Jun 26, 2014, 6:56 PM EDT
Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning insisted earlier on Thursday that he’s comfortable with the idea of keeping Ryan Kesler in the fold if the right move isn’t available, echoing his predecessor’s stance. If nothing else, it sounds like the Canucks will have plenty of proposals to leaf through during what could be a crucial couple of days.
Of course, Kesler’s no-trade clause could make the number of suitors largely irrelevant, at least beyond the few he’s reportedly interested in working with. (TSN’s Darren Dreger backs up the belief that his list remains small.)
Either way, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the Kesler trade talk has only been heating up during the last 24 hours.
Biggest change in Kesler situation last 24 hours: more teams are trying to get in on the action. But would Kesler waiv for them or not?—
Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 26, 2014
More than a few people believe that the St. Louis Blues rank among the teams angling for the 29-year-old center, as it’s plausible that they re-signed Patrik Berglund merely to make him an easier asset to trade.
There’s talk that the Anaheim Ducks are on Kesler’s (very) short list of palatable destinations, but the asking price might be a little too rich for reigning GM of the Year Bob Murray’s taste:
Appears to be divide between Ducks and Canucks/Senators over pieces in package for a Kesler/Spezza deal.—
Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) June 26, 2014
Again, the increased interest as the 2014 NHL Draft approaches might do little except possibly give Benning a little more leverage:
Much like the NBA’s own draft this week, one thing remains clear: this could be an exciting and wild time even before the first selection is made in Philadelphia.
More on Keslermania
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“This has been a difficult decision for Kevin.”
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After a year away from the game.
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Pretty nice pay bump for the 24-year-old rearguard.
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6-foot-8, 250-pounder was a first-round pick in 2005.
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Hall of Famer will work as an assistant under Ted Nolan.
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Fare thee well, Sammi.
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Low-risk signing, with good potential upside.
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Had 13 goals and eight assists in 2013-14, his rookie season in the NHL.
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Was traded from Toronto on July 1.
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Had 11 goals and seven assists in 53 games last season.
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Expected to be healthy for training camp.
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Can become an unrestricted free agent next summer now.
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They won the Stanley Cup together in Tampa Bay.
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