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Ducks get their man — Kesler traded to Anaheim

Jun 27, 2014, 1:57 PM EST

Ryan Kesler AP

Ryan Kesler has been traded to Anaheim. The 29-year-old former Selke Trophy winner will go from the Vancouver Canucks to the Ducks, in return for center Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa, and Anaheim’s first-round pick (24th overall) in today’s draft.

The teams will also swap third-round picks, with Vancouver getting the 85th overall pick this year and Anaheim receiving Vancouver’s third-rounder next year.

Kesler had 25 goals and 18 assists in 2013-14. His best scoring season came in 2010-11, when he had 41 goals. His contract is attractive, with a cap hit of $5 million for two more years, before he can become an unrestricted free agent. If there’s a concern for the Ducks, it’s his lengthy injury log. But with Ryan Getzlaf as 1C and Kesler as 2C, Anaheim can now match the Los Angeles Kings down the middle. The move also leaves the Chicago Blackhawks still searching for a 2C.

For Vancouver, the return for Kesler is perhaps not what the team’s fans had hoped for. Bonino, 26, is younger and scored 22 times last season. He also has a good contract, with three years remaining at a cap hit of $1.9 million. But his overall body of work does not compare with Kesler’s. In 189 NHL games, Bonino has 33 goals and 49 assists. He hasn’t been a workhorse like Kesler, and he hasn’t played against the opponent’s top players like Kesler has.

Sbisa, meanwhile, played 30 games for the Ducks last season, scoring once with five assists. The 24-year-old missed time with both an ankle injury and hand injury. His cap hit is $2.175 million in 2014-15, before he can become a restricted free agent next summer.

In defense of Canucks general manager Jim Benning, he had limited teams with which to deal. Kesler has a no-trade clause and wanted to go to a Stanley Cup contender, with Anaheim and Chicago reportedly the top two potential destinations. And the Blackhawks were always going to be loathe to give up either Brandon Saad or Teuvo Teravainen.

“This trade reinforces our goal to add youth, support our core players and develop draft picks who will contribute to the future success of our team,” said Benning in a release. “Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa are talented players who immediately bring youth and skill to our roster. An additional first- and third-round pick gives us the opportunity to add two strong players to our system.”

Similarly, Vancouver’s president of hockey ops, Trevor Linden, had this to say in May: “When I see playoff teams that are successful, I see teams that have some depth, teams that can roll four lines out. I like the people we have in [our] core positions, but they need support from the bottom. There’s a gap between the core players and what’s coming from below them. There hasn’t been a real push from the bottom and that’s created issues.”

  1. steelcity333 - Jun 27, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Anaheim with a steal.

    • billiam55 - Jun 27, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      bob murray is a genius.

  2. hawksin5 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    SERIOUSLY??? thats the return? garbage

    • bigtganks - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Kesler is injury prone and has peaked… You watch. He can’t stay healthy. He’ll be good for 45 games a year.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      Yeah. Players who can’t stay healthy can’t be relied upon.

    • areaman714 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      While I think this is a good deal for the Ducks, the Nucks didn’t get royally screwed. Bones is really good right now and getting exponentially better each year. Sbisa, if he can maintain focus will be a top four D-man in the next couple of years. The drafts picks are filler, however.

  3. ironyisadeadscene - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Good trade for Anaheim. Hope this puts an end to his diving.

    • bigtganks - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Also, you watch. He and Boudreau will butt heads.

  4. echech88 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Wow….I was expecting to give up the 10th and/or Etem.

    AND we get rid of Sbisa? Is this Christmas?

  5. chauncey18 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Solid move by ANA. Ducks had 8 NHL D, remove one for cap space, get a better C (Kesler > Bonino) and dont trade their top first round pick (10th).

    I will say Bonino will be a solid player for Van but Van could have gotten some solid prospect from ANA too.

    • 19to77 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      Spot-on. Van didn’t exactly get ripped off here considering the awful season Kesler is coming off of, but from an Anaheim perspective this cost them nothing they couldn’t easily afford to lose. Kesler’s an upgrade over Bonino, Sbisa was getting pushed out of a spot and they wouldn’t have resigned him after next year regardless, and they can afford to lose their own 1st if they have a better one from Ottawa. Great acquisition with no meaingful loss of roster or pipeline depth.

  6. gret9 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Congrats to Ducks fans. I would have loved to see him in a Blackhawks jersey next season but it was not to be.

    • comeonnowguys - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      Good to see Bowman not overpay. Is he was going for this, Vancouver’s request of Saad and/or Tues seems ridiculous.

      • hawksin5 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        agreed about saad and TT but we r in big trouble now. Bowman should have offered more than whatever it was that he did.

