdelkader hit 22
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 29
- NHL on NBCSN: Stakes high for Kings, ‘Hawks tonight 21
- Blackhawks’ Sharp: ‘We knew we had to get two points’ 12
- Video: Brian Engblom takes a puck to the head 13
- Flames jump back into third in Pacific, beat Preds 6
- Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen 18