Kukla's Korner Hockey
VANCOUVER (March 2, 2014) – National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman today released the following statement regarding the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic between the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks at BC Place:
“We thank the Canucks and Senators for contributing to the terrific atmosphere at BC Place today and for providing such an entertaining conclusion to two historic months for the National Hockey League. While the weather outside prevented us from opening the roof at this outstanding stadium, the energy indoors from the more than 54,000 fans made for a memorable afternoon.
“Through the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and the
2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, our teams and our players displayed the very best qualities of our sport to over 375,000 fans in-person and an international viewing audience of millions more. We thank our fans, our Clubs and our players for this “season like no other” and we look forward to an exciting run to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The troubling news for the faithful is Gillis seems intent on hitting a home run with Kesler. That means the proverbial roster player, prospect, first-round draft pick package which the team was seeking for Luongo, and we all know how that turned out. It doesn’t take a leap in logic to imagine the same script — as the noble Lui suggested — playing out with Kesler, and another botched trade would be a massive blow to this organization’s credibility.
But there’s also a slightly different feel about the market conditions this time around. Because the Eastern Conference is a study in mediocrity, virtually every team in a playoff spot can entertain visions of a long playoff run. Kesler, no matter what else he is, could be a difference-maker to those teams and, unlike Luongo, his contract isn’t a deal-breaker.
Of the suitors, Pittsburgh has the look of a potential match. They have the young centre the Canucks would need coming back in Brandon Sutter. They have prospects — hello, Derrick Pouliot. It’s also believed GM Ray Shero is seeking a return to the three-centre configuration (Sidney Crosby, Geno Malkin, Jordan Staal) they employed in their Stanley Cup years.
Via numerous reports, Kesler also says his hand feels better and hopes to play tomorrow, but not sure.
added 5:54pm, Kesler talking with the media after pracitce today can be watched below...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
As a couple of front-office sources from other teams told me Thursday, it was bound to come out at some point that the Vancouver Canucks were feeling out the market on Ryan Kesler.
Secrets just don't keep in this business.
It doesn't sound as though Kesler actually made a formal trade request at any time, although it was clearly indicated a change of scenery could benefit both the player and the team; so perhaps semantics, if anything else.
The bottom line:
• A number of NHL teams have gotten calls from the Canucks on Kesler as well as vice-versa;
• The price is "significantly high," says one Western Conference source. "Really high. And I guess I can't blame them," says a different source.
• The Canucks have made it clear to other teams that they don't feel the need to move him before Wednesday's deadline, that they're more than happy to pick this up again in June if their price isn't met. Or never move him at all if their price is never met.
• Kesler is signed for two more seasons, which means if you're trading for him now, you've got three more playoffs out of the gritty, two-way star. And at $5 million a year, he's below market value.
So, yeah, the Canucks are asking teams a for a lot. As they should be.
much more (more talk about players and teams) and yes, the Wings are mentioned as being a fit for Kesler...
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
You could probably kill an hour or two guessing reasons why Kesler would want out.
So, take your pick.
There was former head coach Alain Vigneault calling him out for not using his wingers enough. There was Vigneault suggesting a serious shoulder injury wasn’t all that serious, and wasn’t the reason for his diminished production.
There have been ongoing plans to make him a winger.
Back in October his new head coach said he viewed Kesler’s future as a winger. There was Kesler getting stripped of his “A.” There was the Canucks inability to find him high quality wingers to play with.
There is the possibility he thinks the Vancouver market is overly critical of his play. That’s something he’s suggested more than once, even in Sochi when he was asked about the big deal people were making of all the ice time he was accumulating this season.
“A lot of people in Vancouver make a lot of everything,” he told reporters in Russia.
There are certain names that our Hockey Insiders have been talking about for months, Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson. But the most intriguing names as we head towards TradeCentre are the most recent ones - Martin St. Louis and Ryan Kesler. Let's start with the latter. What are the real chances that Kesler gets dealt by the Canucks?
Bob McKenzie: Well it's by no means guaranteed but it is a possibility. The buzz on Kesler is increasing by the day. Now, we should get the disclaimers out of the way. The Vancouver Canucks are not aggressively shopping and trying to trade Ryan Kesler, but I do believe that they're aggressively listening. Keep in mind though that Kesler has got a no-move, no-trade clause, so he's not going anywhere he doesn't want to go. Keep in mind also that he's technically injured right now, he's got a finger injury that might be broken, we're only guessing. The Canucks say he's day-to-day so hopefully that won't come into play. But the question then becomes what would the Canucks have to get back in order to consider trading Kesler? It would obviously be a lot. What they're going to be looking for is to pick up a young centre between the ages of 20-25 who can grow into the role that Kesler is in right now. Somebody that gives you a fighting chance at a reload if not necessarily a rebuild.
more plus Martin St. Louis and Andrei Markov talk...
Remember the shot Ryan Kesler took to his hand in Sochi?
from Michael Drapack of CBC,
The National Hockey League refused to give Steve Moore $220,000 in a disability payment unless he dropped his civil suit against Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks, new court documents allege.
As well, a new motion was filed to compel former Canucks owner John McCaw Jr. to testify at the trial scheduled to start in September in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto.
Moore is seeking $38 million dollars in damages resulting from the March 8, 2004 on-ice incident. Bertuzzi, the Canucks and Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, owner of the NHL team, are named.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The Canucks ticked off seven straight losses to stagger into the Olympic break. They are in 10th place in the Western Conference, 1 point behind No. 8 Dallas. The Canucks might have to get familiar with this type of gear-grinding.
Injuries have rocked the Canucks. The pre-break limpers included Henrik Sedin, Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Chris Tanev, Mike Santorelli, and Andrew Alberts.
But good teams absorb injuries. Good players pull the rope. Depth players assume bigger roles. Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Boston, and Tampa Bay have been banged up. They’re still among their conferences’ best. The Canucks are graying at the wrong time. The Sedins are 33. Their four-year extensions start next season. Their most productive days are over.
That wouldn’t be a problem if the Canucks had young players rising, layers to their roster structure, and flexibility to make deals. Entry-level players such as Jordan Schroeder and Zack Kassian aren’t consistent NHL players yet. Bo Horvat, Hunter Shinkaruk, and Brendan Gaunce, their top prospects, are teenagers.
more plus additional topics...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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