      • comeonnowguys - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        Big trouble? Chicago was literally a bounce away from the SCF–and let’s face it, winning it. Free Agency hasn’t even started. Can we at least wait a week before jumping off a bridge?

      • puckoff70 - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:39 PM

        Were also a bounce away from losing 4 in a row getting KO’d in 5.

  7. lowenni - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    That’s a really solid pickup for Anaheim, without giving up too much. This could put them over the edge, I think Kesler will be a great pickup for them. Not sure how I feel about the Nucks return in this, Bonino is real good and Sbisa can maybe find his old form again. Pretty good trade for them. Interesting.

    • bigtganks - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Calm down nucks fans… Realize that Bonino was the third leading scorer for the Ducks. It’s not like they gave up nothing. Canucks got a 24th pick, Bonino and a young dman who was a first rd pick. For a almost 30 year old who has peaked and can’t contribute in half his games for the past three years because he’s injured. Kesler was overvalued.

  8. illogic87 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Ducks still wont get passed the first round. Team had a fluke year last year. Honestly, Id be surprised if they made the playoffs this year.

    • steelcity333 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      You can’t be serious? They took the eventual Cup champs to 7 games. This only makes them better. They’re a serious Cup contender now.

      • illogic87 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        if thats how you wanna look at it LOL

        your best player is like 50

      • steelcity333 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        My team’s best player is only 26 actually.

      • illogic87 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        your team? are you on the ducks? no, youre just a fat rube

      • steelcity333 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        Son, what I meant was my favorite team is not the Ducks.

      • illogic87 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        well then i apoligize

      • 19to77 - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:12 PM

        You’re the one who said “your player,” illogic. Your words, not his. Try not to embody your username so completely, eh?

    • m1k3g - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      I didn’t realize there were people who visited hockey news sites that didn’t actually watch hockey….

    • drewsylvania - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      Don’t feed the troll. I mean, it’s right there in his handle, FFS.

      • illogic87 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        look who is talking troll

  9. sgs32 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    back to back gm of the year for Murray?

  10. jpelle82 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    boom! seems pretty fair. nick bonino had a great season in his first full season…he’s got some upside at 26 years old and sbisa is a former 1st round pick and only what 22 or 23 years old? – he’s only gonna get better, defensemen mature later. throw in the 24th pick and I think Vancouver fans should be happy with the return.

  11. McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Stan Bowman sucks.

    Good luck matching Teravainen or Shaw against Kesler or Carter, if we get back to the WCF.

    • hawksin5 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      this is ABSOLUTELY 100% CORRECT. if that POS return is what they accepted then how bad was stan’s offer???? Hawks are in BIG trouble. what? are we going to bring in Spezza now at 7 mil for ONE year?? Stastny at 8?

  12. steelpenbucs87 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Wow – shocked that Etem or the 10th pick (or Smith-Pelly for that matter). To retain that talent and also get Kesler two play #2 C… gotta like this deal for Anaheim.

  13. rsl22 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    With centers Getzlaf, Kesler, and Cogliano, the Ducks are going to be a tough team to play against.

    Kesler may be exactly what Boudreau needs to get over his playoff fails. Glad they’re not in the East.

  14. endusersolutions2013 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    With the kings signing Gaborick, and now the Ducks getting Kessler, this really heightens the need for the ‘Hawks to get that good 2c need filled. STL has finalized on Elliot and Allen. All of this mans that there will be some serious competition for the WC and SC.

  15. pjblake2redwings - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    haha look at all the butt hurt Blackhawks fans. Theres still Spezza or Legwand

    • comeonnowguys - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      Riiiight. Obviously hindsight is 20/20, but looking at all possible packages Vancouver supposedly wanted from Chicago, as much as I wanted Kesler, it would have sucked to give back that much when this is all it took to get Kesler. But again, no way of knowing,

    • hawksin5 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      say whatever you want. have fun watching the wings not make the playoffs next year…

      • shoobiedoobin - Jun 27, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        Yeah like they were going to miss this past season too, right?

        Maybe they should just tank, grab some glory hogs, have the league help them get away with murder, develop a team-wide diving, whining, moaning attitude and suddenly they’ll be the new Chicago.

        STFU child.

      • comeonnowguys - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:56 PM

        Yes. You go off on a clearly butt-hurt rant like that and *he* is the child. That makes complete sense.

  16. sgs32 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    this trade should bump up the value of spezza

  17. aldog83 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS are going to be a BLOODBATH.

    Vancouver should have tried for Lindholm or even Smith-Pelley

  18. dueman - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    As usual, after all the crazy media hype with talk of huge price tags, a normal fair hockey trade takes place…good for both sides.

  19. skoivu10 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Murray must have told this move to the NHL. That’s how he won GM of the Year.
    What a Steal!!!

