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Ducks still wondering what life would’ve been like with Kesler

Mar 31, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT

Ryan Kesler Getty Images

Earlier this month, Anaheim appeared to be in thick of the Ryan Kesler sweepstakes, trading away Dustin Penner and Viktor Fasth at the deadline in what appeared to be cap-clearing moves.

The Kesler deal never came to fruition, though — he remained in Vancouver — and now, nearly a month later, Ducks players are still wondering what could’ve been.

“You think about it for sure because you hear the rumors and you hear people talking about it,” Andrew Cogliano said, per the O.C. Register (paywall). “I think you envision a little bit of a scenario if he did come.

“But he didn’t.”

Following the deadline, Ducks GM Bob Murray all but confirmed the club’s interest in Kesler, saying he put both of his first-round picks at the ’14 Draft in play and was “confused” as to why he came away empty-handed.

Anaheim was keen to add depth down the middle behind Ryan Getzlaf. Nick Bonino, Mathieu Perreault, Saku Koivu and Rickard Rakell have all played center and done so effectively, but none possess the skill, speed and two-way abilities of Kesler, a former 40-goal scorer and Selke Trophy winner.

The Ducks were in Vancouver on Saturday and trounced Kesler and the Canucks 5-1, which led to the discussions of what could’ve been. While Anaheim is looking forward — unlike Vancouver, who is all but done for playoff contention — the eldest Duck still acknowledged the opportunity missed was a big one.

“When you get those kinds of rumors and the opportunities that a guy like Kesler is available, you get pretty excited,” Teemu Selanne said. “Obviously this is the year.

“You can’t think tomorrow or next year. You’ve got to live by this time right now and this momentum. Win right now.”

  1. ironyisadeadscene - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    That’s easy…the Ducks would be a whole lot douchier with Kesler…..

    next question..

  2. hsnepsts - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Gillis needs a better mobile contract so his phone works a little better on the golf course.

  3. hosewater2 - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    I mean who wouldn’t trade one of the top two-way centers in the league (with a manageable contract to boot) for a decent (OTT’s pick) pick and a likely very low 1st round pick in a weak draft year? This is not a strong draft, comparable to the year Rick Nash was a #1 overall pick.

  4. blomfeld - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Conversely …

    one has to wonder what ‘life will be like’ now for the Canucks with Kesler staying put ?

    • hosewater2 - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      dude that’s black and white

    • machosasquatcho - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      Conversely….

      I wonder what the world would be like if you got outside and got a damn job.

  5. salmon90 - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    It’ll be interesting how this plays out. I think they have to move Kesler but at the same time need to hit a homerun with the trade – whether that’s possible is unclear. Based on what was offered at the trade deadline I don’t think it’s likely. Ist rounders are great but if this draft is as weak as everyone’s saying then you need more – at least one bonafide elite prospect. Anything less (such as Sutter) won’t cut it.

  6. kaptaanamerica - Mar 31, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    No one offered anything decent for Kesler. MG can’t just give the guy away for weak draft picks in a weak draft.

    If someone were offering two top 10 picks and a solid prospect, that’s a different story. Given the bad track record of Canucks scouts, head scout Ron Delorme IMO sucks and may be the worst head scout in the league, the draft picks are really iffy at best.

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