Report: Canucks’ Ryan Kesler Still Wants To Be Traded

Pierre Racicot, Shawn Thornton, Ryan KeslerVancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler reportedly requested a trade before this year’s deadline, but the team was unable to move him despite several teams expressing interest.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the situation remains the same: Kesler wants out of Vancouver.

“Ryan┬áKesler hasn’t changed his mind,” Dreger said on the most recent edition of Insider Trading. “He wants a fresh start and to move on from Vancouver; he met with (new general manager Jim Benning) earlier this week to talk about that. It’s believed that Kesler still has six teams on his list that he’s willing to be traded to. And we think that Philadelphia and Anaheim are among those.”

Of the two teams Dreger lists above, the Ducks are an interesting option. They have two first-round picks in the upcoming 2014 NHL draft, including the 10th overall pick that was acquired in last summer’s Bobby Ryan deal. Anaheim also needs a second-line center to compete against the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division.

What do the Canucks want in return for their 29-year-old forward if he’s traded? TSN’s Pierre LeBrun explained in the same segment.

“The asking price remains high, as it should for a guy that only has a $5 million cap hit for two more years,” LeBrun said. “The Canucks don’t just want futures here, they want a player that can help them now, preferably a centre.”

As a premier two-way player, Vancouver cannot afford to trade Kesler without getting full value in return, especially since he has a team-friendly cap hit and is still two years away from free agency. This isn’t a rental situation.

He played well for the Canucks this past season, tallying 25 goals (third-most of his career) and 19 assists. Kesler also stayed healthy and played in 77 games, putting to rest some concerns about his durability.

Will the Canucks trade Kesler before the start of the 2014-15 regular season? CBC’s Elliotte Friedman shared his thoughts in his recent 30 Thoughts column.

“The final question is: are the Canucks willing to start 2014-15 with Kesler on the roster? I think they’d prefer to make a trade, but will keep him if they don’t like what’s out there,” Friedman writes. “That said, my guess is someone steps up.”

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