  20. phillyphanatic77 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    I’m really surprised this is the deal Vancouver settled on. I have to imagine Chicago had more attractive future pieces but I guess Vancouver wanted a forward who could atleast help fill the void left by Kesler. Still, this move appears to benefit Anaheim far more than Vancouver, atleast in the short term. Very few teams have a 1-2 center combo like Getzlaf and Kesler. Sbisa has talent but has disappointed recently. Bonino is solid but his ceiling isn’t much higher than what he produced this season. Great job by Anaheim. Vancouver continues dumping their stars for questionable returns, IMO anyway.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      Hawks’ Sharp is a pretty good forward with high current value.

    • jpelle82 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      you get 22 goals (if that’s a ceiling) and 3 extra years in age in bonino and give up 25 goals a year in kesler. not going to be a big drop off offensively for Vancouver in my opinion. then you get a former 1st round pick defenseman who is 23 and another 1st round pick to use how you want. well worth the negligible loss of the 2 way game of kesler compared to bonino in my opinion. I’m in the smaller camp that thinks kesler is over rated or maybe just beyond his prime at this point so I don’t think Vancouver did too bad here. he only scored 25 this year playing the most minutes he’s ever played, on the 1st line, and with the most pp time he’s seen since the 40 goal year he had in 2011. no way boudreau is gonna commit the whole team to a defensive scheme that will showcase kesler’s ability defensively (he cant defend all by himself) anyway so they’ve basically gave up a ton for a 25-30 goal scorer.

  21. nobandwagoners - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Aww, really? That’s it? And here we all thought (hoped) that Benning would be a marked step up in GM from Gillis. All that can be said is at least Benning didn’t let this drag out to be some circus act but, IMO, the clear winner of this trade is Anaheim. Disappointing from a Canucks’ fan view.

    • nobandwagoners - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      Ok. I’ve calmed down a little. Let’s not be hasty. Please let this be part of Benning working on something truly better, like packaging some pieces (from this trade and/or existing players) for something more ….

    • micasa81 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      It’s really not that bad. This trade was never going to look like a Benning master stroke, because Kesler wasn’t giving him a lot of options to work with. He got a younger 2nd/3rd line forward, a serviceable D with some upside and a late 1st round pick. To me, it’s a fair trade. If you’re comparing to Gillis, let’s put it in perspective: last year Gillis could have traded Corey Schneider *anywhere*, and he opted to take NJ’s 9th overall pick…and that’s all.

  22. r8rbhawk - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Hell, if that is all it took to pull him out of Vancouver, Chicago easily could have come up with spare parts to land Kesler. Dang, I was really hoping the Hawks could have pulled this off. Congrats to Anaheim on the addition.

    • comeonnowguys - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      They didn’t want spare parts from Chicago, though. They wanted some combination of Leddy Saad and Teuvo.

    • wjarvis - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      Chicago is much closer to the cap than Anaheim so they also wanted salary retention, or Vancouver taking salary back so they’d have to give up more talent to account for that.

  23. canada2014gold - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    “We are not rebuilding” said the team who are going to pick 4 times in the past two first rounds. 5 if you count their high 2nd rounder

  24. tcclark - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Wow I remember reading Canucks fans asking for Claude Giroux AND a first for Kesler. This has to be a disappointment for Canucks fans.

    • micasa81 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      Ha ha…for those fans, yes, it must be. For those of us grounded in reality, this is a decent trade, and the fact that it happened without dragging on for 18 months is a bonus.

  25. earpaniac - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    That’s it? Even without Saad or TT, the Hawks package was better, if the rumors of what they offered are true.

    • hawksin5 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      whats rumored? very interested to know. and very pissed it wasn’t better than fricken bonino and washed up sbisa.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jun 27, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      What were the rumors? I could conjecture, and likely be very wrong.

  26. danilogenoa - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Nick Bonino will make happy a lot of people from Vancouver. You’ll see. Mark my words.

  27. easez1 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    “Anaheim can now match the Los Angeles Kings down the middle.”…..good luck with that.

    • areaman714 - Jun 27, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      7 seconds was the difference. That and Ducks had seven players playing their first game seven. Experience won game seven for the Kings. The Kings were never close to scoring 6 goals against the Ducks in any game last year.

  28. salmon90 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Gillis is probably laughing at newbie Benning. Wow! How does Anaheim get away with this. Only way Van comes off ok in this deal is if Kesler becomes a shell of his former self in the next couple of years (which I think may be possible considering his history of surgeries etc.) Not to get a blue-chip prospect though is horrendous – I’d give all that back for an Etem or one of those other guys.

    • r4n6er - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      You mean like never re-gaining his form after 2010-11, or undergoing multiple major surgeries. He only scored 25 goals Bon scored 23. One for one it’s not a good trade. That being said, Bon is younger cheaper and points are comparative. Nucks add another 1st round pick and pick up a former 1st rounder young D-man. I am happy this didn’t turn into a long drawn out process.

