Written by Joe McCormick and can be followed at @joemccormick19.
Well things for the Canucks certainly have been interesting leading into the deadline. The team is in a position where they are not clear as to if they are buyers or sellers. All we know for sure is that Louis Jean of TVA Sports in Montreal says that Ryan Kesler asked for a trade earlier in the season. Louis Jean has been in the business a long time and is not known to embellish the truth.
That being said, this whole situation seems really odd. First off, when is this just leaking now, right before the trade deadline? Secondly, why is it that a reporter from Montreal found out about this first? Maybe I am just seeing the facts that I want to see as I really don’t want to see him in another jersey.
However, there is no denying that trading him could net a good return and help the team re-tool for another cup run in 2-3 years. Twitter has since exploded with people trying to think of where he might go and who might come back.
First of all the Canucks are not currently in a position where they need to rebuild. A re-tool may be just what the doctor ordered. It is extremely difficult to re-tool on the fly when almost all of your core players have the nasty words “No Trade Claus” built into their contracts. That definitely narrows down who can be traded and who your potential trading partners might be.
So what do the Canucks need out of a trade anyways?
Draft picks and prospects are ok, but they can’t be the center piece to any trade. Any prospects should be ready to make the full-time jump to the NHL by next season and draft picks are only welcome to even the value of a trade. They need to make hockey trades that could help them now and in the immediate future. If Kesler does want to go, the Canucks could use 3 new players… all on the second line.
Let’s start with where he might go.
Keep in mind that he has a full NTC and can pick where he wants to go. Due to this, two teams immediately jump to mind, Philadelphia and Detroit. Detroit because Kesler is a Michigan boy and Philly since Kesler likes it there enough that he once signed an offer sheet to play there. It is said that Detroit could be willing to part with an up and comer like Nyquist. Philly is rumored to have B. Schenn or Couturier potentially for the right price.
Another option is Pittsburgh as it was reported (sorry, can’t remember by who) that they made a pitch for Kesler that was rumored to include names like Sutter and Pouliot. Personally, I think the Pittsburgh option works the best as the Canucks would be getting back Sutter who has played that number 2 center role before in Carolina and at times in Pittsburgh.
The other name in Vancouver that keeps coming up lately is Alex Edler with teams like Washington and Colorado looking for defense. The names in Washington that are coming up are Erat and Wilson. I can’t see Wilson being given up on already. Maybe a deal for Erat, Wilson and Alzner could work, but I very highly doubt it. Colorado has been shopping Parenteau for most of the season and O’Reilly’s name keeps hitting the rumor mill. Perhaps there could be a fit there.
I personally want to see Kesler stay, but if the rumors that he wants out are true, I would like to see him go to Philly for B. Schenn, a prospect and a 1st rnd pick, then have Gillis turn around and ship Edler to the Avs for O’Reilly. Given Gillis’ history and the cap world that we live in, my money is on Gillis’ only making a minor tweak, like seeing Hansen to Pittsburgh for Bennett.
Here’s to another trade deadline day and the Canucks getting themselves to a point where they can contend again!