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On the possibility of Kesler to Chicago

Jun 24, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Vancouver CanucksVancouver Getty Images

Imagine a team with two Selke Trophy winners up front and a Norris Trophy winner on the blue line. Because that’s what the Chicago Blackhawks would be if they traded for Ryan Kesler.

In addition to Kesler, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith, the ‘Hawks would boast Marian Hossa, one of the best two-way wingers in the NHL, and Patrick Kane, one of the most gifted forwards in the game. Also, Patrick Sharp and Brent Seabrook, each good enough to win gold for Canada at the Olympics.

So…that would be a pretty good team.

Adding Kesler would also address one of the few weak spots on Chicago’s roster, the much-discussed second-line center hole that may have ultimately been the difference between losing to and beating the Los Angeles Kings in this year’s Western Conference finals.

Chicago is also one of the few teams to which Kesler is reportedly willing to be traded. The 29-year-old wants to win, and you can’t blame him, having suffered painful losses in both the 2010 Olympic gold-medal game and Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, i.e. the two biggest games a hockey player can play.

And for the Canucks, despite their previous heated rivalry with the ‘Hawks, trading him to Chicago may be more palatable than sending him to Anaheim, a division rival.

Kesler has two years left on his contract, with a very attractive cap hit of just $5 million. Granted, the ‘Hawks might have to shed some salary to fit him in. (Could they move Bryan Bickell? Johnny Oduya? Would they move Nick Leddy?) But if Stan Bowman really wants Kesler, one would think he could manufacture a way.

Which begs the big question: what could the ‘Hawks send the Canucks in return? Would Bowman part with a youngster like Brandon Saad? Because that’s the type of significant return Vancouver’s new general manager, Jim Benning, will be seeking. Benning just cannot afford to waste Kesler. And he shouldn’t have to.

Related: Kesler likes playing with Kane ‘a lot’

  1. no - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    I want it to happen so bad. but it’s not going to. one, it’s not bowmans MO to make moves like this, and two, he just won’t be worth moving other pieces.

    if he was an FA, I’d say there’s a chance

    • withseidelinn - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      They’re strong/deep enough to move Bickell, Sharp, Oduya, Leddy, etc. In order to make this happen. That’s the luxury of having such strong depth and young guns ready to step up. I think it really just depends if Bowman wants to move a guy who is part of the 2 time championship core for a new guy where there is some risk associated. I’m not necessarily a Hawks fan but they would be very enjoyable to watch if Kesler was able to regain his 30-40 goal pace.

  2. sophosleygh - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    I hope a move for Kesler happens, though I don’t think it will. Personally I’d be fine with seeing a package with both Bickell and Leddy moving to Vancouver, but that probably isn’t very likely to happen.

  3. pepper2011 - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    I really can’t understand how he can only want to play for two teams? I can understand not wanting to be a part of rebuild, but how can a kid from MI not have the Wings on his list?

    I mean how can you not be willing to play for LA, Boston, Montreal, NYR or even Toronto (and Redwings).

    I mean how can you NOT be willing to play for an original 6 team?

    • shanestanek - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      supposedly he doesn’t want to play for the NYR because he didn’t like playing for AV in Vancouver.

      AV only boosted Keslers career and took 2 different teams to the Stanley Cup. And was really just 1 game from winning in Vancouver and 3 OT goals away from winning it in NY.

      I do not know how he only wants to play for 2 teams. He should want to play for any contender. If he came to the east specifically NYR, Pitt, or Det. He would absolutely be dominant in the east compared to the West.

      I would love to see him in NYR blue. HAve a first line of Kreider-Kesler-Nash.

      I can also see him want to play in Chicago with Patrick kane on his line. Those 2 were together for last 2 olympics

      • hosewater2 - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        We don’t really know for sure that those were his demands. It was originally reported over the weekend that he would only go to CHI or PIT by Ottawa beat writer Bruce Garrioch who is morbidly obese.

        As it happens, Ottawa is trying to trade Spezza who would appeal to most of the same teams as Kesler, so he was might have been trying to do OTT a solid and inflate Spezza’s trade value by creating that rumor.

