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Reports: Gillis has permission to trade Kesler

Mar 5, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

Not long after the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that there is “a growing suspicion within the Penguins that [Canucks general manager Mike Gillis] may not be authorized by Vancouver ownership to move [Ryan Kesler],” both ESPN’s Craig Custance and the Vancouver Sun have reported otherwise:

On top of all the talk and speculation the above generated, there was TSN’s James Duthie going on the radio and saying this:

Which, after yesterday’s Roberto Luongo trade, should make for another interesting day for Canucks fans.

  1. joey4id - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    They can’t not trade him. If they don’t they will recreate the uneasiness that was present after not trading Luongo last year.

    BTW, Kypreos has announced that St. Louis is moving to NYR.

    • hockey412 - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      For Callahan, got that. bah.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      And if he doesn’t get the return he should he’ll get lambasted for that. They certainly can pull him off the market if the deal they want isn’t there.

      Remember, this is all predicated on the rumour that Kesler had asked for a trade. Both the Canucks and Kesler have denied this, and Kesler went one further to say he hasn’t been asked to waive his NTC either. All the rumours suggest otherwise, but Kesler in the very least isn’t so adamant to want out that he’s forcing a deal now.

  2. hockey412 - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:22 AM


  3. runhigh24 - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    I can’t imagine Vancouver is excited about trading Kesler for a marginal 3rd line center (Sutter), a defensive prospect who Pens coaches don’t trust (Despres) and first and third round picks. That sounds like 70 cents on the dollar to me. I don’t want to see the Pens include Derrick Pouiiot but that’s who I would want to make this deal if I’m Vancouver.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      70 cents on the dollar sounds generous. With the Canucks getting Matthias yesterday, there’s even less need for Sutter (who I don’t think fits above a 3rd line center on a regular basis) so the deal would have to work some other way.

      Pouliot is still a high ask, you’d have to think Bennett is along with a 1st also. They’ll have to put in value somehow if they aren’t open to including Maatta in the deal, and the Pens can worry about the cap concerns since it’ll certainly fit if they have Letang and Martin on LTI.

      Here’s an alternate suggestion though: the Pens want Kesler but the Canucks aren’t getting a high enough return (more quantity than quality) from them. Make it a three way deal, particularly with news that Scheifele is out 6-8 weeks.

      To Pittsburgh:

      To Jets:
      Sutter, Bennett, 1st

      To Vancouver:
      Kane, Despres

    • flyerspsu - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      agreed, i would think they are much higher on brayden schenn than sutter as the established center in the deals, i think its a matter of the pens giving in and offering pouliot or the flyers adding a decent prospect to the schenn and a 1st offer

  4. rsl22 - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    It always seems like Pitt makes the big deadline deals…but at some point these deals have to cost them in the long term, right?

    If Pens traded for Kesler, they’d have to shed about $5MM in cap space for this season, and they’d have to figure out how to get 8-10 players signed for next year.

    Do they try to unload Letang? I don’t quite understand how Pens can get this done (or Vanek for that matter).

    • hockey412 - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      Kind of depends what deal you make. The cap hit that they’d take on for Kesler is prorated, not Kesler’s entire annual cap hit. Remember that Dupuis is on LTIR (done for season) so there’s some of it. Actually with Letang also out the LTIR replacement is around $5.5M. Plus they’d be giving up roster players for Kesler, no doubt.

      I agree bringing in Kesler requires shuffling, but no, deals don’t necessarily have to cost you long term. The deals Shero made last year risked some draft picks and non-roster players (whether they ever make it, who knows), and that was a gamble worth taking.

      • rsl22 - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:17 PM

        They’ll still have an awful lot of players looking for raises next year, and they have not been drafting very well to fill many of those roles. Check out their draftees if you want to disagree:

        I know Matta has been very good and Pouliot may make the team next year, but I can’t remember the last solid NHL forward the Pens drafted outside a top 2 pick (Staal, Malkin, Crosby…?). To get Kesler or Vanek, they’ll likely have to drop a roster player a top pick.

        A team with Malkin and Crosby will probably always make the playoffs no matter who is playing with them, but I think if they keep trading draft picks and prospects for expensive deadline acquisitions, then they may find themselves in trouble within a year or two.

      • hockey412 - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        I don’t disagree. Bennett was the last, and he’s good but hurt a lot. Their backup with players is on defense, they’ll have to trade them for offense. They also signed some free agents like Megna on offense as rookies. So, we’ll see! With the cap going up, I do think the room will be there, they just need to make some trades.

      • rsl22 - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:38 PM

        You’re right that the cap going up helps them a lot, but I guess where it will get interesting is that teams like Chicago, LA, Anaheim, Boston, Detroit, Minn, Wash, etc., all have more cap space and have more players signed for next year.

        There are only so many free agents that they can sign in the off-season so you’re right, we’ll have to see if they do have a plan for after this year.

      • plazzman - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        The Pens have Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz, Dupuis, Letang, Maatta and Scuderi signed for multiple years to come.

        They also have Fleury, Martin, Bennett, Bortuzzo and Adams signed through next season.

        The ONLY player on the Pens right now who would be looking for a significant raise is Niskanen. Orpik is most likely gone via free agency. The Salary Cap is going up next year so I don’t see where the Pens have any significant issues down the road capwise.

    • c9castine - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      People have been saying the pens are going to run into cap issues and won’t be able to keep all these stars together since the started to accumulated them in 2006.

      We’ll…they are still there and the pens are still doing it. Get out your calculator buddy

      • rsl22 - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        I guess it depends on how you look at it.

        From their Cup teams, I believe only 6 of 22 players — Fleury, Malkin, Crosby, Kunitz, Orpik and Letang — are still on the roster. Letang’s career is in a bit of jeopardy, Orpik is a pending UFA, and Fleury has been roughed up in the playoffs a few times (but playing better this year).

        Maybe not since 2006, but you’re certainly correct that this has been mentioned before. If they trade away first rounders or top prospects again this year, it does seem to be getting more dire, especially if it’s for a pending FA.

      • lionstigersandwingsohmy - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        rsl22- it should read cup team, not plural.

  5. storminator16 - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Canucks should wait until the summer, make a GM change and let the new GM make the move. I would not trust Gillis with a pencil sharpener at this point.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      Seems that’s the consensus for a fair majority of posters on the internet as well. Thankfully keyboards and mice don’t have any sharp edges, eh?

    • plazzman - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      Doubtful the Canucks get as much for Kesler over the summer as they will now. Teams are much more desperate now.

    • storminator16 - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      Understood, but Gillis will botch this or not trade him at all. So, summer may be preferable. Don’t see him lasting long after the last day of the regular season.

      • plazzman - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        I see your point as well. But you risk having a disgruntled player now and if Kesler were to get injured in the last month and a half of the season, a real nightmare on your hands.

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