The Vancouver Canucks resume regular-season play Wednesday on a seven-game losing streak and a point behind the Dallas Stars for the second wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference.
With their championship window likely closed, it may be time for the Canucks to plan for the future ahead of the March 5 NHL trade deadline. One star player who might not play a part in the team’s future is second-line center Ryan Kesler, who according to Louis Jean of TVA Sports, has requested a trade. [tweet https://twitter.com/LouisJean_TVA/status/438851798338502658 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/LouisJean_TVA/status/438852413143781376 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/LouisJean_TVA/status/438852876429836289 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/LouisJean_TVA/status/438855860056363008 align=”center”]
Kesler is not the elite two-way forward he was in 2010-11 when the Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Final. After winning the Frank J. Selke Trophy that season, his scoring production has declined and injuries have bothered him. He’s missed 36 games over the past two seasons and suffered a hand injury during the Winter Olympics that will keep him out of Vancouver’s game against St. Louis on Wednesday night. The severity of the injury is unknown, but it’s possible his hand could be broken.
The 29-year-old forward has two more years remaining on his contract, which includes a $5 million salary cap hit and a no-trade clause, per CapGeek.
Kesler has tallied 38 points (20 goals, 18 assists) in 60 games this season. He was a first-round draft pick in 2003 and has spent his entire career with the Canucks.