      • sneakers10 - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        First things first. I don’t know what cup final you watched but the one I watched LA won w/o needing games 6 or 7. I hardly think that classifies as a series Rangers almost won.
        If Rangers were fortunate to to get Vancover to deal Kessler to them, who would they trade for him that Vancover would want.
        Last but not least, if Rangers got him why would you want to penalize Kessler by putting him on a line with Nash.

    • puckoff70 - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      “I mean how can you NOT be willing to play for an original 6 team?”
      I dunno maybe because the players aren’t superfan idiots that take marketing gimmicks into account of their professional careers.

    • bigtganks - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Probably because he’s lived close to Detroit long enough and that’s the last place he wants to go back to. He got out. Why go back!?

  4. bwayblueshirt - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Kesler’s demands being outed (that he’s only willing to go to three teams) will drive his value down to the point where I don’t think Benning will move him. Anaheim could probably craft the best offer, but now that there’s almost no competition, the offers will be low-ball for sure.

    • buffbry - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      St. Louis only gave 1 team and TB got a great haul for him, I doubt they move Kesler unless they get something that they want back.

    • withseidelinn - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Agreed, I can’t remember if it was the Kesler deal being shopped around the deadline but I believe Anaheim was willing to give up both of their first rounders for him (I could be wrong on that). I think VAN would probably ask for a prospect or a roster player in addition, but still, putting 2 first rounders on the table to start the negotiation is not too shabby. That would give VAN the 6th, 10th and 24th pick in this year’s draft. Not a bad way to fire off the so-called rebuild.

  5. steverolley - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Just to be clear, the report that Kesler only wants to go to Chicago or Pittsburgh came from a journalist from Ottawa who’s less than credible. Eliotte Friedman basically called him out on it yesterday.

    Kesler’s getting traded and it will be for a significant asset. I bet 3 – 4 contending teams will be bidding and Kesler will waive the no trade clause opposed to coming back to Van for a Luongo type situation

    • hosewater2 - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      Garrioch is pure tabloid.

    • desertfan - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:57 PM

      Kesler and #6- 1st Rounder for Seabrook and Sharp

  6. chunkyschoice - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    I think canucks would want Teravainen as the centrepiece of a package for Kesler. Him and a 1st rounder and either Leddy or Bickell would probably do the trick.

    • ngsm31 - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      Teravainen—-Nahhh. Even us Hawks fans don’t know if he’s the real deal yet. He only played a few games this year and the only word I can use to describe him is, “apprehensive”…….to the point where he might not be NHL ready. A player that might not be NHL ready doesn’t make sense to a team that claims they are not in a rebuilding mode.

      Bickell doesn’t make sense either for a team that isn’t sure if they’re playoff ready next year. Hawks ought to put him in a glass case with a little plaque underneath it that says, “Do Not Break Until Playoffs” because that’s all he’s good for. Bickell going to Van and Van not making the playoffs consistently would be an incredible waste to Van.

      • chunkyschoice - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        Make no mistake, the canucks are in rebuilding mode. With horvat, jensen, shinkaruk, tervainen, and 2 first round picks this year, the canucks would all of a sudden be a promising young team. You’re right about bickell though…. TT+1st+Leddy would make more sense, and having him would also allow them to trade Edler for more futures.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Bingo. The Canucks want to get younger and faster. TT + Leddy + this year’s 1st will be the offer. Bickell’s not going anywhere because no one wants that contract.

      They wanted Saad but Stan said “No Thanks”. No deal out there for them is better than a 23 year old with NHL experience that can skate, last year’s first round pick, and this year’s first round pick.

      • esracerx46 - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        I don’t think the Hawks part with Teravainen simply because they don’t know what he is yet. Salad isn’t going anywhere either. Realistically Kesler is a 3rd line center after this year if the Hawks acquire him. With that thought in mind, Andrew Shaw becomes expendable. To take on Kesler’s salary Vancouver or another trade partner would have to take on Bickell or Sharp’s salary. Preferably Bickell, but you’re not getting return on that.

        Kesler for Andrew Shaw, Ryan Hartman, Nick Leddy, and a pick. For the salary cap to work, Bickell or Sharp would also have to be traded. Whether in this deal or another one. I would throw in Oduya, but how many rookie defensemen do you want starting? Dahlbeck, Johns, and Clendening could be great. But I don’t think you can have all three in Chicago.

      • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        I disagree. Because he has a perceived bigger upside, TT is perfect trade bait.

        Who is the 2C after this year if Kesler is 3C? And please don’t say Teravainen. He’s a natural winger and is only 170 pounds. He’s not gaining 20 pounds in the next two years What happens when he tries to win a draw against Jeff Carter, Patrik Berglund, and the like?

        Oduya or Leddy get moved, not both, and Sharp goes.

  7. ngsm31 - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    Saad seems to be the best option for the Hawks. After re-signing Kane and Toews, it would be mighty hard to find the cap space to re-sign a guy like Saad. If he elevates his game next year like I think he might do, I could see someone paying him 3-4 Mil a year, which the Hawks might not have to pay him. Granted Rosival will be off the books next year but if the Hawks have any chance of keeping Saad then my guess is they’d have let either Oduya or Leddy walk next year.

    Only thing is Van would probably have to agree to eat a good portion of Kesler’s cap. There is still the matter of the Hawks resigning Raanta, Smith, Morin, possibly Regin and possibly Brookbank and they only have 4.6 Mil in cap right now to do it.

    Real tough to see how a Kesler trade might go down but all I know is if St. Louis lands a guy like Spezza and the Hawks do nothing, a first round exit for the Hawks if they had to face Spezza w/St. Louis in the first round is a very real possibility.

  8. leepetertk - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    Acquiring Kesler would put the Blackhawks in cap trouble. They would need to move somebody out. Chicago was a major contender this year even without a legitimate 2C. I think they will promote players within their organization to fill this hole rather than spending additional assets to get a player like Kesler. Chicago has found great depth in their organization since winning in 2010 (Saad, Crawford, Shaw, Kruger, and others…). Teuvo Teravainen may already be the answer to the 2C question.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Sharp is going to get moved. Stan will get a bona fide 2C, and Teuvo + Leddy will more than likely be the centerpiece of the deal to get a 2C.

      The part everyone is missing is Kane is not a slam dunk to sign the extension. He’s said for the last four months that he wants to play with a real center. If at the end of the day,with all the rumors of getting Kesler/Spezza/Richards, Stan says “the 19 year old” is your new line mate in the middle, I’d be willing to be Kane takes a pass on signing the extension this summer.

      • withseidelinn - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        The best offensive player on a potential dynasty team wants to walk away? Give me a break. He’d be turning down $6-8 million a year to go to a team that is far less talented and deep than the Hawks.

      • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 24, 2014 at 5:11 PM

        It’s been rumored he may want to play for the hometown Sabres and get out of Toews’ shadow. Kill messanger now…..

    • desertfan - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:33 AM

      Seabrook is gone!!

  9. Martin Ericsson - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    1st roun pick 2014 and Hayes +a few pieces each direction?

    • withseidelinn - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      Hayes plays for the Panthers.

      • hawksin5 - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        his younger brother

      • wjarvis - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:44 PM

        You mean the one that hasn’t signed with the Hawks yet, and can just wait until August to become an unrestricted free agent instead. Pretty sure a team isn’t going to trade for his rights.

  10. hockeyfan117 - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Chicago is not trading Teravainen for Kesler. Teravainen was the prospect of the year according to Hockey Futures. Kelser is good but he’s 30 years old and oft injured. Teravainen is the Hawks center of the future he’s not being moved. Nick Leddy, Bickell, Versteeg, Mark McNeil, Dannault, Dahlbeck those are the names Nucks can expect if Chicago wants Kesler.

    • lordfletcher - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      center of the future or a center that is the now and can put up points most prospects dream of.

      The answer is simple if you are Chicago. If there is a way to make this deal happen that does not break the bank, you bring in Kesler and trade Teuvo, no question about it. Teuvo is not the greatest prospect to walk this earth.

    • hawksin5 - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      fletcher is right here, this team is built to win NOW, bring in a 2C and let VAN worry about the future. especially if it means kane will sign for sure. and also, TT is a left wing, not a center.

  11. hockeyornothing - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Withseidline….that’s Jimmy Hayes w/ Panthers. Hawks still have Kevin (brother)

    • sneakers10 - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Kevin not signed and may not

  12. earpaniac - Jun 24, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    No way is Saad included in this deal.

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