      • salmon90 - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        I agree Kes is declining as a player but from all accounts Bonino’s numbers were skewed last year and he’s most likely not going to reach those levels again (if you go the advanced stats guys), Sbisa hasn’t played to potential and you never really know what you’re going to have available with that 24th pick. So there’s 3 parts that very well could turn out to be mediocre (or worse). I’m just saying that to not get one sure thing blue-chipper is pretty tough to take. There’s a chance this trade looks good on the Canucks in a few years but a lot of things have to work out.

      • salmon90 - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        I agree Kes is declining as a player but from all accounts Bonino’s numbers were skewed last year and he’s most likely not going to reach those levels again (if you go by the advanced stats guys), Sbisa hasn’t played to potential and you never really know what you’re going to have available with that 24th pick. So there’s 3 parts that very well could turn out to be mediocre (or worse). I’m just saying that to not get one sure thing blue-chipper is pretty tough to take. There’s a chance this trade looks good on the Canucks in a few years but a lot of things have to work out.

  29. jpat2424 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Wow. What a steal for ducks and there fans. At least I still get to hate Kesler. Now Bowmen please take a pass on Spezza. Don’t want him or his cap hit. Go Hawks

  30. soundsofsuccess7 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    This isn’t a steal for the Ducks.

    Bonino is a hell of a player and a young one. Sbisa was a first round pick and was looking like a great player before he got injured this past year. His injury is the only reason he fell down the depth chart and into a spot where the Ducks could no longer use him.

    Bonino is a much greater asset than Etem.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      Bonino is all of 3 years younger than Kesler. He’s a solid second liner but hardly a “hell of a player”. And Sbisa’s struggles go beyond this past injury plagued campaign. He’s been down for a few seasons. Still he’s young and has impressive ability. And that first rounder is in a draft where a lot of front office ppl believe it drops off after 10. I’m not saying it’s a bad trade, but it’s certainly not a win for the Canucks (atleast not right now).

  31. badguy711 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Im a Canucks fan and Im glad he’s gone. I read all these comments and articles referencing a great 2nd line center. He is always hurt. In his entire career I saw him have exactly one great playoff series (10-11 vs Nas). I am happy we dont have another Luongo, and JB just took what the market would give and moved on. He’ll probably hurt himself moving to Anahiem anyways. And he is a legend in Vancouver for being completely weird and a total douche.

    • steverolley - Jun 27, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Wrong… what you don’t realize is that the Ducks didn’t trade for Ryan Kesler, they traded for 2011 Ryan Kelser.

      See by watching Kesler play for the past 3 years you’ve fallen into misconception that he’s not anywhere near as good as he was in 2011. While most comments on this board are clearly by people who haven’t watched the Canucks in 3 years and still think today’s Kesler is the same as 2011 Kesler.

      That’s why this trade sucks, because even though Bonino had the same number of points last year, Sbisa is a young defense man, and there is a number 1 pick…. it’s totally ignoring that the Ducks have time travel technology and are able to get 2011 Kesler back to replace today’s Kesler, who isn’t that good

  32. micasa81 - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Kes is a warrior on the ice, and if he had stayed healthy in the 2011 playoffs, well…who knows. I remember him battling it out with Toews in the 1st round, almost singlehandedly owning Nashville in the next round, but funnily enough, my strongest memory of him that playoffs was game 7 against Boston when they were already down 4-0 and a clearly-not-100% Kesler was flying in desperately on the forecheck every chance he got, unwilling to accept the inevitable.

    He’s reportedly a grade-A arsehole, but that hasn’t stopped about 8 trillion of his jerseys being sold in Vancouver during his decade with the franchise. Good luck Kes. Welcome Nick, Luca and ____.

  33. Gigagigagilgamesh - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Well at least Perry won’t be the only one diving at the Pond

    • skoivu10 - Jun 27, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      I’m a die hard Ducks fan, but even I have to laugh at that.

  34. jkaflagg - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Doesn’t anyone actually read the story ? Kesler had a no-trade and the teams Benning had to deal with knew it; thus, they kept their best assets (Anaheim’s #10 pick tonight, Etem, Smith-Pelley, Saad) firmly in their pockets. A few years ago this would have been a steal, but Kesler has been injured and/or ineffective for large stretches the past few seasons, so there is no guarantee he’ll return to form….Benning did ok to get some assets back and the Ducks didn’t give up too much…..seems pretty fair.

  35. nightfireop - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    the state of california has now officially become a major battleground. especially in the playoffs, the ducks are no longer the odd-man out in terms of credibility. ’15 playoffs in the west is gonna be reeeeeeeally fun.

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