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Ducks to revisit trading for Kesler?

May 20, 2014, 3:11 PM EDT

Ryan Kesler Getty Images

Interesting tidbit here from the L.A. Times on Anaheim GM Bob Murray’s plans for the offseason:

Murray said he might revisit his trade-deadline attempt to acquire Vancouver center Ryan Kesler, or pursue other upgrades.

“I don’t think I’ll offer as much as I did at the trade deadline,” Murray said, without naming Kesler. “There’s [other] things I might like to do and I would spend — I’m deep enough in players — to do so.”

Following the deadline, Murray essentially confirmed the club’s interest in Kesler, saying he put both of his first-round selections at the draft in play — which would later turn into the No. 10 and 24 picks overall — and was “confused” as to why he came away empty-handed.

At the time, Anaheim was keen to add to the center group of Ryan Getzlaf, Nick Bonino, Mathieu Perreault, Saku Koivu and Rickard Rakell. With Koivu now uncertain to return, the need to add centers remains — and what’s more, both Murray and Ducks players suggested roster shortcomings cost them this postseason.

“Obviously, we’re missing a little bit of something,” Andrew Cogliano told the Times.

“We’re not as close as everyone thought we were,” Murray added.

Which brings us back to Kesler.

There’s no denying the Ducks were angling for something at the deadline — Murray shipped out Dustin Penner and Viktor Fasth in what appeared to be cap-clearing moves — and, after failing to land the Vancouver center, players spoke openly about the opportunity missed.

“You think about it for sure because you hear the rumors and you hear people talking about it,” Cogliano said on Mar. 31, per the O.C. Register (paywall). “I think you envision a little bit of a scenario if he did come.”

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

The lingering issue here is the value of Murray’s offer. He thinks it’s high — evident by the fact he plans to offer less this summer — whereas the feeling around the league is that two first-round picks (both outside the top five) in a relatively weak draft isn’t enough to land Kesler, a former 40-goal scorer and Selke winner.

Murray will also contend that at the deadline, he was getting Kesler for at least three postseasons (he’s under contract ’til 2016) whereas now he’d only be guaranteed two.

It’s also worth noting that another talented center — Ottawa captain Jason Spezza — is believed to be available via trade, and that Anaheim is reportedly interested.

  1. pjblake2redwings - May 20, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Spezza over Kesler all day

    • flash8910 - May 20, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      No what the Ducks need.

    • elvispocomo - May 20, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      You’d be taking his extra $2M in cap hit as well, and only one year before Spezza hits UFA where you’d get two with Kesler.

  2. flash8910 - May 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Hopefully, the management will be more competent in Vancouver this time around. Ducks can definitely use a Kesler type especially with Selanne and Koivu leaving.

    • elvispocomo - May 20, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      I don’t think management was really an issue, but rather the value offered for Kesler was too low according to the rumours. It’d be an issue with the management if they had let him go for so little in fact.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - May 20, 2014 at 10:10 PM

        Exactly, Murray is making it seem like the Ducks are doing the Canucks some big favor in trading for Kesler, if he doesn’t want to offer up fair value then why should the Canucks just give him away?

        The Canucks are looking at rebuild, or at least a reshuffling, Kesler is a valuable asset for them, they have to maximize his value to the team, even if that might mean keeping him into the season and waiting for more of a market to develop for him, although I don’t think that will be necessary I think they’ll be able to trade him for a good return at the draft or right after the initial free agency wave when a team that missed out on their top FA target gets desperate.

  3. bigtganks - May 20, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    But didn’t they offer ONLY picks or picks and crummy prospects in March?

    • areaman714 - May 20, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      The rumor mill was the Ducks putting their two ones and two twos on the table. I think Lindholm’ name came up and it was no deal.

      • bigtganks - May 20, 2014 at 5:59 PM

        Yeah, I remember Gillis saying Pitts offered Sutter OR Bennett (not both) and like a 2nd or third and that the Ducks offer was worse than that. No players, just future picks. Not sure how Anaheim would think they can offer less and get him, though it would’ve included a playoff run so I dunno…

  4. 33to22 - May 20, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Good luck with that.

  5. areaman714 - May 20, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Heck. The Ducks have enough pieces to acquire both aforementioned centers. I would love Kesler on the Ducks regardless.

  6. canucks30 - May 20, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Don’t see the Canucks trading Kesler to a Pacific Division rival unless the return is huge.

    Especially with the current playoff format.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - May 20, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      I agree with your sentiment but allow me to play devil’s advocate: I could see the Canucks dealing Kesler in the division if the return is big enough if they think that he’s a player who is in a decline and what he will offer the Ducks won’t hurt the Canucks when they’re ready to challenge for a playoff spot, whether that’s this year or in a future year.

      The best example of that would be in the NFL where the Eagles traded McNabb to Washington because they knew that he was a shell of his former self.

  7. hockeyflow33 - May 20, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    I’d love to see him on the Bruins

  8. krbmjb - May 20, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Might as well add another big game choker to join Getzlaf and Perry!

    • chauncey18 - May 20, 2014 at 6:58 PM

      Two Time Olympic Gold Medalists, a Stanley Cup, and consistent winners at Major Junior Level, World Junior Level, and in the NHL at an early age….

      Well, another PHT commentator to scratch off the list for not knowing anything about the sport they write about.

      • hawkeedawg - May 20, 2014 at 10:57 PM

        Chauncey, not sure if you are talking about Getzlaf and Perry or Kesler. But just to clarify, Kesler is American, no Olympic Golds for him. Getzlaf and Perry, yes, Two Golds.

  9. muckleflugga - May 20, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    great picture of kesler …

    looking back in querulous wonder at the lousy seven and a half the russian judge offered-up

    fuxsake, do these clowns not know good circus when they see it

  10. jason9696 - May 20, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    A healthy Ryan Kesler is one hell of a good player. Too bad that hasn’t been the case too often the last few years. If I’m Vancouver there’s no way I’d trade him.

  11. flyboystransport - May 20, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    With selanne and likely koivu retiring Spezza and statsny would be better options cause they’re gonna need to replace scoring

  12. salmon90 - May 20, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    “I don’t think I’ll offer as much as I did at the trade deadline” – Murray

    So you think by offering less the Canucks may let him go? OK Bob.

    • johnnyduck93 - May 21, 2014 at 12:31 AM

      Well remember, thats one less post season he’ll play in too. I have confidence in murray he will get this done. When you look at where this team struggled this post season and even in the regular season, things like power plays, face-offs, and defensive zone play adding the former selke finalist fills in a big hole. Just thinking about a Getzlaf Kesler Bonino 1-2-3 is so deadly. Then you add a guy like brooks orprik on the back end and fill some depth with brendan morrow. This team is skilled, physical, and is a bear to play against.

  13. edog9897 - May 22, 2014 at 4:19 AM

    Kesler’s a bandaid. He will dive on the ice to draw a penalty and end up hurting himself for the year.

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